Sore Throat: Signs and symptoms
Signs and symptoms
A sore throat is part of the body’s immune response to a viral infection such as the flu.3 Patients suffering from a sore throat may report:
- Difficulty or pain on swallowing
- The sensation of a swollen throat4
- Pain, or a scratchy sensation, in the throat
- Sore, swollen glands around the neck or jaw
- Swollen, red tonsils
- A hoarse or croaky voice5
Ask your patient:5
- Are there symptoms present other than a sore throat?
- Is there a fever present, and if so, what has your temperature been?
- Has there been difficulty breathing?
- What seems to exacerbate or relieve the sore throat?
- Is the sore throat a recurring problem?
The patient should be referred to a doctor for further assessment and management if any of the following is reported:5
- Difficulty breathing
- Significant difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty opening the mouth
- Joint pain
- Fever higher than 38°C
- Frequently recurring sore throats
- Lump in the neck
- Hoarseness lasting more than 2 weeks
- Swelling in the neck or face
- Unusual drooling in young children, which may indicate an inability to swallow