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Sore Throat (cont.)

Sore Throat Causes

A sore throat can have many causes including:

  • Common viruses, including the viruses that cause mononucleosis (mono) and the flu. Some viruses can also produce blisters in the mouth and throat ("aphthous stomatitis").
  • Infection of the tonsils or adenoids.
  • Breathing through the mouth or smoking can produce throat dryness and soreness.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) while lying down or sleeping.
  • Sinus drainage (post-nasal drip) from allergic or chronic sinusitis.
  • Bacterial infections. The two most common bacteria to cause a sore throat are Streptococcus (which causes strep throat) and Arcanobacterium haemolyticum. Arcanobacterium causes sore throats mainly in young adults and is sometimes associated with a fine red rash.
  • Sore throat appearing after treatment with antibiotics, chemotherapy, or other immune-compromising medications may be due to the yeast Candida, commonly known as "thrush."
  • A sore throat lasting for more than two weeks can be a sign of a serious illness, such as throat cancer or AIDS.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/13/2014

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