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What Are The Symptoms Of Sore Throat?

What are the symptoms of sore throat

A sore throat is an inflammatory condition that affects the pharynx, which is the hollow tube inside the throat that starts behind the nose and ends at the top of the oesophagus and trachea. It is one of the most common health complaints, affecting people of all ages.

While a sore throat can be a minor annoyance, it can also signal a more serious underlying condition. Understanding the symptoms, causes and treatment options for sore throats is essential for effective management and prevention of complications.

Common Symptoms of Sore Throats

The primary symptom of a sore throat is a scratchy, painful sensation that can make it difficult to swallow or talk. Understanding the symptoms of a sore throat is essential for timely treatment and relief.  Other common symptoms include:

Pain and Irritation

The most noticeable symptom of a sore throat is a raw, burning sensation in the throat. This pain can vary in intensity and might worsen when you swallow. For some, the pain is mild and annoying; for others, it can be severe and debilitating.

Difficulty Swallowing (Dysphagia)

Swelling and inflammation can make swallowing painful and difficult. This can affect your ability to consume solid foods and liquids, leading to discomfort and even dehydration if not managed properly.

Hoarseness or Loss of Voice

Inflammation in the throat can affect the vocal cords, leading to a hoarse voice or temporary voice loss. This symptom is particularly common in those who have throat infections or who use their voice excessively.

Redness of the Throat

Upon examination, the back of the throat may appear redder than usual. This redness is often accompanied by swelling, which is a sign of inflammation and infection.

Swollen Glands

The lymph nodes in your neck and jaw may swell when your body is fighting an infection. These swollen glands can be tender to the touch, which is another indicator of a sore throat.

White Patches or Pus on the Tonsils

If the sore throat is caused by a bacterial infection, such as strep throat, white patches or pus may appear on the tonsils. These symptoms should prompt immediate medical attention.


A sore throat may be accompanied by a persistent cough that worsens the throat pain. This cough can be dry or might produce mucus, depending on the underlying cause.

Sneezing and Runny Nose

Often, a sore throat comes with other symptoms of a cold or flu, such as sneezing and a runny nose. These symptoms suggest that a virus might be the cause.


A fever often accompanies a sore throat, especially if it is caused by an infection like the flu or strep throat. A fever indicates that the body is fighting off an infection.

Headache and General Malaise

A sore throat can be part of a broader array of symptoms, including headaches and a general feeling of being unwell or tired.

Causes of Sore Throats

Sore throats can be caused by a variety of factors. Viral infections, like the common cold or influenza, are the most frequent culprits. However, bacterial infections such as streptococcal pharyngitis (strep throat) can also cause severe sore throats. Environmental factors, including dry air, pollution or smoke exposure, can irritate the throat. Allergies are another common cause, as postnasal drip can lead to throat irritation and discomfort.

Diseases Related with Sore Throat

Sore throat diseases primarily include infections like pharyngitis, tonsillitis and strep throat. Other conditions such as laryngitis and glandular fever also cause sore throats. Environmental factors like allergies, dry air and irritants like smoke or pollution can exacerbate or trigger symptoms. It’s important to identify the cause to effectively treat and manage the discomfort associated with these diseases.

Sore throats are common during pregnancy due to hormonal changes and a suppressed immune system. While most sore throats during pregnancy are caused by minor viral infections and are not harmful to the fetus, it is important to seek medical attention for severe or persistent symptoms.

Treatment Options for Sore Throat

Treating a sore throat typically involves relieving symptoms and addressing the underlying cause. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can reduce pain and fever. Throat lozenges and warm saltwater gargles help soothe irritation.

Staying hydrated and resting the voice is also beneficial. For bacterial infections like strep throat, antibiotics are necessary. It’s important to avoid irritants such as smoke and to use a humidifier in dry environments to help keep the throat moist and reduce discomfort.

Schedule Your Online Consultation at Touchwood Pharmacy’s Pharmacy First

By understanding the symptoms, causes and treatment options for sore throats, individuals can better manage this common condition and prevent potential complications.

If you’re experiencing persistent sore throat symptoms, book an online consultation with Touchwood Pharmacy’s Pharmacy First service today. Our experts are ready to provide personalised care and effective treatment solutions from the comfort of your home. Schedule your appointment now and let us help you manage your sore throat symptoms efficiently.