What Causes a Sore Throat?

As discussed in our last blog on sore throat, treatment for a sudden sore throat includes getting immediate urgent care services as well as a variety of at-home remedies for sudden symptoms. Sore throat, or “pharyngitis,” causes millions of patients to miss work, school, and other important commitments.

If you believe you have a sore throat, we highly recommend that you visit AFC Urgent Care Waltham for sore throat treatment! Our urgent care staff can efficiently and effectively treat ongoing sore throat symptoms that won’t go away with at-home remedies. Additionally, we have shorter wait times than a traditional PCP as well as more affordable rates for treatment.

However, patients that want to prevent sore throat need to understand the main causes of the condition. Understanding the main causes of sore throat can help patients prevent most cases of pharyngitis.

Bacterial infections are the leading cause of sore throat

In general, bacterial infections are the leading cause of sore throat. While many bacteria can cause a sore through, the leading bacterium of sore throat is Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococcus), which leads specifically to strep throat. Strep throat can cause a wide variety of irritating symptoms that require urgent care intervention.

If you believe you have strep throat, make sure that you visit our local walk-in clinic to get an accurate diagnosis and follow-up treatment!

Allergies and irritants can also lead to sore throat

Another important trigger to watch for include allergy and irritant triggers, such as pollens and cigarette smoke. Per the Mayo Clinic, here are some of the main triggers to watch for outside of germs and bacteria:

  • Allergies. Allergies to pet dander, molds, dust and pollen can cause a sore throat. The problem may be complicated by postnasal drip, which can irritate and inflame the throat.
  • Dryness. Dry indoor air can make your throat feel rough and scratchy. Breathing through your mouth — often because of chronic nasal congestion — also can cause a dry, sore throat.
  • Irritants. Outdoor air pollution and indoor pollution such as tobacco smoke or chemicals can cause a chronic sore throat. Chewing tobacco, drinking alcohol and eating spicy foods also can irritate your throat.
  • Muscle strain. You can strain muscles in your throat by yelling, talking loudly or talking for long periods without rest.

Sore throat is easy to prevent with simple hygiene, maintaing a clean household, and avoiding the main causes of strep. When prevention isn’t enough, make sure you visit AFC Urgent Care Waltham for treatment!