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"Why has my throat been sore for over a week now?"


I am 21 year old female and my throat has constantly been sore for over a week. It is the most sore in the morning right when I wake up and feels somewhat better throughout the day, especially after taking pain relievers such as tylenol and advil. The pain is most sever right when I wake up and I am wondering if this could be from me being an open mouth sleeper. Over night it is pretty cold in my house so at first I thought it was because I was breathing in cold air directly onto my throat all night. Could it be something worse that I need to look into and go get treated?


This sounds like a very annoying problem. Since your throat has only been sore for a week, I think it is more likely that your sore throat is something infectious. In patient's your age, the most likely cause of a sore throat is a viral upper respiratory tract infection.

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This happens when a virus such as the cold virus irritates the upper airways. Drainage from the nose drips back into the throat especially at night when you are laying flat. This irritates the throat and makes it sore. While a viral infection is most likely, another possibility is that you have a strep throat infection. This is an important distinction because a strep throat infection requires antibiotics. The fact that the soreness improves with tylenol and Advil and gets better throughout the day makes the viral infection more likely. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can take a close look at your throat and swab it for a rapid strep test. This is important because treatment of strep throat is necessary to prevent rare complications of the infection such as kidney injury and rheumatic fever. Plus you don't want to pass this infection on to anyone else. I hope you feel better.

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