Sore Throat

A raw or rough feeling in the throat is a symptom that most people have from time to time. A sore throat is often the first sign of a common cold and is also a feature of other viral infections. Sore throats can usually be safely treated at home unless you otherwise do not feel well. However, if your sore throat persists or is severe, consult your doctor.

  • Do you have a fever – a temperature of 38°C (100.4°F) or above?

    • Fever

      Do you have swelling in your groin and/or armpits ?

      • Yes
        • Possible cause Infectious mononucleosis can cause a sore throat and swollen lymph nodes.

          Medical help Make an appointment to see your doctor.

      • No

        Do you have any of the following symptoms?

        • Generalized aches and pains
          • Possible cause A viral illness, such as a severe cold (see Common cold) or influenza, is the most probable cause.

            Self-help Follow the advice for bringing down a fever. If your symptoms worsen, change, or are no better after 2 days, consult your doctor.

        • Runny nose
          • Possible cause A viral illness, such as a severe cold (see Common cold) or influenza, is the most probable cause.

            Self-help Follow the advice for bringing down a fever. If your symptoms worsen, change, or are no better after 2 days, consult your doctor.

        • Headache
          • Possible cause A viral illness, such as a severe cold (see Common cold) or influenza, is the most probable cause.

            Self-help Follow the advice for bringing down a fever. If your symptoms worsen, change, or are no better after 2 days, consult your doctor.

        • Cough
          • Possible cause A viral illness, such as a severe cold (see Common cold) or influenza, is the most probable cause.

            Self-help Follow the advice for bringing down a fever. If your symptoms worsen, change, or are no better after 2 days, consult your doctor.

        • None of the above
    • No fever

      Before the onset of your sore throat had you been doing any of the following?

      • Smoking heavily or breathing smoke
        • Possible cause These activities are likely to result in inflammation of the throat (see Pharyngitis and tonsillitis).

          Self-help Follow the advice for soothing a sore throat. If your symptoms worsen, change, or are no better in 2 days, consult your doctor.

      • Shouting or singing loudly
        • Possible cause These activities are likely to result in inflammation of the throat (see Pharyngitis and tonsillitis).

          Self-help Follow the advice for soothing a sore throat. If your symptoms worsen, change, or are no better in 2 days, consult your doctor.

      • None of the above
        • You may be developing a cold. Follow the advice for Soothing a sore throat. Make an appointment to see your doctor if you are no better in 2 days.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

The subjects, conditions and treatments covered in this encyclopaedia are for information only and may not be covered by your insurance product should you make a claim.

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