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Sore Throat - An Overview

Sore throat is a painful condition caused by inflammation in the pharynx. This condition is also known as Pharyngitis. Very often it is accompanied by tonsillitis or infection in the larynx. It occurs more frequently among children but can affect people of any age and sex. Sore throat is caused by both bacteria and viruses. If is caused by bacteria it can be easily cured but if the sore throat is caused by a virus it needs medical attention although there is no fixed and effective prescription medicine for viral sore throat.

Sore Throat Causes

The pharynx is prone to infection and in most cases and is the first area to be affected by viruses responsible for a number of contagious illnesses. It happens when a person inhales and while doing so a virus or a bacterium suspended in the dust gets settled in the pharynx leading to sore throat. There are other ways of infection leading to sore throat. If a person touches objects of common use which are hosts to the micro organisms and then touches his eyes or nose, the virus enters into his nasal membrane and then pharynx causing inflammation in the pharynx. These invaders replicate quickly causing inflammation in pharynx and tonsil. Apart from bacteria and virus, there are some other reasons responsible for the sore throat. First, chain smoking can lead to sore throat condition. Second, inhaling polluted air may result in infection and sore throat. Third, sometimes hay fever of other allergies causes sore throat.

Sore Throat Symptoms

There are various types of sore throat conditions each having different symptoms and resulting in several complications. Almost 90 percent of the cases of sore throat are cause due to viral infection. The viral infection causing sore throat may result in the enlargement of lymph node which is a very painful condition. Orthomyxovirus, which causes sore throat, also. A viral sore throat condition may sometimes result in lymph gland swelling. Some virus related sore throat conditions may develop complications such as measles, mouth ulcers and herpes. Bacterial sore throat condition also develops complications such as scarlet fever, rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease, inflammation in the kidney, and scpticaemia which is a life threatening disease. Diphtheria is the other life threatening diseases found among children in which respiratory tract is infected if sore throat condition is already existing.

In a nutshell the most common symptoms of sore throat are following:

  • Tonsillitis or inflammation of tonsil
  • Headache
  • Pain
  • White patches on the tonsil or throat
  • Nausea
  • Cracking voice
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Runny and stuffy nose
  • Coughing


Treatment usually consists of using soothing lozenges or throat sprays, which stop the pain and reduce swelling. Oral Zinc Spray provides symptomatic relief and can reduce cold symptoms as well. If the sore throat becomes extremely painful, or if white patches develop, see a physician immediately.

Read more about treatments

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Sore Throat: An Overview