Acute sore throat: Symptoms, causes and treatment 


When you feel an itchy, painful, and irritating feeling in the back of your throat, and troubles you during swallowing, it is most likely a acute sore throat. It is medically referred to as pharyngitis. There are many reasons responsible for this throat problem, the most common being viral infections such as colds or flu. Many bacterial agents can also cause sore causes and require medical attention, along with antibiotics for complete recovery and prevent further complications. 

Acute sore throat: Symptoms, causes and treatment

Major symptoms of sore throat include the following:-

  1. Itchy sensation in the throat 
  2. Painful swallowing
  3. Pain while talking 
  4. Hoarse voice 
  5. Inflammation in tonsils 
  6. Symptoms might be accompanied by other symptoms, which are a result of infections caused by certain infectious agents. 
  • Fever 
  • Coughing 
  • Running nose 
  • Sneezing 

The severity of the symptoms depends on the type and cause of the infection. However, acute sore throat if caused by any of the pathogenic agents will show the above-mentioned indications. Difficult swallowing or drooling might also be seen in children which is because of their inability to swallow as it is painful. Adults experience a few more indications of the problem that might include: 

  1. Swelling around the neck 
  2. High and persistent fever
  3. Blood in the mucus
  4. Difficulty in opening your mouth

Causes: –

Major possible causes of acute sore throat include viral and bacterial infections. People with weakened immune systems, catch hold of these viral and bacterial diseases more often than others. Recurring infections can cause recurring pharyngitis. Viral diseases that can cause core throat include Influenza, pneumonia, the common cold, COVID-19 infection, measles etc. Streptococcus infections are the major cause of sore throat in the bacterial category. 

Other than bacterial or viral diseases, many factors can cause this problem, some of them are listed below: 

  • Allergy

People who are allergic to a certain substance are often triggered by the allergens and begin to experience this problem when the allergic responses begin to occur. Allergens make the throat itchy and cause a feeling of discomfort because of inflammation in the throat. This might last for a few days. 

  • Throat muscle strain

This is produced because of loud talking or yelling or continuous talking for long hours such as in the case of teachers. Continuous vocal activity can strain the throat muscles and make the throat sore. 

  • Dry air 

 As in the case of longer uses of AC nowadays, the air indoors becomes much dry and can irritate the cells of our throat when inhaled. This causes inflammation or itchiness because the throat is rough. 

  • Gastroesophageal reflux

 when the acid from your stomach flows backwards into your oesophagus it is called GERD, this can cause a burning and painful sensation in the throat. 


The principle of treatment depends upon the identification of the cause of the same. In cases of Gastroesophageal reflux, antacids are recommended. However, for any bacterial infection, antibiotics are suggested to help eliminate the disease and hence its symptoms. In cases of allergies, anti-allergic medication might be of great help. There are certain remedies advised by Dr Sheetu Singh, which can help you ease out the pain and discomfort caused by a sore throat. 

  • Drinking warm liquids is the best method to ease the cells of the throat and prevent scratchiness. 
  • Avoid yelling or loud talking or prolonged talking to relax your throat muscles and put them at rest for proper and quick healing. 
  • Avoid using ACs to control the dryness of your room. Moise air helps our throat to get rid of dryness. Adding a humidifier or vaporizer can be of extra help. 
  • Reduce outdoor activity for some time to avoid coming in contact with pollutants or allergens. 

Dr. Sheetu Singh, a nationally renowned pulmonologist, Director ILD & Pulmonary Rehab Clinic, is an expert in chest-related conditions. She got her training from SMS Medical College, Jaipur followed by a visit to Cleveland Clinic, USA.

Contact Info

Address: Mahavir Jaipuriya Rajasthan Hospital Milap Nagar, JLN Marg, Jaipur

Mobile: (+91)-8696666380


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