A dry scratchy sore throat is often the first sign that you have a dreaded cold coming on. It's thought that the symptoms start in this area because the virus infects the back of the nose. What starts off as a sore throat can become quite painful, red and inflamed, and the voice may also become affected – sounding husky, croaky or even squeaky. In some cases it can become hard and painful to talk.
While a sore throat is a common symptom of a cold there are two other infections you may wish to rule out.
- Laryngitis, where the larynx (voicebox) becomes infected causing a hoarse voice
- Tonsillitis, where the tonsils become inflamed either due to the viral infection or a bacterial infection. Common in children, the sore throat can feel worse when swallowing and there may be a high temperature, coughing and a headache. If such a sore throat doesn't improve, or worsens, over four days, see your GP.
Treating a sore throat associated with
a cold or flu
A sore throat can be soothed with medicated lozenges such as Strepsils or a hot drink - according to the Common Cold Research Centre hot drinks with slightly bitter flavours such as lemon and citric acid are particularly beneficial.
Check out some other articles related to cold and flu symptoms.