Sore throats are one of the most common medical conditions. In fact, millions of people each year experience sore throats and go to the doctor to get treated for them. While this condition tends to be more common in younger people, any age group can experience it.
Symptoms of a Sore Throat
In the most simple sense, a sore throat occurs whenever you experience discomfort or pain in your throat. More detailed symptoms of a sore throat include the following:
- A scratchy feeling
- Burning sensation
- Sore or swollen glands
- Pain when swallowing, eating or talking
Common Causes of a Sore Throat
Sore throats can be caused by various issues and illnesses such as:
- Environmental irritants: When you are exposed to poor air quality due to pollution or smoking, especially over an extended period of time, you will likely experience discomfort or soreness in your throat. Seasonal allergies are another common culprit, and yelling can also strain the muscles and cause soreness.
- Gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD): GERD, commonly known as heartburn, is when stomach acid comes back into the esophagus. This acid can irritate your throat, causing discomfort and pain.
- Viral infections: The most common viral infection which causes a sore throat is the common cold. Other viral infections would be the flu, laryngitis — an infection of the voice box — mumps and mononucleosis.
- Bacterial infections: Illnesses caused by bacteria include strep throat, tonsillitis, uveitis, and epiglottitis.
- Mold Exposure: Mold spores release chemicals known as mycotoxins. which leads to allergic reactions. When you breathe in mold spores, they can irritate the mouth, nose, and throat.
Sore Throat Remedies and Treatments in Houston
Most of the time, sore throats are a minor issue and can be easily soothed and treated at home with remedies like a saltwater rinse, cough drops and throat lozenges, or pain medicine. For seasonal allergy sufferers, a daily allergy medication usually works well to relieve symptoms.
However, if your sore throat is caused by a more serious infection, you may need to visit your doctor for antiviral prescriptions or other medication.
When You Should See a Doctor
While most sore throats are easily treated and tend to go away on their own, there are times when it is important to see a doctor. Sometimes, sore throats can also be a sign of more severe issues or illnesses, especially when you experience symptoms like:
- Severe pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty opening your mouth
- Recurring soreness
- Swelling in your face or neck
- Pain or stiffness in your neck
Schedule an Appointment to Treat Your Sore Throat
If in doubt, it is always best to schedule an appointment with your doctor. At Houston Sinus & Allergy, Dr. Nguyen can help you discover what is causing your discomfort as well as help you find the best treatment for your sore throat. He offers a wide range of treatments and procedures to ease symptoms, including allergy shots and steroid injections. Your care plan will be customized to your specific needs.
Reach out to Dr. Nguyen if you have any questions or would like to book an assessment or appointment at our clinic in Houston, Texas. Contact us today with any questions you may have and we’ll get you on your way to lasting relief.