Sore throats can be brought on by a variety of viral illnesses including the common cold, laryngitis (infection of the voice box), mononucleosis, infections like the mumps or flu, as well as by bacterial infections such as strep throat, tonsillitis and adenoiditis, epiglottitis, uvulitis or in rare cases some sexually transmitted infections.
Other causes of sore throat include irritants and injuries brought on by smoking, air pollution, yelling, nasal drainage from the back of the throat, low humidity, allergies, complications from gastroesophageal reflux disease or chronic fatigue syndrome, or cuts or punctures in the throat. Because of the vast variety of causes of sore throats, treatment depends specifically on the cause.
Viral illnesses are the most prevalent origin of sore throats, and therefore antibiotics should not be used as treatment unless the sore throat is brought on by strep.
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