ZocdocAnswersI have a very sore itchy throat for three days with mild coughing. What could it be?

Question

I have a very sore itchy throat for three days with mild coughing. What could it be?

Me and my wife's last night in DC should we hit some bars, or just take NyQuil and sleep. Btw cough drops work well on the symptoms and it's my birthday.

Answer

I am sorry to hear you are having a sore throat and cough on the night of your birthday. I recommend that you speak with your doctor. It sounds like you could be coming down with a viral illness, which as you must well know, is extremely variable in its severity and duration. The common cold can be caused by over hundreds of different viral strains, but most commonly by a virus known as rhinovirus. The symptoms of a cold can include sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, body ache, fatigue. These symptoms can last for several days before completely going away. Unfortunately, there are no medications which can treat the virus, but there are over the counter drugs which can help to alleviate some of the symptoms. Nyquil is one example that you brought up which can contain ingredients to treat pain, suppress cough, and anti-histamines which can also make you drowsy and help with sleep. A painful throat can also be a sign of other viral illnesses such as mononucleosis or the flu. It is difficult to know exactly what is going on without seeing your doctor who can perform a physical exam and review your medical history. However, listen to your body as you know it best; if you are in pain or discomfort, you should rest until you are feeling better.

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