Sore throat, which is caused by acute pharyngitis or inflammation of the throat, causes pain, irritation, and itchiness. It can be caused by different reasons, like bacterial infections such as strep throat and inflammation of the tonsils, viral infections such as mumps and influenza, and infection of the voice box. There are four common types of sore throat. The first is pharyngitis, which affects the pharynx. The second is tonsillitis, affecting the tonsils. The third is laryngitis, which affects the larynx. The last is epiglottitis, affecting the epiglottis.
Sore throats normally don’t last longer than a week. Those that do are caused by throat irritation from smoking and air pollution, stomach acid that goes back to the throat, and an injury like a cut or a puncture to the throat. This type of sore throat is usually accompanied by other conditions like rash, joint pain, or difficulty breathing. If one experiences prolonged sore throat with fever and bloody mucus, one should immediately consult with a doctor.
For easy treatment of sore throat, one can gargle warm water mixed with salt and drink plenty of warm fluids like teas and soup. For medicinal treatment, one can take throat lozenges or anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. If the sore throat is caused by bacterial infection, one can take antibiotics. If it is caused by viral infection, one can take decongestants and pain relievers to alleviate the symptoms.
To prevent sore throats, one should make sure to always their hands with soap or use hand sanitizers so as to kill germs and bacteria, lessening the chances of acquiring sore throat through bacterial and viral infection. If possible, one should avoid sharing drinking and eating utensils with other people. Moreover, one should also limit their exposure to pollen, mold, and cigarette smoke.