If you have a sore throat, you may be thinking it is the result of a cold. However, sore throats can stem from other causal factors. It may be the result of a bacteria or a virus. While it may mimic the symptoms of a common cold, it may actually be something else. If you indeed have a throat infection, to may be serious and require visiting a professional ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist.
Common Causes of Sore Throats
Sore throats arise from a number of different causal factors. Among them are:
- Acid reflux
- Common cold
- Dry air
- Irritants in the air
- Postnasal drip
- Sinus infection
If the sore throat does not result from an infection, it will eventually disappear after a day or two.
Two Common Throat Infections
Two common throat infections you need to take seriously are strep throat and tonsillitis.
This is an infection resulting from group A. streptococcus bacteria. This type of throat infection is persistent and very painful. While it can affect both children and adults, it is particularly prevalent among children between the ages of 5 and 15. It spreads easily from one to another through coughing and sneezing.
This can result from an infection accompanies by inflammation of your tonsils. The infection may result from either a virus or bacteria. Among the most common culprits are:
- Streptococcus (strep) bacteria: This is the most common cause of tonsillitis
- Influenza virus
- Epstein-Barr virus
- Parainfluenza viruses
- Herpes simplex virus
The result of any of these is sore throats accompanied by painful swallowing and even blisters on the inside of the throat. These are a few of the symptoms of tonsillitis. However, some of them mimic strep throat infections. To ensure you are taking the right measures, be sure to contact your doctor.
Sore Throats: When to Call Your Doctor
If you have a sore throat, it may not be essential to call your doctor or visit a specialist. However, you should consider contacting a medical professional if you have any of the following symptoms:
- The soreness lasts for more than three days
- The sore throat is accompanied by white splotches
- If your sore throat features splotches on the tonsils or roof of the mouth that are dark, red
- If you have difficulty to breathing
- If you have serious problems swallowing
If this is the case, do not waste time. Throat infections accompanied by these symptoms are serious. They require treatment from an ENT or other medical professional to ensure you regain your health.