sore throat


what causes a sore throat?

Pharyngitis can be caused by many things.  Sometimes when mucus from your sinuses drains into your throat, the drainage can make your throat feel sore, especially in the mornings.  90% of sore throats in adults are caused by viruses.  Bacteria (such as strep) can cause a sore throat.  Your throat may also feel sore if you smoke, breathe polluted air or drink alcoholic beverages.  If you have hay fever or other allergies, a sore throat may be one of the symptoms.  Most other sore throats are caused by viruses, which usually do not lead to serious problems.

 Sore throat

how do i know what is causing my sore throat?

Many of the illness that cause sore throats have similar symptoms.  If you a have a sore throat, you can treat the pain with acetominophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Aleve).  If the soreness in your throat does not decrease or go away after 3 days, call Student Health Services.  You may need to have test run to determine the cause of your sore throat.


what is strep throat?

Strep throat is caused by a type of bacteria called Streptococcus.  There are multiple types of Streptococcus; however strep A is of the most concern.  The pain of strep throat often feel much like sore throats caused by other illnesses.  What's important and different about a sore throat caused by strep A is that serious complications may occur if it is not treated with antibiotics.


what test are used to find the cause of my sore throat?

If you have signs of strep throat, such a fever, enlarge lymph nodes or white patches in your throat, your doctor will order a strep test.  He or she may do a rapid strep A test, a throat culture, or both.  If your provider thinks you have a viral infection such as infectious mononucleosis (mono), he or she will probably do a blood test.


what is the treatment for a sore throat caused by bacteria?

If you sore throat is caused by strep A, you health care provider will order an oral antibiotic to take for 10 days.  It is very important to take all the oral antibiotics, even if you start feeling better after a few days.  If a strep throat is present, others with sore throats who live with or have been close to the patient should be tested and/or treated.  The antibiotic will prevent Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease.


what about a sore throat that is caused by allergies?

If a sore throat is a symptoms of have fever or another allergy, your health care provider can help determine the causes of your allergies, or you may need to take medicine for your allergies.


what is the treatment for a sore throat caused by viruses?

Antibiotics don't work against viruses.  Antibiotics given inappropriately for viral illnesses contribute to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.  Infections caused by viruses usually just run their course.  If you have a cold, your symptoms will usually go away within a week or 10 days.  Symptoms caused by mono can last longer, sometimes for 4 weeks or longer.  You can help yourself feel better with these helpful tips:


for what reason should i call the physician immediately?