A sore throat is a common ailment in which there is swelling or irritation in the back of your throat, between your tonsils and voice box. Often you will feel a painful, dry, or scratchy feeling in the throat. Most sore throats are caused by infections, or by environmental factors like dry air. Although a sore throat can be uncomfortable, it’ll usually go away on its own. Sore throats that are caused by a viral infection usually get better on their own in two to seven days. See a doctor for severe symptoms like trouble swallowing or breathing, a stiff neck, or a high fever.