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"Horrible sore throat for 5 months and I am in a lot of pain. Ibuprofen, tylenol, etc don't really help much either. What else can I do?"

ZocdocAnswersHorrible sore throat for 5 months and I am in a lot of pain. Ibuprofen, tylenol, etc don't really help much either. What else can I do?


Hello, I have had a terrible sore throat for the last 5 months, maybe more. I have been to the doctor twice and both times he confirmed it was post-nasal drip due to allergies. He recommended taking allergy meds, such as claritin or zyrtec, and prescribed me flonase. Those things only help slightly and my throat is still really bad. I have red bumps on the back of my throat, as well. I can't really go to the doctor again because I have no insurance and the first two times has cost me a lot of money. I have tried everything from taking zyrtec, benedryl and flonase each day, to gargling with saltwater, gargling with baking soda/salt combo and gargling with cayenne. Also tried honey, tea, cinnamon, everything I can find online. Nothing gets rid of the post nasal drip and nothing gets rid of the sore throat. I can't talk very well because I am in a lot of pain. Ibuprofin, tylenol, etc don't really help much either. What else can I do? Thanks


I am sorry to hear that you have had a sore throat for the past 5 months, and that it doesn't seem to be getting any better. I know that you have already been to the doctor twice, and you want to avoid going back to the doctor because it is expensive, but I am going to recommend that you make an appointment to see an otolaryngologist (ears nose throat doctor). The reason is that there are many different causes of chronic sore throat, some of them can be very serious. The ENT will be able to examine you thoroughly, including doing a flexible laryngoscopy that will rule out some of the more serious causes for sore throat. A flexible laryngoscopy is a scope exam were they will pass a small scope through your nose to examine your nasopharynx, pharynx, and larynx (back of your nose, throat, and voice box). It is true that post-nasal drip can cause a chronic sore throat, but so can reflux, and most importantly sometimes chronic pain is one of the first signs of a head and neck cancer (such as a tonsil cancer, base of tongue cancer, or laryngeal cancer). Hopefully the ENT is able to rule out something bad like a cancer, and then will be able to help treat your sore throat. I wish you the best of luck.

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