How Long Does a Sore Throat Last?

How long a sore throat wake forest nc lasts is highly dependent on the cause. When a sore throat only lasts a few days, it is considered acute. However, when it lingers and lasts for an extended period of time or for the underlying cause to be addressed, it is considered chronic.

In most cases, a sore throat is due to a common viruses and will resolve itself within about 3 to 10 days. If the sore throat is from a bacterial infection or allergies, it may last longer.

Use of at-home treatments and medication can also impact the duration of sore throat symptoms, such as pain, scratchiness, and difficulty swallowing.

Viral Infections and Sore Throats

In most cases, sore throats are caused by a virus. This includes those caused by the flu or common cold. A sore throat can also be a symptom of other types of viral conditions such as chicken pox, croup, and the measles

In the case of a sore throat which is caused by a virus, antibiotics are not required for treatment as they are typically resolved within about 10 days.

At-home treatments and prescription corticosteroids can aid in reducing discomfort from a sore throat, which will typically be gone once the underlying infection is resolved.

Sore Throats and Mononucleosis

Compared to sore throats which are caused by other types of viruses, sore throats from mononucleosis can last up to a month. The Epstein-Barr virus causes mononucleosis, an infectious viral disease.

Unfortunately, antibiotics are not an effective treatment for mononucleosis. Corticosteroids is able to help reduce the associated swelling, inflammation, and discomfort.

Sore Throats and Bacterial Infections

It is far less common for a bacterial infection to cause a sore compared to viruses. When a bacterial infection does occur, the doctor may prescribe an antibiotics (penicillin or amoxicillin). Antibiotics can help to shorten how long a sore throat lasts. They pain and inflammation may be reduced to just a day or two after you begin taking the antibiotic.

When not taking antibiotics, bacterial infections and the sore throats they cause may last anywhere from 7 to 10 days. In some cases, a sore throat from a bacterial infection may be due to a more serious illness. Be sure to follow up with your doctor if you have a sore throat lasting longer than 10 days.

Strep Throat

Strep throat is from the bacteria Streptococcus (group A streptococcus). Treatment from a doctor and antibiotics are often required in order to treat strep throat.

Once the antibiotics are started, the symptoms from strep throat should quickly be eliminated. Relief from symptoms may occur as quickly as a day or two. After starting antibiotics, the symptoms should be completely gone within about a week or less.

Sore Throats and Postnasal Drip

Another possible cause for sore throats is a postnasal drip. Some of the most common causes of a postnasal drip include the following:

  • Common cold
  • Environmental irritants, including tobacco smoke, air pollution, and allergens
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
  • Sinus infection

In some cases, a sore throat which is due to a postnasal drip may be chronic. Meaning the sore throat may persist until the underlying cause is addressed.

Sore Throats and Surgery

If intubation is required during a surgery, you may experience a sore throat upon waking up. When patients are intubated, an endotracheal tube is inserted through the mouth and down the throat to the airway. Intubation helps patients to breathe with a ventilator when they are unable to breathe on their own, which is common with surgery.

In order to avoid a sore throat after surgery, be sure to drink plenty of fluids and avoid speaking. In many cases, the soreness should be gone within a day or two.

Is My Sore Throat Bacterial or Viral?