What are the causes of persistent sore throat? Is it a serious situation? When should you see a doctor? What to do to make it pass?! What’s good? You can find the answers to all these questions and much more below.

Is persistent sore throat serious?

It can cause persistent sore throat , pain when swallowing, a tickling sensation in the throat, hoarseness and burning. A sore throat that does not go away may recur more than once or may be long lasting. A sore throat that doesn’t go away can be caused by a variety of conditions, including a handful of potentially dangerous infections, so it’s important to identify the cause as quickly as possible.

Causes of persistent sore throat

A number of conditions are among the causes of sore throat that do not go away, including:


The first item among the causes of sore throat that does not go away is allergies. When a person has an allergy, the normally harmless substances make the immune system hyper-reactive. These substances are called allergens. Common allergens include foods, certain plants, pet dander, dust and pollen.

The most common symptoms associated with this type of airborne allergy include:

  • runny nose
  • Evening fingers
  • Sneeze
  • eye itching
  • eye watering

A runny nose and post-nasal drip from inflamed sinuses are the most likely cause of allergy-related sore throat.

Postnasal drip

When you have a postnasal drip, excess mucus flows from your sinuses to the back of your throat. This can lead to a persistent sore throat and sore throat and is a common cause of persistent sore throat. A runny nose can be triggered by weather changes, certain medications, spicy foods, allergies, dry air, and many other things.

Besides a sore throat, some symptoms of postnasal drip include:

  • bad breath
  • Constant urge to swallow
  • A tickle that doesn’t go away in the throat
  • Cough that gets worse at night
  • nausea due to discharge

Mouth breathing

It is among the causes of sore throat that does not pass through mouth breathing . For example, if you breathe through your mouth while you sleep at night, you will probably have a sore throat when you wake up in the morning, and drinking a glass of water will relieve a sore throat.

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Other symptoms of mouth breathing include:

  • dry mouth
  • bad breath
  • under eye bag
  • Throat dryness and tickling
  • hoarseness
  • Fatigue and irritability after waking up
  • darkening of consciousness

Most often, mouth breathing is caused by a type of nasal congestion that prevents you from breathing properly through your nose. The two most common causes of nasal congestion are tonsil swelling and sleep apnea .

acid reflux

Also known as heartburn , acid reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter weakens and cannot close tightly. The stomach contents then flow back and up into the esophagus. Therefore, acid reflux is among the causes of sore throat that does not go away . Because if you’re experiencing heartburn daily, it’s possible that this can damage your throat and cause persistent sore throats.

Common symptoms of acid reflux include:

  • Throat ache
  • Chest pain and burning sensation
  • Anorexia
  • Sour taste in mouth
  • Abdominal pain and discomfort in the stomach area
  • difficulty swallowing


Another substance among the causes of sore throat that does not go away is tonsillitis or, in other words, swelling of the tonsils. If you are experiencing a prolonged sore throat and are not finding relief, you may have an infection such as tonsillitis. Most often, tonsillitis is diagnosed in children, but people can experience this problem at any age. Tonsillitis can be caused by bacterial infections or viruses. Tonsillitis can recur (occurring multiple times a year) and requires treatment with prescription antibiotics.

Because there are multiple types of tonsillitis, symptoms are very diverse and can include:

  • difficulty swallowing
  • voice change
  • severe sore throat
  • stiff neck
  • Swelling of lymph nodes in the jaw and neck
  • reddened tonsils
  • bad breath
  • Fire
  • Shake
  • Headache


Mononucleosis (or mono for short), another cause of persistent sore throat and tonsillitis, is caused by an infection by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Mono can last up to two months and in most cases is mild and can resolve with minimal treatment. Mono can feel like the flu and its symptoms include:

  • Throat ache
  • tonsil swelling
  • lymph node swelling
  • burnout
  • muscle weakness
  • night sweats

A person with mono may experience a persistent sore throat as long as the infection does not heal.


Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae . You might think of STDs as something that only affects your genitals, but gonorrhea can occur even from unprotected oral sex. Therefore, gonorrhea is among the causes of sore throat that does not go away .

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environmental pollution

Environmental pollution is also among the causes of sore throat that does not go away, especially in sensitive people. If you live in a big city, you may have a sore throat that doesn’t go away from smoke, which is a pile of airborne pollutants. Breathing fumes can be dangerous, especially on hot days. In addition to throat irritation and sore throat, breathing polluted air can cause:

  • worsening of asthma symptoms
  • Evening fingers
  • chest irritation
  • difficulty breathing
  • Lung damage

tonsil abscess

Tonsil abscess is a serious bacterial infection of the tonsils and is one of the causes of persistent sore throat. Tonsil abscess can occur when tonsillitis is not treated properly. When the infection leaves the tonsil and spreads to the surrounding tissue, pus may accumulate near one of the tonsils. You can see the abscess at the back of your throat, but not the abscess hidden behind one of your tonsils.

Although the symptoms are more severe, they are usually similar to tonsillitis and include:

  • Throat ache
  • Tender and swollen lymph nodes in the throat and jaw
  • Earache
  • Infection in one or both tonsils
  • Difficulty opening the mouth completely
  • difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty swallowing saliva
  • face or neck swelling
  • Difficulty turning the head from side to side
  • Difficulty tilting the head down
  • Difficulty raising the head
  • Headache
  • a muffled sound
  • fever or chills
  • bad breath

To smoke

Smoking and being a secondhand smoker can cause a sore throat that doesn’t go away, along with worsening asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and more. Even mild exposure to the toxins in cigarette smoke can cause some sore throat. The harms of smoking are not limited to these, but another harm is laryngeal cancer, which causes severe and persistent sore throat.

When should you see a doctor?

If your sore throat lasts longer than two days, it is recommended that you see your doctor for an examination. Causes of persistent sore throat are easily diagnosed and most are easily treated. However, it is recommended to seek medical help without delay in the following cases:

  • Severe pain that interferes with eating, talking, or sleeping
  • High fever over 38 degrees
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • Trouble turning head
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Treatment for persistent sore throat

If you have a persistent sore throat that is not due to an infection, it is possible to treat your symptoms at home. To try to relieve the symptoms of persistent sore throat, you can do the following:

  • Suck on a lozenge or a piece of hard candy.
  • For lots of water.
  • Eat ice cream or crushed ice.
  • Use a humidifier if the air in your home is dry.
  • Treat yourself to a steam treatment (breathing steam from a bowl of hot water or a shower).
  • Sip hot water or tea.
  • Drink warm tea or water by adding honey and lemon.
  • Sip water with a small amount of diluted apple cider vinegar.
  • Consult your pharmacist or doctor and take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as cetaminophen, ibuprofen , or naproxen.
  • Gargle with salt water.
  • Avoid things that cause allergies
  • Take allergy or cold medicine, consulting your pharmacist or doctor.

In some cases, your doctor will need to intervene with treatment solutions such as:

  • If your sore throat is caused by acid reflux, your doctor may prescribe antacid medications to relieve your symptoms.
  • If seasonal allergies are causing a sore throat that doesn’t go away, your doctor may prescribe you a prescription allergy medicine, allergy shot, or nasal spray.
  • For tonsillitis, your doctor may prescribe a course of antibiotics to treat the infection.
  • If you have mononucleosis, your doctor may prescribe steroid medication to relieve the swelling and pain of an infection.

For more serious conditions, such as an advanced infection or throat abscess, you may need to be hospitalized to receive antibiotics through a vein. In some cases, tonsil abscess requires surgery. Chronically swollen tonsils that disrupt breathing or sleep may need to be surgically removed.

As a result

Most of the time, sore throat that doesn’t go away can go away on its own within a few days to a week, depending on its cause and treatment. Some throat infection symptoms can persist for up to seven days, even with treatment. Mononucleosis patients may experience a sore throat for up to two months. If you need surgery to treat a throat abscess, you should also keep in mind that you will feel a little more pain in your throat during the recovery period.

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