Recent Blog Articles
Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia by telemedicine: Is it as good as in-person treatment?
Prediabetes diagnosis as an older adult: What does it really mean?
Is blood sugar monitoring without diabetes worthwhile?
Large review study finds low risk of erectile dysfunction after prostate biopsy
Does exercise help protect against severe COVID-19?
A new Alzheimer’s drug has been approved. But should you take it?
Need physical therapy? 3 key questions your PT will ask
COVID-19 vaccines: Safe and effective for American Indian and Alaskan Native communities
Should we track all breakthrough cases of COVID-19?
Period equity: What is it, why does it matter?
Sore Throat in Adults
Sore throats are very common and usually resolve without specific treatment.
Of the infections that cause sore throat, viral infections are most common. Less often, you may have a bacterial infection called strep throat.
Infections are not the only cause of sore throats. Allergies causing nasal congestion with mouth breathing and acid reflux are two non-infectious causes of sore throat.
Rarely, a sore throat can be a sign of a serious disorder that needs immediate medical attention. Certain causes of a sore throat could block off your airway and stop your breathing if left untreated.
Do you have one or more of the following symptoms:
shortness of breath
such severe pain that you cannot swallow
Most sore throats last only a few days and rarely continue beyond two weeks. Throat infections and nasal congestion from a cold or allergies are common reasons to have a sore throat.
A sore throat that persists for longer than two weeks usually means that a throat infection is unlikely.
Have you had a sore throat for more than two weeks?
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.