Sore Throat (Pharyngitis)

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Overview

When your throat becomes itchy, inflamed, scratchy, unpleasant, or excessively dry, you have a sore throat. Infections or viruses, allergies or irritations, acid reflux, vocal cord overuse and strain, or simply sleeping with your mouth open for an extended period of time may all cause sore throats. The discomfort may become more intense as you swallow.

Inflammation of the pharynx, or back of the throat, causes sore throat. Pharyngitis may produce fever in addition to throat scratchiness and trouble swallowing. Other symptoms associated with pharyngitis include rashes, swollen lymph nodes, headache and muscle aches or joint pain.

During the colder months of the year, pharyngitis seems to be more common. It is essential to determine the reason for a sore throat in order to provide suitable treatment. Pharyngitis is a bacterial or viral inflammation of the throat.

For diagnosing pharyngitis, a physical examination and throat examination will be performed by the health-care professional. The throat culture may be used to rule out strep throat. In certain cases, depending on the suspected reason, further laboratory testing may be required.

Drinking warm beverages or utilizing throat lozenges, depending on the severity of the problem, may frequently help relieve the discomfort and irritation associated with a sore throat. A sore throat caused by a viral illness usually goes away on its own after a few days of rest and restorative therapy. A bacterial infection of the throat is referred to as “strep throat.” Antibiotics may be prescribed by the doctor to kill the bacteria.In certain circumstances, pharyngitis may need medical attention. This is particularly true when the disease is caused by a bacterial infection. To avoid the sickness recurring or worsening, it is essential that you complete the whole course of medications. The duration of a full treatment of these antibiotics is usually between 7 and 10 days.

Causes

Pharyngitis may be caused by a range of diseases and conditions. Some of the most prevalent causes of a sore or swollen throat are as follows:

Virus: A viral disease, such as the flu or the common cold, is the most frequent cause of sore throats, which may continue for many days. Viral sore throat may occur as a consequence of hand, foot, and mouth disease and mononucleosis. Depending on the virus that has been infected, symptoms normally go away on their own within a week to ten days.

Tonsillitis: It is an inflammatory illness that affects the little lumps of soft tissue at the back of the throat. It is a bacterial infection that causes the tonsils to become infected and inflamed. Bacteria and viruses may both cause tonsillitis.

Bacteria: Bacterial infection may lead to the occurrence of soreness in the back of the throat. The signs and symptoms of strep throat include a fever and red, swollen tonsils.Bacteria that cause pharyngitis usually dwell in the nasal passages and upper respiratory system. When an infected individual coughs or sneezes, little droplets of virus or bacteria are released into the air, spreading the infection.

Allergies: The throat may become dry and itchy as a consequence of an allergic response to pollen, dust mites, pets, or mold. Postnasal drip is the cause of a sore throat induced by allergies.

Acid reflux: It is a condition in which people with GERD experience burning and irritation in their throat. Heartburn occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest and throat.

Irritants: throat irritation occurs due to the substances that irritate the skin. Excessive use of the throat including yelling, screaming, singing without proper form, or talking too much without taking adequate rests may all create a sore or scratchy throat. Spicy foods, smoking, and hot drinks may induce throat discomfort and burning.

Dryness: If you sleep with the mouth open, you can wake up with a painful throat the following morning. You may be compelled to breathe via your mouth if your airways become congested as a consequence of a cold, flu, or allergies.

When to see a doctor

A painful throat infection, in most cases, does not indicate the presence of a dangerous ailment. You should consult a doctor if you have a sore throat that lasts longer than a few days. Your doctor will examine you and establish the source of the symptoms.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, see your doctor straight away:

·         Breathing or swallowing difficulties

·         Protrusion at the back of the neck

·         Drooling excessively

·         Blood in the saliva or phlegm

·         Throat ache

·         Extreme exhaustion

·         Weakness

·         Fever

·         Headache

·         Vomiting and nausea

·         Rashes that may appear anywhere on the body.

·         Body pains

·         Persistent cough

·         Ear pain