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What is a sore throat?

Causes of a sore throat range from shouting too much to bacterial infections.


Sore throat  or pain while swallowing may develop from an irritation of the mucous membrane. For example, this happens during a cold, a runny nose, a sinus infection or the flu. The mucous membrane may get so irritated that the local resistance weakened. Eventually, bacteria may cause an infection of the throat or of the tonsils (tonsilitis). Read here all about sore throat, symptoms and treatment.

Causes of a sore throat

Sore throats don’t generally come alone but tend to be the result of another cause. The most common causes are viral infections associated with colds or flu, or a secondary infection by bacteria. Other causes of sore throats include:

  • Excessive use of the voice – for example, shouting and singing during a rock concert
  • Injury or trauma to the back of the throat as a result of eating something too solid – eg. a fish bone
  • Hayfever or other forms of allergic rhinitis - air-borne allergies can cause inflammation to the back of the throat
  • Irritation caused by atmospheric pollutants or self-inflicted with cigarette smoke
  • Acid reflux – basically, acid rising up from the stomach and irritating the back of the throat
  • Certain types of medication such as the class of drugs known as DMARDs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs) used to treat rheumatoid arthritis
  • A weakened immune system such as seen with HIV and AIDs can cause ‘normal’ infections to become more severe
  • Certain rare medical conditions such as cancer can cause a persistent sore throat.

Sore throat: symptoms

Sore throat has in different symptoms:

  • burning feeling or pain in the throat;
  • pain while swallowing;
  • red and swollen mucous membrane and tonsils in the throat;
  • mucus in the throat;
  • swollen glands in the neck;
  • Fever indicates a throat infection.

Difference between a sore throat and a throat infection

A sore throat is often confused with a throat infection. However, with a throat infection, the throat is not only irritated, but the mucous membranes are also red and swollen. Swallowing is painful and the voice is hoarse.  A throat infection can also be accompanied by a fever.

There are two kinds of throat infection: acute and chronic.

  • The acute form suddenly appears and will go away within 14 days. Is caused by a virus or bacteria.
  • A chronic throat infection lasts a long time and is difficult to get rid of. That is mostly caused by a combination of infection, drinking alcohol and smoking.

What helps with a sore throat? My tip with a sore throat...

What helps with a sore throat? This a frequently asked question at A.Vogel. With a sore throat because of the flu or a cold, make sure to have a good resistance. This can be done with Echinaforce tablets.
- Krista Halton, Flu Coach

Sore Throat Spray fast acting sore throat remedy
A.Vogel Sore Throat Spray is effective against the pain of swollen tonsils, pharyngitis and general throat pain and inflammation. It has a pleasant peppermint fresh taste. The long nozzle is particularly practical for applying the spray to the back of the throat, where the pain is located. More info

Watch this video about natural support when you have the flu and diminished resistance from the beautiful A.Vogel Garden.

Another 6 tips with a sore throat

How you can help yourself:

  • Stop smoking and give your voice a rest.
  • Try to breathe through your nose. Breathing through the mouth leads to further drying out of the mucous membranes of the throat.
  • Keep your resistance high to avoid the flu (a possible cause of a sore throat). 
  • Avoid milk products: they keep the mucus in the pharynx making you swallow more often, which causes a sore throat. Sour milk products are allowed: buttermilk, yogurt, cottage cheese. 
  • Improve your resistance by eating salads with horseradish (a little grated), watercress or garden cress.
  • Drink herbal tea with thyme, sage, juniper, goldenrod and parsley, sweetened with some honey.

Do not hesitate to contact us for professional advice about the treatment of a sore throat. You can reach your A.Vogel Flu Coach via e-mail: info@avogel.ca.

Is it the cold or the flu?

Not only do you suffer from a sore throat, but you also feel miserable and you have a fever? Then, you probably have the flu. If you want to know if it is the common cold or the flu, do the test!

When to see the doctor about a sore throat?

If you are in doubt whether you have a throat infection, you can contact your general practitioner. A throat infection is often characterized by a fever. Please contact your general practitioner:

  • if after three days you still have a fever;
  • if drinking or swallowing is hardly possible;
  • if the sore throat is accompanied with a rash in your face and on your chest;
  • if the sore throat persists for more than seven days; look here for more information about a persistant sore throat;
  • if you become sicker.

With children it is necessary to contact your general practitioner:

  • if your child gives you the impression of being very sick;
  • if your child feels oppressed;
  • if your child cannot swallow saliva.
  • When there are other symptoms you worry about

What do you think?

Have you found what you read useful? If so, I would love if you would leave your comment below. Thanks! Krista your A.Vogel Flu Coach

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