Sore Throat Definition, Reason, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

Sore Throat Definition, Reason, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention


Sore throat is a complaint that is often experienced by many people in various age ranges – from children, adults, to the elderly. Sore throat is not a disease, but a symptom of various diseases.

Some diseases that have symptoms of a sore throat are the common coldStreptococcus bacterial infection, or tonsillitis (infection of the tonsils).

The common cold is a respiratory infection caused by a virus. Meanwhile, Streptococcus infection is a bacterial infection that requires special attention because it can cause complications to various organs. While tonsillitis can be caused by viruses or bacteria.

Sore Throat Symptoms

If a sore throat is caused by a cold, then apart from a sore throat, other symptoms that generally occur are runny nose, sneezing, coughing (which can be a dry cough or coughing up phlegm), headache, bone or muscle aches, and fever. These complaints generally occur for 3-5 days.

A sore throat caused by a group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus bacterial infection can also show symptoms of fever, headache, and bone or muscle aches. However, what is different is that in group A Streptococcus beta-hemolytic bacterial infection, swelling is found in the neck due to enlarged lymph nodes, difficulty swallowing, and loss of appetite.

If group A Streptococcus beta-hemolytic bacterial infection is not treated properly, complications can occur in various organs, especially the heart and kidneys.

In the heart, rheumatic fever can occur which is characterized by complaints of shortness of breath and chest pain, as well as body movements such as dancing that occur spontaneously and uncontrollably (medically it is called chorea ).

In the kidneys, kidney inflammation can occur which is called glomerulonephritis. This condition is characterized by red urine, increased blood pressure, and swelling of the lower limbs may occur.

Sore throat caused by tonsillitis, generally accompanied by fever and joint aches. In addition, you will find a yellowish-white coating on the tonsils in the oral cavity. Bad breath and a sound like gargling can also occur.

Sore Throat Reason

Complaints of sore throat can be caused by a viral infection or bacterial infection. The most common cause is a virus.

There are many viruses that can cause sore throat complaints. Among these are rhinoviruses, coronavirusesinfluenza viruses, parainfluenza viruses, and adenoviruses. The most common cause is rhinovirus. This virus is very easy to spread from one person to another through the air and splashes of phlegm. In addition, viral infections are more common in the rainy season.

Meanwhile, the bacteria that often causes sore throat is group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus. This bacterial infection needs to be taken seriously because it can cause heart or kidney problems.

Other causes of a sore throat are irritation from cigarette smoke, air pollution, allergies, or air that is too dry (air humidity is too low).


To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor will conduct an interview and physical examination. A physical examination is carried out on the throat area, as well as other body parts such as the ears, heart and stomach. During the examination, the doctor will find out if there is a possibility that a sore throat is caused by a group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus bacterial infection.

One of the things that doctors generally use to determine the possibility of a bacterial infection is the Centor score. In this scoring, if you find swollen tonsils, enlarged lymph nodes in the front of the neck, fever with a body temperature above 38 degrees Celsius, and no cough, then the possibility that a sore throat is caused by a bacterial infection with Streptococcus beta-hemolytic group A is very high. big.

If so, then the doctor will carry out further tests in the form of blood tests and throat swab examinations. On blood tests, the level of white blood cells and the sedimentation rate of the blood will be seen. In the throat swab examination, a swab will be taken on the throat area and the results are examined under a microscope.

Sore Throat Treatment

A sore throat caused by a cold should clear up on its own in 7–10 days. To relieve the symptoms that occur, sufferers of colds can drink warm water, gargle with warm salt water, and take fever-reducing drugs such as paracetamol. Apart from that, getting enough rest and eating nutritious food is also needed to speed healing.

If a sore throat is caused by a group A Streptococcus beta-hemolytic bacterial infection, apart from taking the steps above, the doctor will also give antibiotics to kill the bacteria. Antibiotics that are generally given are penicillin or amoxicillin.

The important thing to note is that antibiotics must be consumed until they run out according to the doctor’s instructions. Thus the bacterial infection can actually be cleaned.

Sore throat due to tonsillitis can heal by itself if it is caused by a viral infection. However, tonsillitis caused by a bacterial infection or tonsillitis that often recurs sometimes needs to be treated by surgical removal of the tonsils (tonsillectomy).


To prevent a sore throat, there are several things you can do, namely:

  • Avoid close contact with people who have sore throats, coughs or colds.
  • Use a mask if you have to be close to someone who is sick.
  • Wash your hands with running water and soap every time you eat or touch your face.

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