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Chronic sore throat. On amoxicillin. Strep test, mono, WBC normal. History of sleep apnea, GERD. Causes for sore throat?

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Practicing since : 2005
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I'm 43, male, and I've had a sore throat for almost a month with pain radiating through the neck and sometimes in my ears. Got better taking Amoxicillin after 3 or 4 days, but then the sore throat returned. I was then prescribed Nystatin, but that hasn't helped either. I've tested negative for both strep and mono and my white cell count is normal. Now I'm beginning to worry that I might have throat cancer, as I am a smoker (trying to quit). I have an appointment with an ENT in January, but I'm getting really anxious and can't sleep at night. I've been taking Fexofenedine and using Flonase as prescribed by my doctor for 2 days, but still have some drainage. Additionally, I have GERD, but I take Prevacid 2x daily and I don't have any noticeable problems. Also, I wear a CPAP as I have sleep apnea. While I realize that I have 3 possible things that could contribute to the long-term sore throat, I seem to be fixated on the possibility of cancer. How worried should I be?
Posted Fri, 20 Apr 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Radhika 1 hour later
Thanks for the query.

You have provided me with good information.However, as I believe the more information a person gives the better is the doctor's reply, please do not mind in answering the following:

1. Since how long are you smoking and how many cigarretes per day?
2. Since how long do you use CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)?

You have sore throat for a month with pain radiating to your neck and throat and ears. You are also a smoker, use CPAP, have Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD).

Most sore throats are caused by viruses that cause the common cold and flu (influenza). Less often, sore throats are due to bacterial infections. Sometimes Allergies to pet dander, molds, dust and pollen can cause a sore throat.

GERD is a digestive system disorder in which stomach acids or other contents of the stomach back up in the food pipe (esophagus) and sometimes in throat. This can cause irritation in the throat due to low pH of acid. You have been given the right medication for this continue with it. Along with reduce spicy and oily food. Reduce tea, coffee, alcohol and smoking. Have your dinner 2 hrs before sleeping.

Anyone who breathes through the mouth while sleeping may have sore throat while using CPAP. Talk to your sleep specialist so they can properly address it. These tips may help relieve throat irritation caused by CPAP:

1. Using a humidifier, either cold passover or heated, usually solves this problem by moistening the air entering your airway.
2. Using a chin strap with your nasal mask will keep your mouth closed while you sleep.

Outdoor air pollution can cause ongoing throat irritation. Indoor pollution — tobacco smoke or chemicals -also can cause chronic sore throat. Chewing tobacco, alcohol and spicy foods also can irritate your throat. Smoking can also cause sore throat.

Cancerous tumors of the throat, tongue or voice box (larynx) even though a distant possibility can cause a sore throat. Other signs or symptoms may include hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, noisy breathing, a lump in the neck, and blood in saliva or phlegm. Do not worry, as you do not have these symptoms.

It is better get examined by an ENT specialist, so that appropriate treatment can be taken. Also try to follow some of the above measures, it will help you.

I hope, I have answered your query. Please accept my answer if you have no further queries.


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