Sore Throat (Pharyngitis) (cont.)
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Definition of a sore throat
- What is the difference between sore throat and strep throat?
- What are the causes of sore throat?
- What are the signs and symptoms of a sore throat?
- Is a sore throat contagious?
- When should I see a doctor for a sore throat?
- How is the diagnosis of sore throat made?
- What are home remedies to soothe a sore throat?
- What OTC medications will soothe a sore throat?
- Are antibiotics necessary for a sore throat?
- How can I prevent a sore throat?
- Pictures of The Anatomy of a Sore Throat - Slideshow
- Pictures of Natural Cold & Flu Remedies - Slideshow
- Pictures of The Common Cold - Slideshow
How can I prevent a sore throat?
Certain causes of sore throat are often preventable. As already mentioned, infection is the most common cause of sore throat. Therefore, whether the sore throat is caused by a viral infection or strep throat, certain measures can be taken to prevent acquiring and transmitting the infection.
- Individuals should try to avoid close contact with people who are already ill with a viral upper respiratory tract infection or with strep throat (and other bacterial infections).
- Good personal hygiene habits, such as frequent and thorough handwashing, will also help decrease transmission.
- If someone is ill, avoid sharing personal objects (such as dishes, cups or utensils), and encourage them to cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing and to frequently wash their own hands.
- Avoid touching potentially infected surfaces (computers, doorknobs, or phones) and avoid direct contact with handkerchiefs, napkins, Kleenex or towels being used by an ill contact.
- Individuals who are taking antibiotics for a bacterial infection should be encouraged to finish their course of antibiotics to completely eradicate the infection and decrease disease transmission.
Certain measures can be taken to help prevent other less common causes of sore throat.
- As already mentioned, OTC medications can help prevent sore throat in certain cases of GERD, allergies, postnasal drip, and cough.
- Avoid cigarette smoke, pollutants and noxious airborne chemicals can prevent sore throat.
- Appropriate safety measures and protective sports gear can help avoid traumatic injury to the neck and throat.
- Chewing food carefully in order to prevent injury to the throat from a foreign body (from a fish bone, for example), and avoidance of excessive or prolonged yelling can help prevent throat irritation as a cause of sore throat.
American Academy of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery. Sore Throats.
CDC.gov. Is It Strep Throat?
Cochrane Library Review. Zinc for the common cold (Review).
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