Sore Throat

Sore throats can be painful and annoying. Fortunately, most sore throats are caused by a minor illness and go away without medical treatment.

Viral infections

Many sore throats are caused by a viral illness, such as:
The common cold, the most common type of viral infection.

Bacterial infections

A bacterial infection may also cause a sore throat. This can occur from:

  • Strep throat, which usually does not occur with congestion or a cough.
  • An inflammation or infection of the tonsils
  • Inflammation of the epiglottis
  • Inflammation of the uvula

Irritants and injuries

A sore throat that lasts longer than a week is often caused by irritants or injuries, such as:

  • Throat irritation from low humidity, smoking, air pollution, yelling, or nasal drainage down the back of the throat.