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Do you have a sore throat and headache?

Figuring out exactly what you have is hard because there are so many conditions that can cause these symptoms.  Actually, pretty much anything that causes a sore throat can cause a headache!

Here are the most common things it may be.

Strep Throat:

This condition happens when bacteria infect your throat and set up shop.  The responding immune response, when your body decides to get rid of them, can cause inflammation and swelling – a sore throat.

It can also cause fever and a headache.


Tonsillitis is similar to strep throat.  It is also caused by an invasion of your throat, specifically the tonsil region, by bacteria or viruses.  It is most often found in children.

This condition can sometimes require the removal of the tonsils, which are almond shaped regions in the back of your throat, and also causes a sore throat and headache.

Sinus Infection:

A sinus infection occurs when your sinuses become infected and causes resulting swelling and inflammation.  This can be extremely aggravating and cause bad headaches.  Although not so common, it can also indirectly cause a sore throat.


This disease, sometimes referred to as just “mono,” is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus and involves general invasion and inflammation of lymph nodes.  It can cause, among other things, extreme exhaustion, sore throat, and chills.

It is most common in older teenagers but can infect pretty much anyone.


An influenza infection is a nasty but typically brief affair.  Symptoms can include extreme exhaustion, coughing, sore throat, and generally feeling horrible.

There is no real cure for the flu beyond rest.  Thankfully, while intense, infection is typically mild and lets up a week or two afterwards.


An allergic reaction, when your body responds violently to something it shouldn’t, can cause a sore throat and headache.  It’s important to note that the other common causes listed here are typically caused by infectious agents, while an allergy is not so.

This may mean that with an allergic reaction you experience less overall exhaustion and less symptoms beyond the immediate problem.

Other conditions:

Measles, cold, chickenpox, dengue fever, dust allergy, mumps, rubella, sleep apnea, throat cancer.

This is not a comprehensive list; rather, it highlights just how many different things can cause these two symptoms.  As always, remember that if you are especially confused or worried about your health – call or visit your doctor!