Query: “I am a 36-year-old woman suffering from what I believe is a bad case of sore throat. I find a painful and scratchy sensation in my throat. The pain worsens when I swallow or talk and I find it quite difficult to swallow. The back of my throat, especially my tonsils, seems to have swollen and is red in colour. My voice is hoarse when I speak. Though I am inclined to believe that this is a mere sore throat, what worries me is that I have been getting sore throats often as of late. And this time the sore throat is badly affecting me. I usually treat my sore throat without seeking medical help, thinking it isn’t a big issue. I gargle my throat with warm salt water and also use medicinal lozenges with the hope of reducing the soreness in my throat. I also drink a lot of hot water and tea when I get a sore throat. But these remedies seem to offer me temporary relief because I constantly develop a sore throat. I would like to know the cause for my sore throat. Is there a reason as to why I contract sore throats very often? Is it serious? Should I get my tonsils removed? And if so, will it permanently end my battle against sore throats?
Reply: “You are most definitely suffering from a sore throat. It’s nothing serious and it’s quite a common medical issue. The cause for your sore throat may have several possibilities. It could be either a bacterial or viral infection. Your sore throat could also be the result of an allergy. If the root to your sore throat problem is bacterial, antibiotics will help relieve your throat. If the sore throat is caused by a viral infection, then it will disappear on its own. If you are experiencing frequent sore throats, it may be due to a case of weak immunity. So what you should do is, consult your physician for medical treatment. Upon diagnosis of a bacterial infection, you will be prescribed with antibiotics. Frequent sore throat infections aren’t serious. The only concern here is that you have to make sure that you haven’t fallen victim to immuno-suppressive diseases, so I suggest you take a full blood count. As allergies could also result in sore throats, you should avoid cold water, ice- cream and such types of food. Always drink hot water. As for your question of having your tonsils removed, tonsil removal is an old treatment and isn’t performed at present. But your condition has no cause for worry.”