Sore throat is defined asÂ discomfort or a feeling of irritation in the neck that gets worse most times whenÂ swallowing. Pain is the main symptom seen in pharyngitis (inflammation of the pharynx or throat). Often, the terms of pharyngitis and sore throat are used interchangeably.Â Sore throatÂ is oftenÂ caused by a viral infection, flu or cold.Â A sore throatÂ triggered by a virus can self-heal with home care, however, if it is triggered by a bacterial infection,Â the sore throat mayÂ require antibiotic treatment. There may be other reasons for neck pain that may require complex care regimens.
Sore Throat Symptoms
Symptoms of a sore throat varies, depending on the cause. These may include:
- Discomfort or feeling of irritation orÂ scratchÂ in the throat
- Pain that worsens during swallowing or speech
- Difficulty whenÂ swallowing
- Sensation ofÂ dry throat
- Inflamed or painful glands
- Swelling and redness of the tonsils
- White spots or pus present inÂ on the throat andÂ tonsils
- Thick speech
- Pain when eating and eating refusalÂ (especially seen in infants and young children).
Sore Throat Causes
- Infectious mononucleosis
- Larynx cancer
- Cancer of the mouth
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Strep throat
Other causes of sore throat:
- Bacterial infection
- Chemical irritation (tear gas, smoke).
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Dry Air
- DiverseÂ viral infections
Sore ThroatÂ Treatment
What treatments can be applied to eliminate theÂ neck pain? Antibiotics for viral infections, proved ineffectiveÂ are not recommended. Symptoms in this case will begin to disappear when the body triggers its self-defense system, usually 7-10 daysÂ will passÂ untilÂ recovery. To relieve sore throat painÂ and problems thatÂ it causes the followingÂ are recommended:
- AntipireticÂ drugs (that fight fever)Â – acetaminophen – Tylenol, ibuprofen, novocalmin.Â Children under 12 can not be given aspirin (high chances to develop Reyes syndrome)
- Gargle with warm water and salt (1 / 4 teaspoon of salt dissolved in one cup water).
- Adults and older children can use candy to relieve theÂ burning sensation in the throat (eg Halls).
- High consumption ofÂ warm or cold liquids (avoid hot foods and liquids, asÂ theyÂ can be able to irritate the throat worse), easily digestible foods and as more fluids.
If theÂ sore throatÂ is caused byÂ a bacterial infection yourÂ doctor will prescribe antibiotics – penicillin treatment for 10 days (later research showed that treatmentÂ for 5-7 days does not give positive results, there is a risk of complications and unwantedÂ re-infection).
In case of allergy toÂ penicillin erythromycinÂ is prescribed. Although improvement occurs in the first days of antibiotic treatmentÂ it is very important to completely finish the treatment in order to prevent rheumatic fever. Approximately 15% of patients relapse and a second course of antibiotics are needed.Â Strep throat (streptococcalÂ pharyngitis)Â is contagious andÂ patient should be isolated. Children can return to school ifÂ feverÂ was not presentÂ in the last 24 hoursÂ and had at least 2 days of antibiotic treatment.
If theÂ sore throat isÂ caused by different types ofÂ bacteria, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to destroy the bacterial flora.Â Any antibioticÂ has to be followed untilÂ the end to prevent reinfection and complications. In the case of infectious mononucleosisÂ your doctor will recommend avoiding long and heavy physical activity. Symptoms can lastÂ in some casesÂ more than 4 weeks.