2 Possible Causes Of A Pesky Chronic Sore Throat

Every morning for the last two weeks, you have woken up with a painful sore throat.  You simply can't seem to find the reason for your current predicament.  If you're struggling to determine the source of a chronic sore throat, you should consider the following 2 possible causes.


Everyone is born with a set of tonsils.  These two accumulations of tissue are located in the rear of your throat.  They serve as traps for harmful germs.  By blocking germs from entering your respiratory center, tonsils can prevent you from getting an infection.

In addition to blocking germs, tonsils also make antibodies that function to battle an existing infection.  Unfortunately, these important assets are not impenetrable.  They can become infected themselves when invaded by certain types of viruses or bacteria. 

When tonsils become infected, the resulting illness is referred to as tonsillitis.  While this condition is common in kids, adults can suffer from it as well.  In some people, the problem can become chronic.  The symptoms of tonsillitis include:

  • Painful throat

  • Hoarseness

  • Complete loss of voice

  • Swollen jaw or neck glands

  • Problematic swallowing

  • Fever

  • Red tonsils

  • Yellow or white patches on the tonsils

  • Headache

  • Tender ulcers on the throat

When a patient is diagnosed with tonsillitis, a doctor usually prescribes a round of antibiotics to cure the infection.  When a person's condition is severe or recurs frequently, an ear, nose, and throat specialist will often recommend a tonsillectomy.  During this relatively simple surgery, your tonsils will be removed.

While tonsillectomies have traditionally been performed using a scalpel, surgeons are increasingly utilizing less invasive measures such as:

  • Ultrasonic energy

  • Lasers

  • Radio waves


Besides tonsillitis, another possible cause of chronic sore throat is mononucleosis.  This debilitating condition is sometimes referred to as "kissing disease" because it can be spread from one person to another person through saliva.  However, like a common cold, this infection can also be spread among people by sneezing and coughing. 

Sometimes, physicians mistakenly believe mononucleosis patients have strep throat.  When this occurs, the patient is often prescribed a round of antibiotics.  Sadly, this common treatment for strep throat doesn't usually cure mononucleosis.

In addition to presenting the typical sore throat associated with strep throat, mononucleosis patients also may exhibit symptoms such as:

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Fatigue

  • A swollen tender spleen

  • A bothersome skin rash

  • Swollen armpit lymph nodes

  • Swollen neck lymph nodes

  • Swollen tonsils

The troubling symptoms of mononucleosis can last from 4-6 weeks.  Unfortunately, no known medical cure exists for this disorder.  Physicians usually advise patients with this problem to rest for several days while consuming vast amounts of fluids. 

Dealing with a sore throat for an extended period of time can wear down your nerves.  If you are battling this irritating condition, you might be suffering from tonsillitis or mononucleosis.  To get to the root of your problem, make an appointment with a trusted local ear, nose, and throat doctor today.