What is a sore throat?

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A sore throat is irritation or infection of the throat that causes discomfort or pain.  There are many causes of sore throats.  Sometimes a cold will be accompanied by a sore throat.  Post nasal drip from allergies can also irritate the throat causing pain.  If the pain is persistent and truly bothersome, the patient should see their physician to make sure that it is not caused by strep.  Since untreated strep throat can lead to rheumatic fever which affects the heart, it is important to make sure that strep throat is not overlooked.
You have probably had a sore throat at some point in your life. That's because it is linked to the common cold and flu viruses. A sore throat is an itchy, painful, and/or irritating feeling in your throat. You may feel it most when you are trying to swallow. Usually, your sore throat resolves itself and goes away without any special treatment.

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.