Can a sore throat be a sign of a serious condition?

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A minor sore throat may indicate the flu, a cold, allergies or exposure to throat irritants such as smoking and air pollution. They are usually are nothing to worry about and can be treated with over-the-counter and home remedies.

A severe sore throat can be a symptom of something more serious than a cold or flu. If a severe sore throat is accompanied by a fever, difficulty in breathing or swollen glands, or has lasted more than three days, a doctor should be contacted.

A chronic, constant or recurring sore throat, whether mild or severe, can indicate a more serious condition that should be examined by a doctor.

Yes, a sore throat can be a sign of something more serious than its usual cause, the typical cold virus or allergies. Some individuals with sore throats have the bacterial infection strep throat that may result in rheumatic fever. A sore throat can also be a sign of mononucleosis, diphtheria, and even tumors of the throat.

Continue Learning about Viral Throat Infections

Viral Throat Infections

Viral Throat Infections

Aside from strep throat, most sore throats caused by are contagious, viral throat infections that cannot be treated with antibiotics. The most common culprits of a viral throat infection include coxsackievirus, mononucleosis, and ...

the flu. Mononucleosis (mono) is a virus that causes symptoms that can last for weeks or months at a time. Viral throat infections are best treated with rest, liquids and other home remedies. If the sore throat causes you to have trouble breathing or a high fever, or results in spots in the back of your throat, call your doctor.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.