Sore Throat (Pharyngitis) (cont.)
Steven Doerr, MD
Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.
Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
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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