Cold Home > Sore Throat Causes
Viruses and bacteria are the two most common causes of an infectious sore throat. These infections may also lead to strep throat, sinus infections, or other respiratory infections. Other possible (noninfectious) causes of a sore throat include allergies, smoking, or dehydration.
What Causes a Sore Throat?A sore throat is a very common problem seen by healthcare providers. There are a variety of situations that can cause a sore throat. Oftentimes, these reasons are separated into infectious and noninfectious causes.
Infectious CausesHealthcare providers call a sore throat that is the result of an infection "acute infectious pharyngitis." All sorts of different organisms can cause a sore throat. The two most common are viruses and bacteria.
Viral Sore ThroatMore than half of all sore throats are caused by viruses (known medically as viral pharyngitis). They are often the same viruses that cause the common cold, flu, a sinus infection (sinusitis), or other upper respiratory tract infections.
- Herpes simplex virus (cold sore virus)
- Parainfluenza virus
- Influenza virus (the flu virus).