Chronic Sore Throat & Paryngitis Causes & Symptoms
What is a chronic sore throat?
A sore throat (pharyngitis) is characterized by a scratchy, irritated throat that sometimes makes swallowing or breathing painful. The most common reason for chronic pharyngitis is a viral infection, such as a cold, which goes away on its own. When a sore throat does not go away on its own after about a week, it is considered a chronic condition and should be evaluated by an ear, nose and throat specialist.
What are the causes of a chronic sore throat?
A sore throat that won’t go away on its own could indicate a range of illnesses. Common sore throat causes include:
- Viral infections
- Common cold
- Chicken pox
- Whooping cough
- Bacterial infections
Some other underlying conditions that can cause a persistent sore throat include:
What are some symptoms of chronic sore throat?
You may be suffering from a chronic sore throat and should seek advice from a New York ENT doctor if you experience any of the chronic pharyngitis symptoms below for more than about a week:
- Scratchy or itchy sensation in throat
- Difficulty or pain when swallowing
- Swollen glands in neck/jaw area
- Hoarse or strained voice
- Pain in the throat
Sometimes, a chronic sore throat indicates an infection. In these cases, you may also experience:
- Nausea / vomiting
What are the risk factors for a chronic sore throat?
Anyone is able to get a sore throat, but several factors may make you more likely to suffer from a chronic sore throat. These include:
- Older age
- Weakened immune system
- Poor air quality (second-hand smoke, chemicals, pollution, etc.)
When should I see a doctor about a sore throat?
Whenever a sore throat is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, it is recommended by the Academy of Otolaryngology to see a doctor.
- Extreme pain or soreness in throat
- Sore throat that lasts over one week
- Difficulty breathing
- Coughing up blood
- Lump on neck
- Hoarse voice that lasts more than two weeks
- Difficulty breathing
- Joint pain
- Trouble opening your mouth
- Ear pain
- Recurring sore throat
How is chronic sore throat treated?
Your treatment will vary depending on the cause of the sore throat. If a viral infection is the cause, it will usually last about one week and will go away on its own. However, to relieve symptoms during the illness, patients can take over the counter pain relievers/fever reducers. If your sore throat is caused by a bacterial infection, you should see a doctor who can prescribe antibiotics to rid your body completely of the infection.
If your chronic sore throat is being caused by something other than viral or bacterial infection, or you are unable to figure out what is causing your sore throat, professional diagnosis and treatment by an ear, nose and throat specialist is recommended. At New York ENT, our doctors offer a wide range of treatments for chronic sore throat, depending on the underlying condition.
If you are suffering from a chronic sore throat, the first step towards feeling better is to schedule an evaluation with an experienced ear, nose and throat doctor. Board certified physicians with New York ENT have extensive experience diagnosing and treating a wide variety of neck and throat conditions. Fill out the form on this page or call our office at (212) 873-6168 to schedule an appointment today.