A sore throat or pharyngitis refers to the pain, itchiness, or irritation in the throat that generally gets worse when you swallow. The most frequent cause of a sore throat infection is a viral infection, for instance, a cold or the flu and it may usually resolve on its own. However, a sore throat can also be the first indication of more severe illnesses, so you should observe how it develops. Visit an urgent care doctor if your sore throat gets worse or persists longer than the usual.
What Does a Sore Throat Mean?
A sore throat infection can be the result of exposure to airborne contaminants, or it could be an indicator that a virus is targeting you. Sore throats often occur once an infection has had a chance to become established in your body. Sore throats and fevers usually go hand-in-hand and can indicate many different types of health issues.
What Causes a Sore Throat?
Sore throats or bacterial throat infection are often caused by bacteria or viruses that enter the body through the nasal passages or the mouth. A sore throat infection may be the result of an ear infection. As the ears drain, the mucus and fluids that flush the inner ear may irritate the throat causing it to be sore, red, and inflamed.
Can a Sore Throat Cause High Blood Pressure or a Migraine?
A sore throat does not usually cause other health conditions like high blood pressure or migraines. They are, however, indicative that something is wrong within the body. Both high blood pressure and migraine headaches can be symptoms of other health conditions that are associated with sore throats and chest pain.
Are Sore Throats Contagious?
In most cases, a person is contagious for as long as they have a fever.
How Long Does a Sore Throat Last?
Sore throats will often last as long as the virus is attacking the body. A sore throat will generally stick around until your immune system gets the upper hand against the infection.
Can a Sore Throat Cause a Fever?
A sore throat doesn’t necessarily produce a fever but accompanies an illness as your body tries to eliminate the virus.
Why Does a Sore Throat Often Cause a Fever?
A fever is the body’s natural defense mechanism to fight infections by raising your body temperature. Most viruses won’t survive temperatures above 100 degrees and will get killed by the fever in short order.
When to See a Doctor in Case of a Sore Throat
Sore throats can be an indication of more severe illnesses like rheumatic fever and malaria (if you have been exposed to it). Fevers are meant to be a short-term solution to fighting a virus. If you have a sore throat or fever that lasts longer than 72 hours, you may want to make an appointment with your doctor.
How to Cure Sore Throats
If your throat starts to hurt, you should drink plenty of fluids and get as much rest as you can. You can take over the counter pain medication to make your throat feel better. Talk to your doctor if you start to feel like you may have something worse than a cold or the flu.
If you are experiencing sore throats that keep recurring, last longer than a week, and you get dehydrated, visit our urgent care center near you for a check-up and get relief from cold, cough, or throat pain.
Latest posts by Brian Coyne, MD (see all)
- How the Ketogenic Diet Can Affect Your Skin - February 14, 2019
- Sore Throat Infections: Causes, Symptoms, and Cure - January 10, 2019
- Heatstroke and Heat Exhaustion: Symptoms, Treatment, & Prevention Tips - September 24, 2018