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Sore throat - What are the symptoms of a sore throat?

BMJ Group Medical Reference

A sore throat generally causes pain in the part of the throat that you can see when you open your mouth wide: around the tonsils and the back of your throat.

The main symptoms are:[3]

  • A painful, itchy, or scratchy throat, especially when you swallow

  • Redness in your throat

  • White patches on your tonsils (your tonsils are small glands at either side of your throat)

  • A temperature

  • A headache.

Children who have a throat infection may not complain of a sore throat. Instead, they may say they have a tummy ache.[4] They may also feel sick and vomit.[4]

Most sore throats aren't serious. But you should call your doctor if you or your child has:[4]

  • A lot of difficulty swallowing or breathing

  • A temperature of more than 38.3°C (101°F)

  • Very tender or swollen lymph glands in the neck

  • Severe pain in the sinuses (sinuses are pockets of air in your cheek bones, in the bones between your eyes, and in your forehead)

  • A cough that produces mucus.


lymph nodes

Lymph nodes (also called lymph glands) are small, bean-shaped lumps that you can't usually see or feel easily. You have them in various parts of your body, such as your neck, armpits, and groin. Lymph nodes filter lymph and remove unwanted things from your body, such as bacteria and cancer cells.

For more terms related to Sore throat


For references related to Sore throat click here.
Last Updated: December 03, 2010
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.
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