What Is the Cause of My Pharyngitis?

March 2, 2022

The medical term for a sore throat is called pharyngitis. This is because the technical name for a throat is the pharynx. A sore throat may cause pain in the neck, back of the mouth, or the tonsil area. This can be a concerning symptom of an underlying illness or caused by environmental factors.

The following informational guide explores the causes of pharyngitis and reveals the importance of medical care when necessary. 

What Causes Pharyngitis?

There are several illnesses and environmental elements that have the potential to cause a sore throat. Viral and bacterial infections are the most common cause of a sore throat.

Causes of Pharyngitis May Include:

  • Common Cold
  • Flu
  • Tonsillitis
  • Mono
  • Strep Throat

Environment factors, including smoking, allergies, and vocal strain also have the potential to cause a sore throat.

At-Home Treatment for a Sore Throat

Viral infections don’t usually require medical treatment but there are several things that patients can try at home to ease the pain of a sore throat. Use acetaminophen and ibuprofen to ease pain, swelling, and reduce fevers.

Other At-Home Treatment Includes:

  • Get Plenty of Rest
  • Drink Fluids
  • Warm Tea
  • Popsicles
  • Humidifiers

Be sure to keep your home smoke-free and not use any harsh cleaning agents or other irritants that may worsen the pain. Most importantly, stay home until you are sure that you feel better and see a medical professional to rule out any serious contagious illness.

When To See a Doctor

If the sore throat is caused by a viral infection the pain and swelling should subside on its own within a week of onset. You should see a doctor if the pain does not improve, worsens, or is accompanied by a fever. This may indicate there is another underlying cause of your illness.

If the pain is a result of bacterial infection you will need to seek medical attention and will likely need to take antibiotics.

You should seek medical attention any time that a sore throat is accompanied by other symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, or if you are concerned that a serious issue may be to blame.

Urgent Care Can Diagnose and Treat Pharyngitis

Stop in at your local Urgent Care for same-day diagnosis and treatment options for your pharyngitis and other accompanying symptoms. Amid a global pandemic and flu season, it is more important than ever before to get tested and rule out contagious viral illnesses.

Urgent Care has flu shots, testing, and COVID-19 tests available now to provide you with peace of mind and help you do your part in protecting yourself, family, and community. Stop in at your local urgent care center today for more information about their diagnostic testing and treatment services.


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