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Got Sore Throat? 7 Underlying Causes & What To Do About Them

Smitakshi Guha

The scratchy, dry, & painful feeling in the throat can interfere with your way of life.

A sore throat is a very common symptom experienced by people all across the globe. It’s this scratchy, dry, and painful feeling in the throat that in most cases, goes away on its own. They are mainly caused by infections or by some environmental factors like dusty air. When you have a sore throat, you find it quite difficult to swallow food or even talk. In some cases, your tonsils or throat might look visibly red.

In general, sore throats are often accompanied by some other symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, fever, chills, headache, body ache, loss of appetite, etc. Now let’s understand some of the possible causes of a sore throat—

Colds, the flu, or other viral infections

You must be surprised to know that about 90% of throat infections are caused by viruses. Some of the most common viruses that can cause sore throats are:

  • Influenza (the flu virus)
  • The common cold
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Chickenpox
  • Mononucleosis

As on today, sore throat is also a common symptom associated with COVID-19, a viral infection that has turned into a global pandemic. Its most common symptoms other than sore throat include cough, fever, and in some cases, the loss of smell & taste and breathing difficulty as it progresses. 

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you should definitely speak to a doctor online and ensure you’re taking all the necessary precautions. You should also self-assess your COVID-19 risk regularly to ascertain your safety and of those around you. Additionally, you can also take the COVID-19 Antibody Test to find out if your body has developed the antibodies required to fight this viral infection.

Bacterial infections

Other than viruses, bacterial infections can also cause sore throats. Strep throat is the most common bacterial infection that affects the tonsils and the throat and is caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria. Strep throat is very common in children. The most common symptoms of a strep throat include pain while swallowing, fever, tiny red spots that appear on the roof of the mouth, as well as red and swollen tonsils.  If you or someone in the family is experiencing any of these symptoms, no need to step out, simply consult with a doctor online for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Dry air

When the air is too dry, it can suck the moisture out from your throat and mouth, leading to a sore throat. This is especially more common in the winters. Drink lots of water as staying hydrated can keep the moisture in your mouth and throat in check and also prevent sore throats.

Allergies

If you’re allergic to certain allergens like pollen, dust, etc., your immune system reacts by releasing chemicals in the body that can cause certain symptoms like watery eyes, coughing, nasal congestion, as well as throat irritation. It’s important that you take an Allergy Risk Assessment to know if you’re indeed allergic to any environmental allergy triggers so that you can take better precautions to prevent allergies.

Injury

Any form of injury to the throat or neck can result in sore throats. This can also be caused by a piece of food getting stuck inside your throat or a violent cough that you may let out in the process. If you’re an avid singer, then rigorous practice can also strain your vocal cords and the muscles in your throat, resulting in throat pain/irritation. Also, for those in the teaching/instructing profession, sore throat is a very common complaint as their profession demands a lot of yelling and loud talking for prolonged durations.

Chemicals, smoke, and other irritants

Many chemicals and environmental irritants can cause sore throats. These include smoke from tobacco, air pollution, gases, as well as products used for cleaning that has an extremely strong smell. 

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Also known as acid reflux, this is a chronic condition wherein the acids in your stomach come back up to your oesophagus, which is a tube that carries the food you eat, from your mouth to your stomach. The reflux can not only cause you to cough often but can also give you a sore throat. If you’re suffering from acid refluxes a little too often, don’t ignore it and speak to a gastroenterologist online right away.

Now that you know the most common causes of sore throats, don’t ignore it and connect with a doctor online instantly. For any other health concerns, you can consult with doctors across 30+ specialities from India’s leading hospitals online on MFine.  Ab #HarGharMeinDoctor

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