Sore Throat Symptoms

Medical Author:

Doctor's View on Sore Throat Symptoms

Comment by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

How long should a sore throat last?

How long your sore throat lasts depends on the cause. If your sore throat is caused by a viral infection it may last four to five days. If the cause is bacterial (such as strep throat), antibiotics may be prescribed and symptoms may resolve two to three days after starting treatment. You should finish all prescribed antibiotics, even if you feel better before they are finished

Sore throats are common, and you've probably experienced a few. Symptoms you may have with a sore throat include:

What about infants and toddlers?

If your infant, or toddler has a sore throat, it is most often caused by viral infections that do not require medication. Your child will usually feel better within a week to 10 days. Strep throat is uncommon in children under 3 years of age, but if your child has strep throat it needs to be treated with antibiotics.

If your sore throat lasts longer than 10 days, you should see your doctor to determine the cause. Chronic sore throats may be due to a number of other causes including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), allergies, chronic sinusitis, smoking, or even cancer or AIDS.

REFERENCES:

UpToDate. Patient information: Sore throat in adults (Beyond the Basics).

UpToDate. Patient information: Sore throat in children (Beyond the Basics).


Last Editorial Review: 7/12/2013 6:40:08 PM