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  • How to Deal with a Sore Throat

    How to Deal with a Sore Throat

    Sore throat can make it painful to eat and even talk. It brings scratchiness and irritation of the throat that can become worse when swallowing.

    A sore throat or pharyngitis is often caused by a viral infection, such as a cold or the flu, or bacteria. Depending on the severity, a sore throat can make it difficult to talk and breath.

    Causes of a sore throat

    Viruses and bacteria are two of the most common causes of sore throats.

    Sore throats can be caused by viruses, bacteria, allergies, irritation, and reflux.
    • Viruses: Most people experience a sore throat due viral infections such as common colds, influenza, and infectious mononucleosis.
    • Bacteria: Strep throat is a common throat infection, and it is caused by a strain of streptococcus bacteria. Symptoms of strep throat include a fever greater than 101°F, white patches on the throat, and swollen or tender glands in the neck area.

    Epiglottitis is a dangerous throat infection in which inflammation and swelling of the epiglottis can close the airway. Epiglottitis should be suspected in patients with a sore throat who develop difficulty breathing, a high pitched sound while breathing in, or drooling, and requires immediate medical attention.

    Other common causes of a sore throat include:

    • Allergies
    • Irritation caused by dry heat, pollutants, or chemicals
    • Reflux – the regurgitation of stomach acids into the back of the throat

    More severe but less common conditions such as HIV and tumors of the throat, tongue, or larynx can also cause a sore throat.

    People who are most at risk of frequent sore throats include:

    • Children
    • People with allergies
    • People with weakened immune systems
    • People who have been exposed to chemical irritants
    • People who suffer from long-lasting or frequent sinus infections

    Written by Brian Wu for http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/

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