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  • Many of us will have to deal with a sore throat at some point, but how do we know when it's more than just a little scratch?
  • If your sore throat stops you from eating or makes breathing difficult, it could indicate something more serious. 
  • Seek the help of a medical professional if your sore throat persists or is accompanied by serious symptoms.  

A sore throat can be a real pain to deal with -- Literally. Not only is it unpleasant, but if severe, it can affect your ability to eat, drink and speak. Sadly, sore throats are something most of us have to deal with at some point. While they can sometimes be caused by strain or a mild illness (like the common cold), there are times when a sore throat can indicate something a little more serious. 

In a press statement, Cepacol, outlines some things to consider when assessing your sore throat. 

Is it extremely painful?

A burning sensation in the throat that just won't let up might indicate that you're dealing with something more serious than just a common sore throat. Strep throat, for example, is a highly contagious bacterial infection that could cause fever, pain when swallowing and swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Another possibility could be tonsillitis, which causes throat pain, red swollen tonsils and trouble swallowing. 

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Struggling to swallow or breathe?

If your sore throat prohibits you from consuming food or even swallowing your saliva, that's a major red flag. Another huge concern is when a sore throat makes it hard to breathe. 

Similarly, if a sore throat is accompanied by blood in your saliva, joint pain or a rash, it's important to seek medical help.

Do you struggle with a sore throat quite often?

"Sure, everyone gets a sore throat occasionally, but if you're dealing with them regularly, it might be worth looking into," writes the Cepacol team. "If you're experiencing a chronic or persistent sore throat, it could be a sign of a more severe condition like allergies, viral and bacterial infections, Mononucleosis, peritonsillar abscess, gonorrhoea, acid reflux, a weakened immune system, or throat cancer."

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Seek the advice of a professional

Sore throats can happen for a variety of reasons. It's important to seek the help of a medical professional who will be able to pinpoint the root of your problem. Even if the pain is not severe, if you're concerned, speak to a doctor.

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