What Is Pharyngitis?
Pharyngitis is a condition in which the mucous membranes present at the back of your throat get inflamed. Also known as ‘sore throat’, this condition can cause scratchiness, dryness, and difficulty while swallowing.
It is a very common disease in the winter season. The underlying cause of this disease may be either bacterial infections or viral infections like common cold.
The symptoms of this condition depend on the underlying cause of it. The most common pharyngitis symptoms are as follows:
- Sore and scratchy throat
- Running nose
- Sneezing and cough
- Fatigue and body ache
- Regular chills
- Fever with varying degrees
Viral pharyngitis symptoms include:
- Sore, and swollen throat
- Throat ulcerations
- Lymph nodes in the neck and at the back of ears
- Appetite loss
Streptococcal pharyngitis symptoms:
When this condition is caused by a bacterial type known as Streptococcal, a few symptoms appear that are not shown in other types of pharyngitis. These symptoms are:
- Abdominal pain
- Pus on the tonsils
Who Is At Risk?
There are a number of risk factors that can increase your chance of developing pharyngitis. Some of these risk factors are listed below:
- Sinus Infection: People with a sinus infection problem are prone to develop pharyngitis frequently.
- Exposure: If you work in a place where a lot of people with flu and common cold come, you are at a greater risk of having pharyngitis. Healthcare workers who work with less safety equipment often develop pharyngitis.
- Smoke: If you live or work in place in close vicinity to a person who smokes regularly, you are more likely to have the condition than others.
Pharyngitis causes list contains a number of bacteria and viruses such as:
- Chickenpox virus
- Measles virus
- Common cold virus (Adenovirus)
- Group A streptococcus
As listed above, viruses are the main cause of sore throat or Pharyngitis. The most common type of viruses that cause pharyngitis is the same which causes common cold and flu.
How Is Pharyngitis Diagnosed?
Pharyngitis diagnosis is done by physicians either by physical exam or test. Here is how physicians diagnose the condition:
- Physical exam: Doctors look at your throat to check common symptoms like white or gray patches, swelling, or redness.
- Throat culture: If your physicians suspect strep throat, he/she might take a throat culture. A cotton swab is used to take your throat sample. This culture detects the underlying cause of your condition.
- Blood tests: To make sure that your infection is Pharungitis or some other condition, doctor might also take a blood sample from your arm and test it.
How Is Pharyngitis Treated?
Just like its symptoms, the pharyngitis cure also depends on the underlying cause of it. Viral pharyngitis treatment is different from bacterial pharyngitis treatment in terms of medication prescribed by the doctor.
Here are a few methods used as pharyngitis treatment by doctors:
- Viral Pharyngitis: Medicines are not usually given not to treat Pharyngitis but to reduce symptoms like body ache, headache, or fever.
- Bacterial Pharyngitis: Medicines are prescribed by doctors to be taken orally. Streptococcal pharyngitis treatments mainly aim for the prevention of complications like rheumatic fever or kidney disease.
For pharyngitis home treatment, a few common home remedies are as follows:
- Taking bed rest
- Prevention of dehydration by drinking a lot of liquid
- Adding moisture in the air by the use of a humidifier
- Doing gargles with salty water
- Drinking tea, or broth
If left untreated and not cared for, pharyngitis can make you uncomfortable doing your daily chores. If you are a person who is looking for pharyngitis treatment, Care.Fit is the best place for you. We have a number of experienced doctors who give consultation for pharyngitis. Go to Care.Fit’s website or app to book an appointment with a doctor at a time slot that you are comfortable with.
How Can Pharyngitis be Prevented?
You can easily get prevented from developing pharyngitis as it is a contagious disease. A few common preventive methods of this condition are as follows:
- Washing hands frequently and thoroughly with soap or hand sanitizer
- Covering your mouth and nose with tissue paper or a handkerchief
- Avoiding exposure to secondhand smoke like that of cigarettes
- Avoiding touching people who already have some kind of contagious infections