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Learn about your sore/ulcer in the throat, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your sore/ulcer in the throat from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Sore / Ulcer in the Throat Checker

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Your Sore / Ulcer in the Throat May Also be Known as:
Apthous ulcer
Canker sore
Canker sore in the back of the throat
Throat canker sore
Throat ulcer

Top 10 Sore / Ulcer in the Throat Causes

  1. 1.Viral Infection of the Larynx (Voice Box)

    Acute laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box (larynx) due to infection.The vocal cords are located inside the larynx. Normally, the vocal cords open and close freely, but in laryngitis, they become inflamed. This swelling causes distortion of the sounds produced by air passing over them, making one's resulting voice sound hoarse.

    You can safely treat this medical condition by yourself, as it is likely a viral infection. Home remedies such as gargling with salt water and staying hydrated will likely be enough to restore a lost voice.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    sore throat, fever, runny nose, dry cough, hoarse voice
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  2. 2.Strep Throat Requiring Throat Swab

    Strep throat is a bacterial throat infection that can make the throat feel sore and scratchy. Only a small portion of sore throats are the result of strep throat. And, if you do not show enough signs of a true strep throat, testing may be needed before treatment is begun.

    You should visit your primary care physician within the next 24 hours, where a diagnosis can be made via a "rapid antigen test" (it's a throat swab). Treatment with simple antibiotics would be given only if the test is positive. It is important to get treatment, however, because of the possibility of getting a disease called "rheumatic fever" after the strep throat infection.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, nausea, sore throat, fever, rash
    Symptoms that always occur with strep throat requiring throat swab:
    sore throat
    Symptoms that never occur with strep throat requiring throat swab:
    general weakness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Common Cold

    The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract.

    The common cold is treated symptomatically. Since this is a viral infection, antibiotics are not effective. You can safely treat the symptoms of this condition with over-the-counter pain relievers, decongestants, antihistamines & cough medicines.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, cough, sore throat, congestion
    Symptoms that never occur with common cold:
    being severely ill, severe muscle aches, rash, severe headache
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  4. 4.Normal Congestion and Runny Nose

    A stuffy or congested nose occurs when the tissues lining it become swollen. The swelling is due to inflamed blood vessels.The problem may also include nasal discharge or "runny nose." If excess mucus runs down the back of your throat (postnasal drip), it may cause a cough or sore throat.

    Your runny nose and congestion looks like a variation of normal, which doesn't require any treatment, for now.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    congestion, runny nose, clear runny nose
    Symptoms that never occur with normal congestion and runny nose:
    fever, new headache, severe congestion
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch
  5. 5.Canker Sore

    Canker sores are small, grayish-white sores in the mouth, often on the inside of the cheeks, lips, and on the tongue. No one really knows why canker sores happen, but it seems to be inherited and susceptible to vitamin deficiencies and allergies.

    You can safely treat this condition on your own using Chlorhexidine mouth washes (Peridex or Periogard) or steroid medications (Orabase, Betnesol, or Ovar).

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    painful mouth sore, numerous mouth sores, mouth sore surrounded by a red area, single mouth sore, oral ulcer
    Symptoms that always occur with canker sore:
    painful mouth sore
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

    Sore / Ulcer in the Throat Checker

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  6. 6.Acid Reflux Disease (Gerd)

    Acid reflux disease, also known as GERD, occurs when the acidic contents of the stomach come back up into the esophagus. The most common symptoms are heartburn and regurgitation.

    You should visit your primary care physician if you get heartburn regularly. The doctor may be able to prescribe medications such as proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers to reduce the acidity of the stomach. Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and spicy food may help reduce heartburn as well.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, sore throat, cough with dry or watery sputum, pain below the ribs, deep chest pain, behind the breast bone
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Viral Pneumonia

    Viral pneumonia is inflammation (irritation and swelling) of the lungs due to infection with a virus. Community-acquired pneumonia is the most common type, which is usually acquired in public areas such as at work, school, or grocery store.

    You should see a care provider to be treated and for evaluation of severity of your symptoms. Viral pneumonia is NOT treated with antibiotics, and you may find over-the-counter medications for pain and fever to be helpful.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, cough, shortness of breath, loss of appetite
    Symptoms that never occur with viral pneumonia:
    unexplained bruising
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Valley Fever

    Coccidiodomycosis is an infection of the lung caused by a fungus found in the Southwestern part of the US, Northwestern part of Mexico, and some areas of South America. It is also known as Valley Fever.

    You should visit your primary care physician within the next 24 hours as the severity of Valley Fever varies. It can be diagnosed through testing and a treatment plan involving antifungal medication can be initiated.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, muscle aches, shortness of breath
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Lyme Disease

    Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bite of a tick, which needs to latch on for a few days to transmit the bacteria. This infection can affect the skin, but more dangerously, the nervous system.

    You should see your doctor in the next few days to discuss symptoms and get treatment.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, muscle aches, irritability, loss of appetite
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  10. 10.Viral Throat Infection

    Viral pharyngitis is an inflammation of the pharynx, the part of the throat between the nasal cavity and mouth, which causes throat pain.

    Antibiotics are not useful for viral infections. You can gargle with salt water and use over the counter pain medication like Tylenol to treat your painful or sore throat.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    sore throat, cough, congestion, fever, hoarse voice
    Symptoms that always occur with viral throat infection:
    sore throat
    Symptoms that never occur with viral throat infection:
    being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Sore / Ulcer in the Throat

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Do you have a rash?
  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Q.Do you have a cough?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our sore/ulcer in the throat symptom checker.

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Sore / Ulcer in the Throat Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced sore/ulcer in the throat have also experienced:

    • 10% Mouth Lesions
    • 7% Fatigue
    • 6% Sore Throat
  • People who have experienced sore/ulcer in the throat were most often matched with:

    • 17% Viral Infection of the Larynx (Voice Box)
    • 14% Strep Throat Requiring Throat Swab
    • 7% Common Cold

Sore / Ulcer in the Throat Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having sore/ulcer in the throat.

Take a quiz