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7 Potential Causes of a Sore Throat

Your esophagus feels like it’s on fire! Plus, your voice keeps coming out all scratchy. And, you can barely swallow anything. It sounds like you have a sore throat. As you get out the tea and honey, though, you probably are wondering what’s brought it on. The answer may be one of these potential causes of a sore throat.

Strep throat

Your sore throat may be a result of a bacterial infection. If you have strep throat, you’ll also likely notice swollen tonsils with white spots, difficulty swallowing, and a fever. Make sure to see your doctor so you can get antibiotics. And be careful and clean—this condition can be extremely contagious!

The common cold

For many of us, having a cold is kind of a (unfortunate) winter tradition. It brings on symptoms like runny noses, sneezing, and often, a sore throat. Usually, after some rest and hydration, it clears up. You can also take steps to prevent future colds by wearing a mask and washing your hands!

The flu

Does your sore throat come with a side of fatigue, muscle pains, and fevers? You could have the flu! Like with colds, you can prevent this illness by wearing a mask and washing your hands. You can also get this year’s flu shot too!

Dry weather

Your sore throat might just be a result of the weather! What a relief. When the air gets dry, many people find themselves with sore throats. That’s because the climate is removing moisture from the air, and it can dry out your skin, throat, and mouth as a result.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease

For those with gastroesophageal reflux disease, you may notice sore throats. They’re a result of the acid reflux and heartburn that come with the condition.


Allergies are one of the potential causes of a sore throat that many of us know well. You may encounter symptoms during allergy season. And yes, they can be treatable! Read our blog on allergy medication types for your options.

Tonsil stones or tonsillitis

Hey, that’s weird. There’s a scratchy feeling in the back of your throat, like something is stuck in your tonsils. If you experience this sensation, along with fevers and bad breath, you may have tonsil stones.

They’re not dangerous—and they should dislodge on their own. Aim to brush your teeth and tongue thoroughly to prevent them in the future. However, if you get frequent tonsil stones, you may have tonsillitis—which also causes sore throats and swollen tonsils.


From allergies to strep throat, there are many potential causes of a sore throat. If it continues to bother you—or you notice other concerning symptoms—don’t hesitate to seek medical attention. That way, if ends up being something serious, you can get the treatment you need.

Luckily, we’re ENT’s—which means we can help! Contact us here to schedule your appointment. Finally, for more health-based resources, check out our blog.