Acute Sore Throat Pain

Acute Sore Throat Pain

Sore throat is one of the most common conditions that affect people of all ages. It is a frequent symptom of a cold, flu or allergies. An acute sore throat, also known as pharyngitis, is usually caused by a virus but can also be caused by bacteria. It is characterized by pain, scratchiness, and irritation in the throat.

The main symptom of an acute sore throat is pain that comes on suddenly. Other symptoms can include:

  • Hoarseness
  • Swollen, tender glands (lymph nodes) in the neck
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Fatigue
  • Fever (in some cases)
  • Coughing

Treatment for acute sore throats depends on the underlying cause. If the cause is bacterial, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. If it is viral, anti-virals are not usually prescribed, as viral infections are expected to resolve on their own within a few days to a week. However, over the-counter medications and home remedies can help minimize pain and discomfort.

Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help reduce pain and inflammation. Gargling with salt water, taking throat lozenges, avoiding smoke and allergens, and getting adequate rest can also help reduce throat discomfort. For severe cases, a steroid spray may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and pain.

It is important to follow up with your doctor if your sore throat does not improve with self-care and over-the-counter medications. Severe cases of bacterial pharyngitis or complications resulting from untreated sore throats may require medical care.