When the mucosa lining the pharynx becomes inflamed, what is known as pharyngitis develops . The most common symptoms of this disorder are: fever , pain when swallowing, and redness in the area . In the vast majority of cases it is caused by a viral or bacterial infection, and occurs especially in autumn and winter.
What is it?
Pharyngitis is characterized by inflammation of the pharynx due to a bacterial or viral infection . Despite the fact that in the vast majority of cases it is not a serious disease, it is very annoying since it generates hoarseness in this area, thus making swallowing or speaking difficult.
There are different types of pharyngitis, which are classified according to the severity of the symptoms, as well as the period of time in which they develop.
- Chronic: in general, it develops as a result of an acute pharyngitis that occurs in a recurrent way, in which the infection appears and disappears in a short period of time. Although it is not the most common, it can also arise from continued alcohol abuse.
- Acute: this type of pharyngitis is the most common of all, and it develops from a certain bacteria or virus.
- Streptococcal: This is a common infection that occurs mostly in children and adolescents. The disease develops from continued contact with infected people.
- Viral: viral pharyngitis is one in which an inflammation occurs between the tonsils and the larynx due to an infection caused by a virus.
Causes of pharyngitis
In a high percentage of cases, the sore throat typical of pharyngitis is caused by common illnesses such as colds or flu . However, in some patients this disease develops from a bacterial infection.
Here are some of the most common causes of pharyngitis.
The flu is one of the most common illnesses, both among adults and children. It is a respiratory infection caused by a set of viruses that are transmitted through the air . Although in the vast majority of cases it is a serious disorder, in certain population groups it can be fatal.
The symptoms of the flu appear suddenly, the most common being the following: joint and muscle pain, chills, cough, fever and headache .
Mononucleosis is a disease caused by a virus from the herpes family. It is popularly known as the “kissing disease” and the most frequent symptoms are: fever, sore throat and swollen lymph nodes . It mainly affects children and adolescents.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory infection that is developed by a virus . It is characterized by skin rashes that affect the entire body, and produces a series of symptoms very similar to those of the flu: fever, cough and runny nose.
The eruptions begin between three and five days after the first symptoms begin; they usually present with a high fever.
The chicken pox is an infection caused by the varicella zoster virus . It generally occurs in people under the age of fifteen, although it can also occur in adults. The main symptom of this disorder is the skin rash, which causes a great itchy and bothersome sensation. As the disease progresses, the rash turns into blisters with fluid inside, which then crust over.
The whooping cough is an infectious bacterial disease that is characterized by a hard cough control . In some cases, the cough is so strong that patients even vomit on exertion.
Although it can affect people of any age, it is more common in babies and children. Treatment usually consists of antibiotics.
The Diphtheria is an acute infection caused by nature the bacteria Corynebacterium diphtheriae . This bacteria is spread through the nasal secretions of an infected person.
In the vast majority of cases, symptoms begin two to seven days after the bacteria enter the body. The most common are: fever and chills, sore throat, discomfort when swallowing, drooling, watery and bloody nasal discharge, and skin ulcers.
The allergies that can lead to pharyngitis can be very diverse: mold, dust, pollen … The problem is aggravated by postnasal drip , which can irritate and inflame the throat.
Symptoms of pharyngitis
The main symptom of pharyngitis is a sore throat , although there are also others that need to be paid attention to. One of those that occurs most frequently is pain when swallowing or speaking. Also dry throat , which causes hoarseness and a great feeling of discomfort.
In those cases where there is infection, fever is another common symptom. Some patients also experience headache and muscle pain .
In more severe cases of pharyngitis, the tonsils can become inflamed and appear red. Patients may also have muscle or joint pain.
It is recommended to see a doctor when the symptoms of pharyngitis appear to establish the appropriate treatment to relieve inflammation as soon as possible. In this way, the risk of suffering any type of compliance is minimized.
The doctor first takes a medical history of the patient, depending on the symptoms he presents, as well as his age and general health.
Then, if you suspect laryngitis, proceed to perform an examination that consists of visualizing the state of the throat using a light instrument , as well as the ears and nostrils. Also, feel the neck to check whether or not there is swollen lymph nodes. He also listens to breathing with a stethoscope to check for breathing.
If necessary, the doctor takes a sample from the pharynx ; To do this, he rubs a sterile swab on the back of the throat in order to obtain a sample of the secretions, which is later analyzed in the laboratory.
Treatment of pharyngitis
If the doctor confirms the diagnosis of pharyngitis caused by a bacterial infection, establish a treatment based on antibiotics. One of the most common is penicillin, which must be consumed orally for approximately ten days. It is important that the patient completes the treatment according to the indications given by the doctor.
How to prevent pharyngitis?
There are a number of tips that are worth remembering to prevent pharyngitis as much as possible.
- Hydration: adequate hydration is key to the proper functioning of the body. In relation to the throat, it is very important to maintain the humidity of the area.
- Wash your hands: To prevent any type of infection caused by a virus or bacteria, it is essential to wash your hands frequently, especially before and after meals and sneezing.
- Sharing: in no case is it advisable to share food, as well as glasses or cutlery with third parties.
- Gargle: in those cases in which patients feel the beginning of a sore throat, it is advisable to gargle with water with half a tablespoon of salt two or three times a day.
- Humidity in the environment: to avoid environmental dryness, a good option is to place a humidifier in the home.
Home remedies for pharyngitis
In those cases in which pharyngitis is mild, there are a series of home remedies that can greatly help in alleviating the symptoms of the disease.
One of the most effective and simple home remedies is gargling two or three times a day. The most suitable ingredients are as follows.
- Honey: 100% natural bee honey remarkably softens the throat, thus relieving coughs and hoarseness.
- Agrimony: a natural plant that is very useful for clarifying the voice.
- Propolis: a natural antibiotic that is of great help to treat pharyngitis at home.
- Plantain: it is very rich in mucilage, which softens the throat.
A home remedy that provides very good results in the early stages of pharyngitis, when symptoms begin to appear. Simply place a chopped raw onion on the bedside table . It is a very effective way to avoid a dry throat.
Carrot and honey
The communication of both ingredients is a good remedy for pharyngitis as it reduces the symptoms and gradually eliminates the infection.
The ingredients are as follows: two carrots, four tablespoons of thyme honey and the juice of one lemon.
As for its preparation, first the carrots are peeled. Next, they are cut into a container together with the thyme honey, and both ingredients are stirred well. Cover and marinate overnight. The next day the lemon juice is added and consumed throughout the day taking small spoonfuls.
The pharyngitis , as we have noted, is not in most cases a disease of a serious nature. However, if the sore throat is persistent and there is a fever, it is advisable to go to the doctor to make the diagnosis and establish an appropriate treatment.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.