Sore throats are caused by either viruses or bacteria. The most common causes of sore throats are from viral infections, which are often joined by other cold or flu symptoms such as runny nose, cough, red or watery eyes, and sneezing. Pollution, smoking, or other irritants in the air, allergies, and dry indoor air can all also cause a sore throat.
Many people find that their sore throat is the first sign of an imminent cold. A sore throat brought on by a cold will typically ease up or goes away entirely within one or two days.
Although not as common as sore throats caused by viral infections, some bacterial infections can cause a sore throat. The most common is Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococcus) which results in a sore throat.
There are many simple but effective ways of treating a sore throat. Firstly, avoid smoky places, which can irritate the throat. Drink plenty of water, gargle with warm and salty water (only adults should try this), suck ice cubes, ice lollies or hard sweets and eat more cool or soft foods.
You may also want to alleviate pain or discomfort caused by a sore throat. Paracetamol or Ibuprofen can help with this, as well as some lozenges or anaesthetic throat sprays such as AAA Sore Throat Spray or Difflam Spray are available from Medical Specialists®.
If you have a sore throat with a very high temperature, have had a sore throat lasting for one week with no improvement, or are concerned whatsoever about your sore throat, it is advisable speaking to your own doctor for further examination.