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Pharyngitis

Pharyngitis is a throat pain. The most important sign of pharyngitis is the inflammation of the pharynx or throat that is known as sore throat. However, the words pharyngitis and sore throat are commonly used alternatively. The pain of the throat often gets worse when the patient swallows. The most familiar reason of pharyngitis is a viral infection, such as a chill or the grippe. Pharyngitis caused by a viral infection normally needs recovery time on its own with at-home care. The signs and symptoms of sore throat are: Throat pain, scratchy sound, irritable throat, dry pharynx, swallowing difficulty, neck pain, and chin ache, swelling both in salivary glands and glandula parotis, swollen tonsils, quinsy, loss of appetite, scratchy sensation in the pharynx as talking or swallowing. In addition to those, having a sore throat may cause: Having a runny nose, fever with chills, headache, dry cough, nasal flow, earache, skin rash, continual sneezing and coughing, unusual drooling, difficulty in opening the mouth, being unable to breathe, muscle and joint pain, feeling of severe nausea and vomiting. In general, viruses occasioned viral infections cause sore throats. Rarely, pharyngitis or throat pain is due to bacterial infections. What are the viral infections that may result in sore throat? Viral diseases may be: Common cold, influenza, flu, grippe, mononucleosis syndromes, croup, complications of measles, chickenpox. Then, what are the bacterial infections that may end up sore throat? Bacterial disease may be: Strep throat, whooping-cough and diphtheria. Are there any other causes of sore throat? Yes! Allergies, indoor air dryness, outdoor air irritants, muscle strain in throat, gastroesophageal reflux disease in short GERD, HIV infections and cancerous tumors may be the reason of a throat pain. Even though anybody may have a sore pain from time to time, there are several risk factors make a person more susceptible of pharyngitis.

In what aspects a person can be a candidate of sore throat? The most important risk factor is age group composition. It is most common to have sore throat in childhood and youth. Smokers and passive smokers are under a great deal of risk of having throat pain because tobacco irritates the throat. Persons who have allergic reactions such as seasonal allergy, dust allergy, mold allergy and pet dander allergy are more likely to have a pharyngitis rather than non-allergic ones. Besides, chemical irritants may cause throat pain and irritation. Complication of chronic sinusitis increases the risk of throat pain because post-nasal drainage may irritate the pharynx or may be the reservoir of infection. Individuals who live and work in closed area or indoor space are prone to viral and bacterial infections. These areas may be offices, schools, classrooms, prisons, public transport vehicles, crèches etc. People with lowered immunity are more likely in danger of throat pain. Who are those? Those are stress puppies, diabetics, patients infected with HIV, cancer patients under chemotherapy treatment. Pharyngitis or sore throat treatment is the same both for children or adults. The specialist or otolaryngologist does an ear-nose-throat examination with a lighted instrument. Besides, he/she listens to patient’s breathing with the help of a stethoscope and palpates and checks swollen glands. In order to diagnose the doctor gets a sample of secretions known as throat swab for lab tests. If throat swab test result is not satisfying then the otolaryngologist may ask for allergy tests or complete blood cell count in short CBC. If it is a sore throat caused by viral infection there is no need for medical treatment. If throat pain is caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotic treatment and antibiotic therapy will help sore throat to recover.

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