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A sore throat is the general name for 2 common conditions:
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Many things can cause a sore throat such as:
Sore throats are more common children, teens, or people aged 65 years and older. Other factors that may increase your chance of a sore throat include:
Along with the sore throat, you may have other symptoms such as:
Call your doctor if you:
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests calling your child's doctor if your child has a sore throat that goes on for more than 1 day (no matter what other symptoms are present).
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
Your doctor will do a physical exam. This involves looking closely at your mouth, throat, nose, ears, and the lymph nodes in your neck.
Treatment depends on the cause of the sore throat. Options may include:
Self-care steps that may help you feel better include:
To help reduce your chances of a sore throat:
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Canadian Society of Otolaryngology
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Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcie L. Sidman, MD Last Updated: 4/20/2020