A sore throat is characterized by pain, scratchiness and irritation that worsens when you swallow or speak. It’s often caused by a virus or bacterial infection, though it can also be a symptom of a more serious condition.
When to See a Doctor?
Most sore throats go away on their own within a few days. However, see a doctor if your discomfort lasts longer than a week and/or is associated with:
- Difficulty swallowing, breathing and opening the mouth
- Bloody saliva or phlegm
- A lump in the neck
- Persistent hoarseness
- A fever higher than 101 F