Sore Throat

Sore Throat Q & A

What causes a sore throat?

Dr. Astrachan and Dr. Hecht want patients to know that most sore throats come from an infection. That infection can be bacterial — such as in the case of strep throat — or viral — such as in the case of the flu or mono. Also, post-nasal drip from allergies can cause a sore throat. For patients with acid reflux, chronic sore throat from acid exposure can occur. Scheduling an appointment with one of the doctors at Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists of Connecticut is important because a sore throat is a generic term used to simply describe symptoms of discomfort and pain in the throat. A proper diagnosis to identify the underlying cause is encouraged.

Do sore throats require an antibiotic?

In the past antibiotics were overprescribed for sore, red throats. Strep throat, a sore throat caused by a specific bacterial infection, does require antibiotics to cure. Antibiotics do nothing to cure sore throats from viruses, and prescribing them can actually be harmful when they aren't needed.

Are there any measures to take to prevent sore throats?

Avoiding contact with bacteria and viruses is the best protection against a sore throat infection. Hand washing, rest, and fluids to boost the immune system are all key to protecting against sore throat.

What are the best treatments for a sore throat?

Patients with a sore throat need to find the cause and treat that, if possible. For example, strep throat needs an antibiotic, while a sore throat from acid reflux or allergies can be treated by treating those underlying conditions. For those with viral sore throats, soothing remedies like honey, warm tea, throat lozenges, or warm salt water gargles may help. If the throat is very sore, over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications are helpful. For more advice about soothing a sore throat, contact Ear Nose and Throat Specialists of Connecticut.

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