Persistent sore throat is the irritation, pain and inflammation in throat that lasts for more than three to four weeks. It is accompanied by difficulty in swallowing and deglutition. Some other common symptoms include swollen neck glands, white patches over tonsils and a dry throat.
- Glandular fever: it is also known as infectious mononucleosis. It a viral infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. This is generally seen in teens and young adults. The virus spreads through saliva, therefore this is also known as “kissing disease”. The symptoms may last for several months.
- Due to cancer.
- Alcohol consumption.
- Smoking cigarettes.
- Some allergies like hay fever, in which there is allergy to pollens. Symptoms include sneezing, rhinorrhea and sore throat.
- In patients with GERD (i.e. gastro oesophageal reflux disease), in which there is recurrent reflux of the gastric acids towards the mouth through oesophagus.
It is advised to consult the physician when the sore throat lasts for longer than a few weeks.
A persistent sore throat without fever is an alarming sign of a developing tumour in the neck, throat or larynx region. When sore throat is associated with cancer, the other common symptoms are non-tender regional lymphadenopathy (i.e. the lymph nodes of the surrounding areas are enlarged and painless), difficulty in breathing or swallowing (because of the tumour), unexplained weight loss and/or spitting of blood in saliva or cough. The enlarged lymph node appears as a lump in the neck region or behind the ears.
Sore throat with cough is a sign of cold and flu, or strep throat.
Sore throat with cold will have some more symptoms like mild fever, mild generalised body pain, malaise, runny nose, cough and mild headache. Sore throat with cold cannot be treated by taking antibiotics, as it is caused by a virus, and antibiotics act against bacteria.However, some medications can ease the difficulty and discomfort caused by this condition, such as:
- Painkillers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen to relieve the pain.
- Anti histamines for relief from the runny nose and temporarily subsiding the inflammatory process.
- Lozenges and sprays for sore throat which will soothe it temporarily and will help in clearing the mucus.
- Nasal decongestants for relief from the excessive mucus production.
Strep throat can be treated with antibiotic medications as it is caused by bacteria streptococcus. All the other drugs used will be same as that of sore throat with cold.