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Cough and Sore Throat – Causes and Symptoms of Cough and Sore Throat

Cough and sore throat are the most common ailments and it occurs as a result of irritation of the nerves in the pharynx, larynx and trachea. This can alienate your family and coworkers, ruin your sleep and makes you frustrated and angry. These can be painful and annoying and most of them are the symptoms of several illness like whooping cough, bronchiolitis, pneumonia or laryngotraceitis.

Causes of Cough and Sore Throat

Cough
A cough begins when an irritant stimulates the nerves in the respiratory tract, but cough that persists for a prolonged period is a result of any underlying problem. They include:

  • Postnasal drip: Every day glands in the sinuses, nose and throat produce mucus that moisturizes the nasal passages and people swallow this fluid without knowing it. This excess mucus can cause irritation and inflammation that can trigger cough.
  • Asthma: This is a common cause of chronic cough is asthma. When a person suffering from asthma gets exposed to cold air, certain chemicals and fragrances, then you may suffer from cough.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease: In this condition, stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. This irritation in the esophagus, throat and even the lungs can lead to chronic cough.
  • Respiratory tract infection: Upper respiratory tract infections like cold flu and pneumonia can cause severe cough.
  • Blood pressure drugs: Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors that can be prescribed for high blood pressure are known to cause chronic cough.
  • Chronic Bronchitis: When your bronchial tubes get inflamed for a long period of time, this causes congestion, wheezing, breathlessness and a cough that brings up discolored sputum.
  • Bronchiectasis: This is an abnormal widening of the bronchial tubes and the symptoms include cough.
  • Lung cancer: If you suffer from lung cancer, then one of the symptom is severe cough.

Sore throat
The various causes of sore throat include:

Viral infections
Many sore throats are caused by a viral illness like:

  • Common cold
  • Infection of the voice box
  • Other viral infections like mumps, herpanginia or influenza

Bacterial Infections
Various bacterial infections that can cause a sore throat include:

  • An infection of the tonsils
  • Inflammation of the epiglottis
  • Inflammation of the uvula

Irritants and Injuries
Sore throat that lasts longer than a week is often caused by irritants or an injury. They include:

  • Throat irritation due to smoking, pollution or postnasal drip
  • Allergic reactions
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Injury to the back of the throat
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of Cough and Sore throat include:

  • Severe cough
  • Heart burn or a sour taste in the mouth
  • A sensation of liquid running down the back of the throat
  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • Severe pain in the throat
  • Irritation of the throat
  • Fever
  • Difficulty in swallowing food
  • Stuffy nose
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Tongue turns dark and red spots appear
  • Bad breath
  • Noisy breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Phlegm
  • Drooling of saliva
  • Harsh and rapid breathing
  • Swollen, tender lymph nodes
  • A dry and a scratchy throat
  • Soreness while swallowing or talking
  • Loss of appetite
  • Achy body
  • Tiny white or yellow spots on the back of the throat

When to consult your doctor
When you find the above symptoms, consult your doctor immediately before your condition gets complicated.

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