Sore throat

A sore throat is also known as pharyngitis. In most cases, this can be caused by an underlying condition such as the flu or strep throat.

A sore throat can be caused by a virus or bacteria when breathing through the mouth or being exposed to a variety of irritants. If another condition is causing the sore throat, the glands that are near the throat will appear swollen and cause difficulty in swallowing and a certain degree of discomfort.

Symptoms

  • Dryness
  • Pain while breathing, talking and swallowing
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Development of rashes
  • Runny nose
  • Cough and fever
  • Inflammation of the tonsils and pharynx which is located behind the nasal cavity and the mouth

 

Causes

  • The viruses that causes the common cold, mononucleosis and influenza can also cause sore throat
  • Bacterial infections such as strep throat can cause sore throat
  • Allergies, dry air, pollution, tumors and HIV infections can also cause sore throat.

Treatment

·         The individual should be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids to help keep the throat moist. It is also recommended to sip on warm soup, tea, water and fruit juices. Another way is adding honey and lemon to a glass of warm water or a cup of tea. This helps in lubricating the throat and lessens the amount of mucus found in the throat. Sucking on cough drops or hard candy coats the throat and promotes increased production of saliva.
·         Run a humidifier or vaporizer to moisturize the throat and nasal passages. Just make sure to clean the humidifier regularly in order to minimize the growth of harmful molds and bacteria.
·         Avoid being exposed to irritants such as cigarette smoke, fumes of cleaning products and other pollutant which causes severe irritation of the already sore throat.
·         Instruct the individual to gargle on a salt water solution by mixing ½ teaspoon of salt to a glass with warm water. Take note not to swallow the solution. Gargling helps in removing excess mucus found in the throat for added relief.
·         A sore throat caused by virus usually heals in about 10 days, but if it is caused by mononucleosis, it can last for about 4 weeks.

Tips

·         The occurrence of sore throat can be minimized by frequent washing of the hands.
·         Avoid sharing of personal items such as utensils to others.
·         Disinfecting regularly various objects such as door handles and telephones as well as avoid direct contact with sick people.
·         Staying indoors on days where the pollution level is high
·         Install a humidifier inside the house
Always bear in mind that a sore throat can develop anytime and can be managed with simple measures. On the other hand, if the sore throat is accompanied by fever higher than 101 degrees F, presence of pus found at the back of the throat, red rashes, difficulty breathing and swallowing and the lymph glands are swollen and tender, it is vital to seek immediate medical help.

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