Sore throats at a glance
- Most throat infections are caused by viruses or irritants, such as allergies or cigarette smoke. However, some sore throats are caused by bacteria.
- Symptoms often include pain when swallowing and dry and scratchy throat.
- A sore throat is a frequent symptom of colds and respiratory tract infections.
- Most sore throats are caused by a virus or irritation from the air, and antibiotic treatment will not help. If the onset of pain is sudden, swallowing hurts, and a fever is present it may be bacterial and you should see a doctor.
- Rest, over-the-counter medicines and other self-care methods may help you feel better.
- Most sore throats will improve on their own within 1-2 weeks. However, you should seek medical care if you have difficulty swallowing or breathing or your symptoms are severe or unusual, or last longer than 1-2 weeks.
· Wash your hands often, especially when you are around people who are sick.
· Keep your resistance up by leading a healthy lifestyle.
HealthPromotion Service, Student Services, NUI Galway
With thanks to Health Promotion and Preventative Services, University of Arizona