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How Do You Get a Sore Throat?

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Causes and treatments for a sore throat

Almost everyone has woken up with a sore throat at one point or another. But, what are the common causes of a sore throat, and what can you do about it? Read on to learn about common causes and treatments to avoid feeling that pain when you swallow.

Causes of Sore Throat

  • Allergies: Many allergies including pet dander, dust, molds and pollen allergies can cause sneezing and a sore throat.
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  • Breathing through your mouth: Breathing through you mouth can dry out your throat leading to irritation and discomfort.
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  • Common cold: Sore throats are a particularly common symptom of the common cold.
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  • Croup: This viral infection is most common in children and involves a severe cough that can be accompanied by or lead to a sore throat.
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  • Endotracheal intubation: In certain treatments, it may be necessary to insert a tube into your throat causing your throat to be sore following the procedure.
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  • Influenza: The common flu can cause you to have a sore throat.
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  • Mononucleosis: Also known as mono, this viral infection can lead to a sore throat.
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  • Muscle strain: Although you might not have thought about it, your throat has muscles that can become strained just like any other muscle in your body. As a result, excessive yelling, or loud speaking can cause a sore throat.
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  • Strep throat: The streptococcus bacteria infects your throat and often causes a fever in addition to a sore throat and difficulty swallowing.
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  • Surgery: Certain surgeries including tonsillectomy (removing your tonsils) and adenoidectomy (removal of the adenoid glands) can cause your throat to be sore.
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  • Tumors: While most sore throats don’t signify cancer, a sore throat can be a sign of throat or larynx cancer or tongue cancer.
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  • Viral pharyngitis: This virus causes your pharynx, an area in the back of your throat directly between the voice box and tonsils, to become inflamed.
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Symptoms Associated with a Sore Throat

Not sure what a sore throat is? These are some common symptoms associated with a sore throat.

  • Scratchy sensation in the throat
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  • Difficulty swallowing
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  • Dry throat
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  • Swollen or sore glands in neck or jaw
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  • Tonsil changes, such as tonsils that
    • Become swollen or red
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    • Have white patches or pus
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  • Muffled or hoarse voice
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  • Refusal to eat: In toddlers and infants, this is a common symptom associated with a sore throat.
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