The back of your throat feels scratchy and uncomfortable when you have a sore throat. It could hurt to swallow or speak if you have a sore throat. Many factors, including bacterial and viral illnesses, allergies, and sleeping with your mouth open, can result in sore throats. The majority of sore throat symptoms disappear in a few days. If your sore throat persists for more than a week, grows worse, or you experience symptoms like fever or enlarged lymph nodes, you should see a doctor.

Pharyngitis can involve some or all of these parts of the throat:

– the back third of the tongue

– the soft palate (roof of the mouth)

– the tonsils (fleshy tissue that are part of the throat’s immune defenses).

Infection with bacteria or a virus is the most frequent cause of sore throats. Tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils) used to be a frequent word for infectious pharyngitis since an infection of the pharynx nearly usually affects the tonsils.

Viruses account for over 90% of throat infections. Although sore throats are a common sign of the flu (influenza), cold sores (oral herpes simplex), and infectious mononucleosis (“mono”), these viral diseases typically also induce other noticeable symptoms. Viral pharyngitis often peaks in the winter and early spring in areas with warm summers and chilly winters. People are more prone to congregate during this time in stuffy, poorly ventilated spaces. Viruses that cause pharyngitis are easily contagious.

The viruses can spread through the air by hanging on to droplets from coughs and sneezes. They stick to unwashed hands that have been exposed to fluids from a sick person’s nose or mouth.

In most people who are otherwise healthy, simple viral pharyngitis doesn’t last long, goes away on its own and does not causes any long-term complications, although the short-term discomfort can be significant.

Contact Dr. Barbara Karin Vela if you develop a sore throat that does not go away after several days or if you have a high fever, swollen lymph nodes in your neck, or a rash. Always seek medical care right away if you have Pharyngitis and trouble breathing.