A sore throat is something that everyone will face during their lifetime, but the cause of that sore throat will vary from person to person. The winter is a time when the number of sore throat cases is on the rise. Understanding what causes a sore throat can help you to prevent it or manage it better when it does strike.
Common Sore Throat Causes
Some of the most common causes of a sore throat include:
- The common cold – the common cold often comes along with sinus drainage, which can irritate your throat. The best way to avoid the cold is to practice good hand washing hygiene throughout the year, especially during the winter.
- Flu – the flu can also cause a sore throat from sinus pressure and drainage. Avoid the flu by washing your hands regularly and getting your flu shot. If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, it isn’t too late!
- Bacterial infections – bacterial infections, such as strep throat, can cause a sore throat very quickly. Bacterial infections require antibiotics to clear the infection and the symptoms.
- Allergens and other irritants – allergens in the air, along with other harmful irritants, can cause a sore throat to come on very quickly. This is because your body produces extra mucus to protect itself and as the extra mucus drains, your throat will be sore.
- Breathing dry air – when we run the furnace in the winter, the air becomes dry. Even the outdoor air is dry during cold weather. If you have a sore throat that feels scratchy, dry air may be to blame.
There is no quick cure for a sore throat, but there are some home remedies that can help. popular home remedies for a sore throat include:
- Drinking hot tea or another warm beverage
- Using a humidifier to add moisture to the air
- Gargle with salt water
- Throat lozenges
- Resting your voice
Getting Professional Help
If your sore throat continues after trying home remedies or becomes so severe it interferes with your day-to-day life, it’s time to seek professional help. Your local urgent care center is able to evaluate, run tests, and offer a diagnosis for your sore throat.
They can also provide treatment options to cure an infection if you have one, or to make your symptoms more manageable until the soreness clears on its own. You can also visit the urgent care to get your flu shot and help to prevent a sore throat before it strikes!