Sore throats can be painful and annoying. Fortunately, most sore throats are caused by a minor illness and go away without medical treatment.
Many sore throats are caused by a viral illness, such as:
The common cold, the most common type of viral infection.
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.