Sore throat, also known as throat pain, is pain or irritation of the throat.
It is usually caused by pharyngitis (inflammation of the throat) or tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils). It can also result from trauma.
About 7.5% of people have a sore throat in any three-month period.
A sore throat is usually from irritation or inflammation. The most common cause (80%) is acute viral pharyngitis, a viral infection of the throat. Other causes include other infections (such as streptococcal pharyngitis), trauma, and tumors. Gastroesophageal (acid) reflux disease can cause stomach acid to back up into the throat and also cause the throat to become sore. In children streptococcal pharyngitis is the cause of 37% of sore throats.
Pain medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and paracetamol (acetaminophen) help in the management of pain. The use corticosteroids seems to increase the likelihood of resolution and reduce the level of pain.
The Mayo Clinic advises gargling with salty warm water and resting the voice. Without active treatment, symptoms usually last two to seven days.
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