6 minutes to read
Time has turned and it appears: the sore throat. What a boring symptom, isn’t it? However, contrary to what many think, there are many causes for it to appear, and they go well beyond a simple change in temperature.
If you’re the type who lives with a sore throat, you’ve come to the right place! Throughout our content, we will explain what the main causes of this problem are, as well as help you understand how it can be treated.
Come with us to clear your doubts about this very unpleasant problem that, unfortunately, affects our quality of life. Good reading!
What is sore throat?
Sore throat is a symptom generated, as the name implies, by inflammation in the throat region. This, in turn, comprises structures such as the pharynx, larynx and tonsils. Therefore, any of them can be affected and bring very similar symptoms.
Because of this, contrary to popular belief, a sore throat is not a disease. She is actually an indication that something is wrong with your body, a sign that there is ongoing inflammation.
What are the main causes of this problem?
The main cause of sore throat and, as a result, its inflammation is the flu and cold. These viral infections compromise the entire respiratory system, and may or may not also cause damage to structures such as the pharynx and larynx.
In addition, other diseases – such as tonsillitis, rhinitis, Covid-19 and sinusitis – can affect this region. But that’s not all, as trauma – injuries -, excessive use of the voice and other situations can also generate this inflammation.
And the most common symptoms?
The main symptom of a sore throat is, without a doubt, pain. Usually, it starts as an irritation, i.e. a strange feeling we have when swallowing. In a few hours or days, it evolves into an acute pain, which can even prevent feeding from happening.
But that is not all. Other common symptoms of this problem are:
- sore throat;
- pus in the throat;
- cough, usually dry (without phlegm);
- decreased appetite;
- dry mouth sensation;
- inguas in the lateral region of the neck.
Is it possible to treat a sore throat?
Of course! Sore throat is a completely treatable problem. In the overwhelming majority of cases, it resolves itself in a few days or weeks with the implementation of antibiotic treatments (if the problem has a bacterial cause) and/or anti-inflammatories.
In more complex cases, such as recurrent tonsillitis (which always comes back), surgery to remove these structures may be indicated. However, the procedure is very quiet and with a very promising recovery.
But of course, until reaching this type of indication, your doctor will try conservative treatments with the use of medication. So, one step at a time, all right?
Why not self-diagnose this problem?
Self-diagnosis is always a problem, and it is also very contraindicated in the case of sore throats.
As we have seen, there are many possible causes for this problem, which can range from a simple transient irritation to a more serious issue that requires treatment with antibiotics.
Therefore, you should not self-medicate. This can only mask the problem, causing it to come back later with full force and, who knows, even causing the need for surgery. Careful!
When should I see the doctor?
The doctor should be sought whenever you feel uncomfortable with any symptoms. If you want to wait a bit, that’s fine. Some sore throats are just one-off and resolve easily over the course of the day. So, you can try some initiatives for about 24 hours before seeking medical attention.
If the symptoms do not stop or even get worse after this period, do not wait any longer. You will likely need medication, and putting it off will only make your treatment longer.
Why are children most affected?
We often have a lot of throat problems when we are children, and in some cases, they stop happening as often after adolescence.
This happens by a combination of child immunity and some particularities of the health of the little ones. They, for example, have a weaker immune system, which is still adapting to all the everyday disease-causing agents.
In addition, children are much more likely to suffer from issues such as esophageal reflux, which can end up feeling like a sore throat.
However, this is not a problem exclusive to children and can be something that persists even into adulthood. In any case, it is always important to consult a doctor who will be able to guide you in the proper treatment of the little ones.
What to do to ease the discomfort?
While you’re waiting to see your doctor, there are a few things you can do to ease your discomfort. However, make no mistake: these measures do not replace a visit to the office, okay? They are only used to ease the pain for a brief period.
The tips are:
- do inhalation, so that your throat is hydrated;
- drink a lot of water;
- invest in hot foods and liquids, which relieve pain;
- rest, avoiding talking too much;
- prefer liquid or pasty foods;
- make use of lozenges that leave the throat region “anesthetized”, reducing discomfort.
As we can see, sore throat is a symptom that can be related to several causes. Whatever it is, there is treatment! Therefore, it is important that you always seek help from someone who understands the subject so that the best therapy is prescribed for your case.
Before you go, check out our post on voice care! After all, the health of our throat and the quality of our voice are closely intertwined. Good reading!
Technical review: Marcelo Costa Batista, researcher at Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein and associate professor of nephrology at the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp).