Is strep throat bad

Sore throat

Sore throat(Pharyngitis, throat catarrh, colloquially also sore throat): Acute inflammation of the pharynx with a sore throat and / or slight involvement of the tonsils.

Throat infections are especially common during the cold season. As a rule, they are an accompanying symptom of an infectious cold caused by viruses. A cold with a sore throat can occur at any age, but children are affected far more often than adults because their immune defenses are not yet fully developed.

A sore throat causes a sore throat in the patient, it is a side effect of many colds.
Prof. Dr. med. Gerhard Grevers, Starnberg

Leading complaints

  • Scratching, feeling sore or even painful in the throat (especially when swallowing)
  • Dry sensation in the throat and cough
  • Red throat
  • Possibly an earache
  • Depending on the cause of the disease, light to high fever is possible
  • Swollen lymph nodes around the jaw and neck.

When to the doctor

The next day at the latest at

  • Rapidly onset of high fever and feeling very sick.

The illness

Sore throat are usually a harmless complaint that recurs several times a year. Most of the time they occur in the context of a "banal" cold, in which the other upper respiratory tracts are also inflamed and therefore those affected suffer from a runny nose, cough and fatigue at the same time. If a sore throat is accompanied by a rapid onset of high fever and a strong feeling of illness, these are indications of angina (purulent tonsillitis) or a [virus] flu.

Diagnostic assurance

In the case of a high fever and a strong feeling of illness, the doctor looks for evidence of an underlying disease such as angina, glandular fever or flu in the mirror examination of the throat. For rapid tests for influenza or Epstein-Barr viruses, he may also take swabs from the throat and throat. If necessary, he will draw blood to check for signs of inflammation or to check blood counts.


If the sore throat is an accompanying symptom of influenza or a purulent tonsillitis, the focus is on treating the underlying disease. If the cause is bacterial, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics. In the case of a "banal" viral throat inflammation, lozenges and gargle applications from the pharmacy and, if necessary, antipyretic painkillers relieve the symptoms (see under "Your pharmacist recommends").


The uncomplicated inflammation of the throat caused by the virus usually heals within a few days.

Your pharmacy recommends

What you can do yourself

Gargling with sage or chamomile tea has a weaker effect, but it is an alternative if synthetically produced gargle solutions are not well tolerated.

Because of the difficulty swallowing, soft and pulpy foods (soups, mashed potatoes) are to be preferred. Children are always happy to have an ice cream, as the cold temporarily relieves pain.

Avoid additional throat irritation by refraining from smoking and very hot or spicy foods.

Appropriate medication

Throat tablets & gargles.

In the case of a harmless sore throat, the patient can resort to self-help: Preparations such as throat tablets, sprays or gargle solutions in the pharmacy help against painful swallowing problems. Let your pharmacist advise you on your choice. For example, some patients prefer lozenges that are easy to use numbing effect Are pain relievers (benzocaine or lidocaine). Numbing and disinfecting or antibacterial agents can be found e.g. B. in the Dolo-Dobendan® solution for gargling and in throat tablets such as Dorithricin® throat tablets, Neoangin @ or Locastad®. There are also lozenges containing hyaluronic acidthat put a protective film on irritated mucous membranes and thereby fight hoarseness and sore throat (xanthan, carbomer and hyaluronic acid in GeloRevoice®. Painkillers with a fever-lowering effect at the same time (e.g. paracetamol or ibuprofen) help with severe pain and high fever.

Further information

  • - Website of the University of Witten / Herdecke: You will find the associated medical guidelines under the heading sore throat.


Prof. Dr. med. Gerhard Grevers; Dr. Ute Koch; Thilo Machotta; Dr. med. Arne Schäffler in: Gesundheit heute, edited by Dr. med. Arne Schäffler. Trias, Stuttgart, 3rd edition (2014). Revision and update of the sections "Confirmation of diagnosis", "Treatment", "Prognosis" and "Your pharmacy recommends": Dr. med. Sonja Kempinski | last changed on at 11:31

Important note: This article has been written according to scientific standards and has been checked by medical professionals. The information communicated in this article can in no way replace professional advice in your pharmacy. The content cannot and must not be used to make independent diagnoses or to start therapy.