10 Sore Throat Symptoms

By adrian
Reviewed: dr. vanta
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. 'Difficulty Swallowing and Hoarse Voice.' Main Line Health, www.mainlinehealth.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/difficulty-swallowing-and-hoarse-voice
  • 2. 'Lymph Nodes and Cancer.' American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-basics/lymph-nodes-and-cancer.html
  • 3. 'Hay Fever.' Mayo Clinic, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hay-fever/symptoms-causes/syc-20373039
  • 4. R, Sanu A; Eccles. 'The Effects of a Hot Drink on Nasal Airflow and Symptoms of Common Cold and Flu.' Rhinology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19145994
  • 5. 'Stress Effects.' The American Institute of Stress, 16 June 2020, www.stress.org/stress-effects
Medical Expert Medical Expert

A sore throat refers to the sensations people sometimes feel at the back of their mouth. The throat may feel dry or painful, making it difficult to swallow. Difficulty swallowing is one of the many sore throat symptoms.1‘Difficulty Swallowing and Hoarse Voice.’ Main Line Health, www.mainlinehealth.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/difficulty-swallowing-and-hoarse-voice Others include coughs, swollen glands and a hoarse voice.

Sore throats are commonly caused by infections, such as the common cold, flu, measles, chickenpox and mumps. Bacterial infections, such as strep throat, an infection of the throat and tonsils, can also cause sore throats, as can allergies to pollen, grass and pet dander. Gargling with salt water can sometimes relieve the pain of a sore throat.

Difficulty Swallowing

The dryness and scratchy sensation that a person experiences with a sore throat can sometimes make it difficult to swallow. Anyone having difficulty swallowing is in danger of choking on foods or drinks. The medical term for the condition is dysphagia. There are several reasons why a person may have issues with swallowing.

Difficulty swallowing is not necessarily an indication that something is medically wrong, and it can go away as quickly as it came. If it results from a health condition or something else, it could be anything from acid reflux to a bite from a venomous snake.

Sore Throat


When something irritates the back of the throat, the natural reaction is to cough. Coughing is the body's way of ridding itself of the offending irritant. This defensive mechanism helps protect the body from irritants, such as smoke, mucus and allergens, such as pollen.

A cough accompanies many illnesses, including a sore throat. It can come in many forms, such as a dry or wet cough, a paroxysmal cough, a violent and uncontrollable cough and a croup cough, which is a viral infection affecting children.

Swollen Glands

Medically referred to as swollen lymph nodes, swollen glands are another symptom of sore throats. The small glands that filter lymph, the transparent fluid that circulates through the lymphatic system, can become enlarged in response to infection or tumors.

Lymph nodes are widespread within the body and can be found in the armpits, under the jaw and on either side of the neck, among other places.2‘Lymph Nodes and Cancer.’ American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-basics/lymph-nodes-and-cancer.html The cause of swollen glands varies and can include the common cold, flu and ear and skin infections.

Sore Throat

Hoarse Voice

Many people with sore throats also have a hoarse or husky voice. Their voice may sound raspy, strained or softer in volume. People may have difficulty understanding a person with a hoarse voice. Issues with the vocal cords, such as an inflamed larynx, commonly cause hoarseness.

Smoking and acid reflux are other causes of this change in voice. Eliminating the problem may be achieved by resting the voice for a few days and drinking plenty of hydrating fluids to moisten the throat.

Nasal Congestion

It's not uncommon for an individual to experience a blocked and congested nose with a sore and irritated throat. Nasal congestion occurs when the nose becomes stuffed up and inflamed. Characteristics of nose congestion include sinus pain, mucus build-up and swollen nasal tissue.

Allergies and hay fever are common causes of nasal congestion.3‘Hay Fever.’ Mayo Clinic, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hay-fever/symptoms-causes/syc-20373039 Placing a humidifier in the home may help with a stuffy nose, as the added moisture in the air may help break up the mucus and soothe inflamed nasal passages.

Sore Throat

Runny Nose

A constant need to wipe the nose may occur alongside a sore throat. A runny nose can occur when something irritates or inflames the nasal tissues. The common cold, flu and various allergies and irritants can all cause a person's nose to run.

Runny noses, although irritating, can easily be dealt with at home. Drinking hot teas may help, as the steam may help open and decongest the airways.4R, Sanu A; Eccles. ‘The Effects of a Hot Drink on Nasal Airflow and Symptoms of Common Cold and Flu.’ Rhinology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19145994 The steam from a hot shower can also offer relief.

Body Aches

Colds and flu, sore throats, excessive exercise and walking for long periods can all cause body aches. Sometimes, rest can help relieve discomfort. However, some aches, especially prolonged ones, may be the result of an underlying condition.

One cause of body aches could be stress.5‘Stress Effects.’ The American Institute of Stress, 16 June 2020, www.stress.org/stress-effects When a person is stressed, their immune system is unable to control its response to inflammation. When this happens, the body's ability to fight off illness and infection is reduced.

Sore Throat


Removing irritants from the nose is usually achieved with tissue and a little effort. Sometimes, before a person has the chance to pull out a tissue, a powerful expulsion of air occurs, known as a sneeze. A sneeze occurs when dirt or debris enters the nose, irritating the sensitive mucus membranes.

Sneezing can be triggered by a number of things, including allergens, colds and flu and drug withdrawal. People can reduce or eliminate sneezing fits by avoiding the things that trigger them.


When a person feels cold for no apparent reason, they're likely experiencing chills. Besides feeling cold, an individual may experience rhythmic muscle contractions and shivers. Being in a cold environment can also cause chills.

Chills can also develop due to a response to certain bacterial or viral infections that cause fever, such as flu or strep throat. Over-the-counter medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can help lower fever and fight chills.


Headaches are common occurrences and a symptom of many conditions, and they may also be associated with a sore throat. Although most headaches aren't the result of serious illness, they sometimes occur due to life-threatening conditions. The pain experienced from a headache ranges from mild to excruciating.

Migraines are typically painful headaches that usually last from four to 24 hours, but they can last longer if left unmanaged. Other primary headaches include cluster and tension headaches.

Sore Throat

Home | Privacy Policy | Editorial | Unsubscribe | | About Us

This site offers information designed for entertainment & educational purposes only. With any health related topic discussed on this site you should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, treatment, advice, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, treatment, or diagnosis. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.