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Sore throats can be painful and annoying.
Fortunately, most sore throats are caused by a minor illness and go away
without medical treatment.
Several conditions can cause a sore
Sore throats may be caused by a
viral illness, such as:
bacterial infection may also cause a sore throat. This
can occur from:
A sore throat that lasts
longer than a week is often caused by irritants or an injuries, such as:
Treatment for a sore throat depends on the cause. You may
be able to use home treatment to obtain relief.
illnesses are the most common cause of a sore throat, it is important not to
use antibiotics to treat them. Antibiotics do not alter the course of viral
infections. Unnecessary use of an antibiotic exposes you to the risks of an
allergic reaction and antibiotic side effects, such as
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, and yeast infections. Antibiotics also may
kill beneficial bacteria and encourage the development of dangerous
antibiotic-resistant bacteria. For sore throats caused by strep, treatment with antibiotics may be needed.
Check your symptoms to decide if and when you should see a
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Home treatment is usually all that
is needed for a sore throat caused by a virus. These tips may help you feel
Consider taking nonprescription medicine for your symptoms.
More home treatment can be found in topics related to
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home
There is no sure way to prevent a sore
throat. To help reduce your risk:
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
You can help your
doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being ready to answer the following
February 1, 2013
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
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