How long does a sore throat last?
A sore throat, also referred to as a throat infection, is an inflammation of the pharynx that is located in the back part of the throat. The question that lingers on most peoples minds is how long does a sore throat last? The duration of a sore throat depends on its cause. For example—a sore throat caused by persistent irritation such as smoking cigarettes or other toxic stuff, can last for the duration that the individual is exposed to the offending substance. However, a sore throat despite its cause should last between 7 to 10 days. Any sore throat symptoms lasting for more than ten days necessitate immediate doctor’s attention for diagnosis and further treatment. This is because such sore throats can be underlying symptoms of serious illnesses such as throat cancer or even AIDS.
Another common question is; how long does a sore throat last if it caused by a virus? Viral sore throats that mostly produce flu- like symptoms last for a few days—at most seven to ten days. Viral sore throats get better after the first few days, and normally clear up when the flu disappears. Viral sore throats run their full course and have no cure, so there is no need of taking antibiotics as they are not effective. However, the patient can minimize the discomfort by sucking ice chips, gargling warm salty water, taking warm liquids or taking medicines that relieve fever and pain symptoms. To recover from the cold, the patient should also eat healthy foods and get sufficient rest. Some over-the-counter medicines used to relieve viral sore throat infections include: pain killers such as ibuprofen, naproxen and acetaminophen. Throat lozenges and sprays soothe and numb the pain.
People also wonder—how long does a sore throat last if it caused by bacteria? A sore throat caused by bacteria is mostly referred to as a strep throat, since it is caused by the streptococcal bacteria. A strep sore throat appears suddenly and is associated with symptoms such as a high fever, pain while swallowing, headaches, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, vomiting and white spots on the back of throat. Strep throats are highly contagious, so one should avoid mixing with other people. Strep throats are diagnosed by the doctor by performing the rapid strep test. Strep sore throats are persistent and more severe, and can last an average of 7 to 10 days. It is important to take action immediately if you think you have a strep throat. This is because; strep throats that are left untreated can result in serious complications such as rheumatic fever and kidney disorders. A strep throat can also cause accumulation of abscesses within the throat soft tissues and tonsils. Although some home remedies such as gargling warm salty water may relieve some symptoms of the strep throat, you cannot help but wonder; how long does a sore throat last if it caused by a bacteria without antibiotics? Antibiotics are very effective in treating a strep throat and the symptoms improve once medication is started. A strep throat treated with medications lasts between 3 to 7 days. Using antibiotics not only relieves pain, but also makes the strep less contagious. Antibiotics such as amoxicillin, penicillin, erythromycin, and cephalexin are commonly used in treating a strep throat.
A sore throat is painful, and is caused by viruses, smoking or bacteria. Viruses account for 90 percent of most sore throats. Sore throats are prevalent during spring and winter in places that experience cold winters and hot summers. Sore throat viruses are easily spread through air—as they stick on the unwashed hands of the sick person. A sore throat is associated with symptoms such as pain when swallowing, a burning sensation in the throat, swollen lymph nodes, and fever. Sore throats caused by viruses may exhibit flu symptoms such as sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, and a running nose. In short, how long does a sore throat last really depends on why you got it in the first place.