Of all the complaints heard by doctors in their practices, “I have a sore throat,” has to be near the top of the list.That’s courtesy of the wide array of conditions that can cause a throat to hurt, from infections to allergies to acid reflux and even tumors.
Pain is just one symptom of what’s typically known as a sore throat. Other symptoms include having a scratchy feeling in your throat, trouble swallowing, more intense pain when you do swallow, and changes in your voice.
Chances are your sore throat will fade in a few days without any real prodding, but there could be trouble if it lingers. Here’s a roadmap to what might be causing your throat to hurt.
Viruses are by far the most common cause of sore throats, says Alan Mensch, MD, a pulmonologist and senior vice president of medical affairs at Northwell Health’s Plainview and Syosset Hospitals in New York.
Often, it’s the same viruses that cause the common cold or the flu that are making your throat hurt. But viruses that cause mononucleosis, measles, chickenpox, and croup (notable in children for its barking cough) can also produce sore throats.