14 Causes of Persistent Sore Throat

A persistent sore throat can be quite bothersome. Although sometimes it can be relieved with home remedies, other times it is necessary to go to the doctor. Read on and find out what its common causes are.

Last update: 07 February, 2022

A persistent sore throat, with hoarseness and a burning sensation when swallowing, it can be quite uncomfortable and annoying. It prevents or affects us when eating, speaking and even singing (even if we are just amateur singers in the shower).

In these cases, it is recommended to consume plenty of fluids, including soups, teas or infusionssuck on candy, gargle (for example, with salt water) and, possibly, take a pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

On the other hand, There are several reasons why a persistent sore throat can occur.. Among these are: tonsillitis, mononucleosis, allergies, flu and colds, smoking and others that we will see below.

Causes of persistent sore throat

There are many causes of a persistent sore throat.

As mentioned, there are several conditions that can cause a sore throat to become persistent. Among all the possibilities, those that we will address below stand out.

1. Colds and flu

Even though there are differences between colds and flu, they also have several characteristics in common: are infectious diseases caused by viruses. Likewise, they are spread in a similar way and manifest with respiratory symptoms. By the way, in both conditions not only can there be a persistent sore throat, but often this is one of the first symptoms.

2. Post-nasal drip

That’s called postnasal drip. excess mucus that is felt in the sinuses and flows down the nose and down the throat. So, we feel a need to have to swallow or clear our throat all the time. Often coughing fits also occur.

It may be due to some diseasesuch as nasal polyps, but also be the product of a reaction to low temperatures, dry air, smoke or other elements that are irritating or trigger allergies.

It is even related to hormonal changes and even deviations in the nasal septum. When there is postnasal drip, the excess mucus that drains can cause irritation and persistent pain in the throat.

3. Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis is another of the most frequent causes of persistent pain in the throat.. Along with this symptom, others may occur, such as:

  • Swelling in and around the tonsils.
  • Difficulty to swallow.
  • Pain when doing so, even with soft foods.
  • Hoarseness.
  • Headaches.
  • Fever.
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes.
  • Presence of pus.
  • Bad breath.

3. Tonsil abscess

As its name implies, a peritonsillar abscess is a condition in the tonsils whose origin is bacterial. It occurs when tonsillitis is not treated properly and the infection spreads. In addition, pockets of pus are formed. Presents with persistent sore throat. It can become serious.

4. Mononucleosis

Infectious mononucleosis is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Your symptoms may look a bit like the flu or tonsillitis, and include: persistent sore throat, fever, swollen glands and tonsils, headache. In addition, fatigue and muscle weakness occur.

5. STDs

When you have unprotected oral sex, you can get some sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea. Is can affect the genitals and cause irritation and persistent pain in the throat.

6. Environmental pollution

In places with high levels of environmental pollution, there is smoke from the combustion of cars, from factories or from burning waste, as well as dust particles from the construction industry.

All of these factors can trigger various symptoms. including eye and nose irritation, persistent sore throatdryness, cough and shortness of breath, among others.

7. Allergies

in allergies, the body reacts to certain substances called allergens. They can be elements such as dust, mold and mites; also, some foods, chemical substances and others.

Among the symptoms that manifest in allergic reactions, due to substances that are inhaled, there are: sneezing, runny nose, cough, burning eyes, inflammation, persistent sore throat.

8. Smoking

Both active and passive smokers, who are exposed to and also inhale cigarette smoke, suffer from various health conditions, whose symptoms include cough and burning throat, in the mildest cases. In the most serious, bronchitis, emphysema, COPD, and lung or throat cancer occur.

9. Breathe through the mouth

Breathing through the mouth is something that can cause a persistent and recurring sore throat. This It usually occurs when the person sleeps. Possibly due to nasal congestion or sleep apnea. Also, it can happen when you exercise at a high intensity level, just a little less.

10. Laryngitis

Excessive and inappropriate use of the voice, without proper training, and the action of an irritating element or an infection can trigger laryngitis. As is known, the vocal cords are located in the larynx; reason why among its most noticeable symptoms are hoarseness or dysphonia, as well as persistent pain in the throatburning or tingling sensation, dryness and cough.

11. Throat cancer

When talking about throat cancer, it is usually both pharynx and larynx are referred to. Its symptoms include hoarseness, cough, difficulty swallowing, inflammation, sores, and sore throat and ear, among others.

12. Thrush

Candidiasis is caused by a fungus known as Candida albicans. East can lodge in various parts of the mouth, including the gums, and even reach the tonsils and the back of the throat.

13. Esophageal reflux

In gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, stomach acids back up into the esophagus. This can create a burning sensation in the chest and pain in the throatas well as sour or bitter taste in the mouth.

14. Swallowing injuries

Sometimes there is a feeling that a hard object is stuck in the throat; for example, when swallowing a large pill or a piece of bread. Such a sensation may be accompanied by burning or pain. It can occur when there is already a disease, such as one of those mentioned above, and there is sensitivity in the area.

How to relieve persistent sore throat

Relieve sore throat by drinking plenty of water or taking honey.

Treatment of persistent sore throat will depend on the cause. For example, in tonsillitis of bacterial origin, antibiotics are prescribed; in oral candidiasis, antifungals; and if due to an allergy, antihistamines.

Sometimes surgery can be done if there is an abscess on the tonsils. In cancer cases, another type of treatment is required, such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

To reduce associated symptoms, Other medications that can also be consumed are acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain, topical anti-inflammatory drugs, antacids to reduce reflux and even mouthwashes.

It is possible to alleviate the symptoms with home remedies, such as:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Consume teas or infusions, as well as soups.
  • Suck on mints or lozenges.
  • Eat icecream.
  • Gargling with salt water.
  • Take a tablespoon of honey.
  • Place cloths or warm compresses around the neck.

Other steps you can take

  • As a complement, you can do nasal washes with a saline solution to avoid dripping.
  • You can also do inhalations or vaporizations.
  • If you live in a very dry environment, consider using a humidifier.
  • Avoid exposure to allergens.
  • Quit smoking or avoid contact with people who smoke.
  • If you live in an area where there are polluting elements (smoke, particles), wear a mask when you go out.
  • Dress warmly if it’s cold and wear a scarf.
  • Give your voice a rest.

When to see a doctor

Yes OK it is possible to relieve some cases of persistent pain in the throat at homeIt is advisable to see a doctor in any of the following situations:

  • If the pain lasts more than three days,
  • If the pain increases or is very sharp,
  • When there is a high fever (38 ˚C or more),
  • have swollen glands,
  • There is difficulty turning the head.

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