Some people pick up a recurring sore throat, whilst others rarely or never succumb to this condition. Let’s have a look at some of the common causes of a persistent sore throat:
The resistance of your body to disease, can determine how often you get a recurring sore throat. If you have poor immunity you are more likely to pick up infections and their accompanying symptoms. Your immune system can be suppressed by a poor diet, stress, smoking, an underlying disease or a genetic weakness.
Chronic viral infection
Some viruses are latent viruses that remain in the body for life, and can be reactivated when you are run down or under stress. Examples are the Epstein Barr virus that causes mononucleosis or glandular fever, and the herpes virus that causes recurrent cold sores and ulcers. When these viruses recur infective symptoms like a painful throat, fever and malaise are common.
Chronic bacterial infection
Bacteria like Chlamydia pneumonia, mycoplasma and Rickettsia can cause low grade infections which last for years. These bacteria live inside your cells and are difficult to eradicate from the body. A combination of conventional and natural medicine is the best approach.
Chronic fungal infection
A persistent sore throat can be triggered by a thrush or Candida. These infections are characterized by white patches on the inside of the mouth and throat. Candida infections are common in those with suppressed immunity.
Food and environmental allergens like pollen, mold, dust mite and animal dander are common throat irritants that can trigger throat pain and inflammation.
Food and chemical sensitivities
Sensitivities to particular foods and chemicals are well known causes of respiratory symptoms like runny nose, sneezing and an irritated throat. Chemicals like chlorine, cleaning agents, nail polish, pesticides, glues, petrol and aerosol sprays are common triggers.
If your throat is worse in the morning it may be due to reflux. Acid travels up from the stomach into the esophagus, and if the esophageal valve is weak, the acid can irritate the back of the throat.
Overuse of the voice
Strain of the vocal chords can result in a persistent painful throat. This is commonly seen in teachers, singers and presenters. Voice training can reduce this condition.
A recurrent sore throat which is accompanied by weight loss, a lump in the throat, blood in the phlegm and voice hoarseness may point to a throat tumor. Excess alcohol and smoking can contribute to throat cancers.
People who breathe through their mouth or those with sleep apnea often complain of a constant sore throat.
Dry air like that found in heated homes or offices can dry out the mucous membranes of the throat, leaving it prone to irritation. A humidifier or some natural plants can help maintain a good moisture content of the air and minimize throat soreness.
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Certain medications can trigger adverse side effects in some people. If you suspect your medication may be causing your chronic sore throat then discuss it with your doctor or pharmacist.
Recently there has been a resurgence in the belief that our emotions can trigger recurrent health problems. In the case of a constant sore throat, there may be a block in the ability to stand up for oneself, express thoughts and to reveal true emotions. If you think there may be an emotional component in your health problems it is worth chatting to a counselor or NLP practitioner.
Chronic sore throat treatment
Fortunately, through general lifestyle practices like a healthy diet, stress reduction, regular exercise, pinpointing allergens and sensitivities and boosting immunity through nutrients, herbs and emotional support, most of these triggers for chronic sore throats can be eliminated.