Inflammation of the throat is called pharyngitis, which is actually more of a symptom than a disease and can cause a scratchy throat and difficulty swallowing. People commonly refer to this condition as sore throat. Pharyngitis is one of the most common reasons people visit the doctor and need to stay at home and rest. Usually occurring in autumn and winter, the most important part of treating this disease is identifying the cause and fixing it. We will share with you information about pharyngitis, its symptoms, causes, and treatments in this article.
Pharyngitis: what causes it?
1. Infections caused by viruses
Viral infections are often the cause of sore throats. Examples of these infections include:
hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD);
Recovery from pharyngitis disease usually takes between seven and ten days, depending on the type of virus involved. Symptoms may persist for several months before they completely disappear.
Viral pharyngitis cannot be treated with antibiotics, and treatment focuses only on symptom relief. Due to antibiotic resistance and other complications, excessive use of antibiotics should be avoided.
2. Tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils)
Tonsils are two small masses of soft tissue located on either side of the back of the throat. By harboring bacteria and viruses, tonsils become infected with tonsillitis. Pharyngitis may result from tonsillitis, which can cause throat inflammation.
Pharyngitis is caused by inflammation of the tonsils
3. Bacterial infections
Bacterial infections are less likely to cause pharyngitis. Group A streptococcus is the most common cause of bacterial sore throats. This type of pharyngitis is characterized by fever, throat redness, and swelling of the tonsils. The following are less common causes of bacterial sore throats:
Antibiotics are required to treat bacterial pharyngitis, unlike viral infections.
Exposure to sensitizing substances (allergens) such as pollen, dust mites, and pets causes congestion and congestion of the nose and sinuses. Sore throats caused by allergies are caused by this congestion and filling of the sinuses. Allergies cause throat irritation and itchy pain.
5. Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
Heartburn is the most common name for this disease. Acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus during gastro reflux. Acid reflux can cause hoarseness and sore throats if it passes through the esophagus and enters the throat and larynx.
6. Excessive use of throat or throat irritants
The throat can be irritated by yelling and screaming, singing inappropriately, consuming spicy foods and hot liquids, and smoking.
Symptoms of pharyngitis include:
After the virus or bacteria enters the body, symptoms usually appear within 2 to 5 days. The incubation period lasts during this time. Pharyngitis is characterized by a sore throat, and other symptoms depend on the cause.
1. Symptoms of viral pharyngitis:
2. Symptoms of pharyngitis caused by mononucleosis:
swelling of the lymph nodes;
loss of appetite;
3. Symptoms of bacterial pharyngitis:
Redness of the throat with white or gray spots in the throat area (depending on the type of bacteria);
swelling of the lymph nodes;
loss of appetite;
unusual taste in the mouth;
Can pharyngitis be contagious for a long period of time?
There is also a wide variation in the length of the contagious period of pharyngitis based on the underlying factors:
It is contagious to have viral pharyngitis as long as there is a fever present.
Bacterial pharyngitis, such as strep throat, is contagious from the moment the symptoms first appear until one day after the symptoms have resolved without the use of antibiotics.
Diagnosis of pharyngitis:
1. Physical examination:
During the physical examination, the doctor examines the patient’s throat, ears, and nose, as well as touching the sides of the neck to check for swollen lymph nodes.
2. Culture of a throat sample
The doctor performs a throat culture when he suspects a streptococcal sore throat based on the physical examination and the history of the patient. In this method of testing, a cotton swab (a device similar to a long ear cleaner) is used to collect samples from throat secretions. This sample is then sent to the laboratory for culture, or via the rapid strep test (rapid strep test), the result is determined in the doctor’s office within a few minutes.
3. An examination of the blood is required.
A doctor may suspect that pharyngitis may have another cause, and may ask for a blood test in order to confirm that it is not caused by a virus. Blood tests can be used to diagnose mononucleosis or other infections.
1. Sore throat home remedies:
Following some tips will improve all types of pharyngitis, including sore throat, regardless of the cause:
Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration;
Hot tea with lemon juice is a traditional drink;
Dietary inclusion of broth;
Using warm salt water to gargle (1 teaspoon of salt in 1 glass of warm water);
To prevent dry throats, use a humidifier to humidify the air in the room before going to sleep;
Sleep at least 8 hours a night until symptoms disappear;
The use of over-the-counter pain relievers and painkillers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen;
Use throat lozenges or lozenges to relieve a sore throat (do not use these items for children under 2 years of age, as they can suffocate);
To reduce pain, use a throat numbing spray.
Here are some tips for taking over-the-counter medications:
All chemical drugs have side effects, so don’t take too much of them.
Children should never take aspirin for pharyngitis symptoms, because it may cause Reye’s syndrome.
Children under 4 should not be given cough and cold medicines without consulting their doctor first.
Using alternative or complementary medicines can sometimes improve the symptoms of pharyngitis, but consult your doctor before taking them to prevent complications. Among these medicinal plants are:
Slippery elm plant.
2. Treatments based on the cause of pharyngitis:
1. Bacterial pharyngitis treatment:
Drug treatment is necessary for bacterial pharyngitis. A doctor will prescribe antibiotics if the strep throat culture is positive. Streptococcal pharyngitis can be treated with penicillin and clindamycin, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Even if the patient feels better after taking antibiotics for a few days, the antibiotic course must be completed. In this case, antibiotic resistance is more likely to occur, thus increasing the likelihood of disease recurrence. Usually, this period lasts between seven and ten days.
2. Treatment of viral pharyngitis:
Viral respiratory infections are the most common cause of sore throats. The doctor will give the patient tips to improve the symptoms, which are the same tips mentioned in the home remedies section. Due to the fact that antibiotics have no effect on viral infections, antibiotics have no role in the treatment of this type of disease.
3. Allergy-induced sore throat treatment:
To relieve nasal congestion that causes discharge from the back of the throat, antihistamine (antiallergic) drugs can be used without a prescription.
4. Gastroesophageal reflux-induced sore throat:
The cause of this sore throat must be addressed in order to treat it. Over-the-counter medications that reduce stomach acid and lifestyle changes are used to treat gastroesophageal reflux. Consider these points:
Placing the head higher and sleeping on the left side;
Overeating should be avoided;
Before going to bed, avoid eating for about 3 hours.
See your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after following these tips and taking antacids.
5. Sore throat caused by excessive throat use:
Resting the voice, talking and singing less, drinking tea and other teas, and avoiding stimulants such as cigarettes and spicy foods can help relieve sore throats.
Pharyngitis can be prevented by maintaining good hygiene. Here are a few tips to prevent pharyngitis:
Avoiding common dishes when eating and drinking;
Keeping sick people away from you;
Before eating and after coughing or sneezing, wash your hands;
Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if soap and water are not available; wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
Smoking should be avoided.