Tag Archives: sore throat

Non-Contagious Causes of a Sore Throat (Part 2)

We’ve all had a sore throat at some point in time and wondered if we should visit a doctor or if it will go away on its own. Sometimes a sore throat is a result of a passing cold, but other times it may be a sign or side effect of an underlying health condition and treatment may necessary to help it pass. We checked out the bacterial and viral causes of sore throats in our last post, so now here are some other types of sore throat causes:

  1. Allergies can cause the mucus membrane to swell, leading to irritation and soreness or itching of the throat. A more serious allergy-related cause of an uncomfortable throat would be an anaphylactic (life-threatening) allergy response which can cause a swollen, painful throat, hives, swelling and difficulty swallowing or breathing. This condition is life threatening, so if someone is experiencing these symptoms seek emergency medical treatment for them as soon as possible.
  2. Idiopathic or hereditary angioedema (swelling of the lower layers of the skin) can cause swelling in all parts of the body, including the throat. Those with angioedema may have some trouble swallowing on one side of the throat but otherwise may feel okay. However, as with anaphylaxis, symptoms can quickly turn dangerous. If you experience extreme throat tightening, difficulty swallowing or breathing, it is important to seek emergency care as you may need to be given corticosteroid injections or IVs to alleviate the throat swelling.

  3. Sinusitis, rhinitis, and asthma are often affiliated with a related condition called post nasal drip (PND) where excess mucus slides down the back of the throat and gets stuck, causing frequent coughing, tickling and soreness of the throat. If you suffer from sinus issues or asthma and think you may have PND, talk to your doctor (or one of ours) about treatment options today.
  4. Injured muscles – Sometimes if someone has yelled too much or too loudly, or has injured their throat in some way, for example by swallowing a jagged piece of chip, it can be tender and painful for days afterward.

  5. GERD – Those who have gastroesophageal reflux disorder may experience the occasional sore throat due to the bilious acid that repeats back up the esophagus and sometimes into the mouth. This acid can mildly burn or irritate the throat if it happens frequently. Speak to your doctor today if you experience heartburn symptoms along with an intermittent sore throat, or if you know you have GERD but need treatment for your throat as well.
  6. Smoking and other irritants – smoking exposes your throat to thousands of chemicals and irritants, many of which are carcinogenic. It is common for smokers to experience a longstanding sore throat due to this constant exposure. Those who work in jobs involving pollutants and chemicals may experience similar throat issues.
  7. Rare causes – Rarely, a sore throat can be a sign of HIV or a malignant throat mass. If you sore throat doesn’t respond to antibiotics or other treatment and persists for weeks or months, be sure to see your doctor to rule out more serious issues.

There you have the common non-contagious sore throat causes. If you have any questions about the conditions listed in this post, feel free to sign up to DocChat today to speak to one of our experienced, board certified doctors!





What Could be Causing Your Sore Throat? (Part 1)

We’ve all had a troublesome sore throat at some point in time and wondered if we should visit a doctor or if it will go away on its own. Sometimes a sore throat resolves itself, like in the case of a viral cold, but other times medication or other treatment is necessary to help it pass. The most common viral and bacterial causes of a sore throat include:

  1. Tonsillitis means inflamed tonsils. Tonsillitis can be caused by bacteria or more commonly, viruses. There are different treatments available for this affliction, depending on the type and severity of a person’s tonsillitis. If someone gets recurrent bacterial tonsillitis that doesn’t seem to respond well to antibiotics, they may be good candidates for a tonsillectomy, surgical removal of the problematic tonsils.

  2. A viral cold – Viral sore throats are usually accompanied by other head-cold symptoms such as a runny nose, congestion, watery eyes and sneezing. This type of sore throat will pass after a week or so. Antibiotics will not help a viral cold, it is irresponsible to take or prescribe antibiotics for a known virus as it contributes to antibiotic resistance. Plenty of rest, OTC cold medications and home remedies like drinking honey lemon tea may help ease symptoms.

  3. A bacterial cold – Though it is less common than a viral cold, sometimes certain bacteria are responsible for a cold, flu or bout of tonsillitis or bronchitis. All these ailments can produce a sore throat. Your doctor will be able to determine what type of sore throat you have and prescribe any necessary antibiotic treatment.

  4. Strep throat is a more persistent and severe type of sore throat that is caused by streptococcus bacteria and requires medical treatment to get better. Strep throat can also lead to more serious complications such as rheumatic fever if left untreated. Your doctor will usually be able to see signs of strep such as red and white blotchy patches in the back of the throat, but will do a rapid strep test to find out for sure and then administer medication accordingly.
  5. Mononucleosis – Also known as “mono”, this contagious condition often presents as a cold for the first week, but the symptoms persist and include swollen lymph nodes, a very sore throat and fatigue. The condition itself doesn’t usually cause many issues and can be resolved with medication, however if medical attention is not sought, there can be life-threatening complications such as an enlarged spleen that may rupture, liver problems or myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle.

Stay tuned next for other causes of sore throats like allergies and other conditions. Thanks for visiting DocChat! Remember, our board certified doctors are around 24/7/365 if you have any questions about sore throats!



Why Allergies Should Not Be Neglected

Young woman blowing her nose while being in the nature

Exposure to common allergens like pollen, animal dander, weed, and even some foods makes your immune system vulnerable, thereby causing allergic reactions. You are likely to be at more risk to develop allergy when your body is weak and healing after suffering through a fever or viral infection. Even though it is the allergens that trigger allergic reaction in your body, in reality it is when you neglect them that they worsen.

Although there is no cure for allergies, you can however treat them in order to control them and not let it worsen. Since allergy is a form of chronic illness, if you do not treat it in due time, it will aggravate.

Here are some problems that you could face if you neglect your allergies.

· You are likely to develop additional allergies

Common symptoms of allergy are cough, watery eyes, sore throat, runny nose, and itchiness. With time, people who already have some sort of an untreated allergy notice that their symptoms have become much more severe and unbearable. This might mean that you have developed additional allergies. For instance if people suffer from pollen allergy, they may also suffer allergy triggered by foods that contain similar elements.

· Your symptoms are likely to worsen

Allergies are chronic and they don’t go away on their own. If you don’t undergo a proper treatment plan in order to control the allergic reaction, it is likely to lead to much more severe symptoms like sinus infection, ear infection and advanced asthma.

· You may suffer from life threatening asthma

Basic symptoms of asthma are similar to most of the allergies, except that they are on a much more severe scale. Almost all sorts of allergies result in the allergic person suffering from cough. If you neglect it and leave it untreated, your allergy is likely to turn into a much more serious problem including asthma. Symptoms like severe coughing, shortness in breath and chest tightening are common in asthma. Delayed treatment of preexisting allergies like food allergy may cause chronic asthma.

Whether, you are an adolescent or an adult, neglecting allergies can cause severe problems and diseases in the future. One should avoid exposure to allergens, and in case it worsens, you ought to have a doctor’s advice and treat it with medicine such as nasal sprays and allergy shots.

5 Common Illnesses You Should NOT Neglect

Portrait of an upset young man sitting on a bed - Indoor

We often neglect some common illnesses by considering them minor and thinking they would go away on their own. Your neglect of a common illness and avoidance to seek medical assistance has the potential to create major health complications. The illnesses we deem minor are often the initial signs of the body informing you to take action. If you seek timely medical assistance, you can successfully avert major health problems. Below is a list of the 5 common illnesses you should not neglect.

1. Headache

According to the World Health Organization, 3 in 4 people in the age bracket of 18 to 65 years suffered from some form of headache over the last year. A headache is one of the most common health problems, but also the most neglected one. The most common types of headaches are migraines, tension-type, and headache resulting from excessive use of medications. Having a headache is the first signal your body gives out whenever there is a potential health issue. If left untreated, it can lead to further deterioration and affect other parts of your body.

2. Bleeding gums

A bleeding gum is a symptom that you might be at risk of major dental disease. Bleeding gums are often triggered by accumulation of plaque near the gum line. If ignored and left untreated, bleeding gums can have bad consequences like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The chemicals discharged by your immune cells or the bacteria in your mouth can enter your bloodstream through the bleeding gums and affect other tissues and organs. Remember, your mouth is connected with the rest of your body, and a problem in your mouth can lead to major health complications. Always seek medical assistance whenever you suffer from bleeding gums.

3. Allergy

If you are having an allergy, it means that there is some kind of problem with your immune system. Symptoms of allergy include itches, red eye, runny nose, hives, etc. If ignored and left untreated, allergies can cause major health problems, like asthma and anaphylaxis. You should visit your doctor right away if you are experiencing allergies. Timely medical assistance can not only treat the condition, but also save you from major health issues.

4. Back pain

Back pain is also among the most common, but neglected ailments. Back pain is a symptom of an underlying problem in the muscles, joints, nerves or bones in the spine. Also, problems in the pancreas and gallbladder can create back pain. It is always wise to seek timely medical assistance whenever you experience back pain.

5. Sore throat

A sore throat can create difficulty in eating food and talking, and may lead to fever. It is often caused by bacterial or viral infections. However, a sore throat can also be the symptom of major health problems like inflammation of the tonsils. Therefore, it is better to seek professional help if you have a sore throat instead of self-medication.

If you have any such issue, you should get in touch with us. At times, these are a sign of big underlying problems, and at times something that can be corrected with the help of an OTC medicine. Nonetheless, expert advice is always recommended.