A Simple Guide to Pharyngitis and Throat Diseases

A Simple Guide to Pharyngitis and Throat Diseases

What is Pharyngitis?

Pharyngitis is an inflammation of the throat.

Sore throat is literally pain in the throat.
With the pain there is also difficulty in swallowing.

What are the Causes of Pharyngitis?

Pharyngitis is caused by inflammation of the pharynx, which is in the back of the throat between the tonsils and above the voice box (larynx).

1. Viral infection, such as the common cold or influenza viruses.
Other viruses that cause sore throats include:
a. coxsackie infection.

b. adenovirus

c. infectious mononucleosis caused by the Epstein Barr virus

2. Bacteria include Group A streptococcus, which leads to very severe sore throats.
Other bacteria that cause sore throats include
a. corynebacterium,

b. gonorrhea

c. chlamydia.

3. Fungal Infections such as Candida albicans often cause oral thrush in babies

4. Irritations in the throat from chemicals (acid from the stomach) or pollutants (dust).

Pharyngitis usually occurs during the colder months.

It can spread easily among family members and office colleagues.

What are the symptoms of Pharyngitis?

The main symptom is a sore throat.
Other symptoms include:

1. Headache

2. Joint pain and muscle aches

3. Fever

4. Enlarged lymph node in the neck

How is Pharyngitis diagnosed?

1. Physical examination of the inflamed pharynx or tonsils

2. A rapid test or throat culture to test for streptococcus throat may be done.

What is the treatment of Pharyngitis?

1. Analgesics such as paracetamol for pain and fever

Most sore throats are caused by viruses.

2. Local anesthetics such as lignocaine or lidocaine in the form of sprays or lozenges will help as it numbs the mucosal linings of the throat.

3. Antibiotics may be given if the cause is a bacterial infection.
Sore throats should only be treated with antibiotics if a strep test is positive or the throat swab shows bacteria infection

General measures:
1. Drink warm liquids such as warm water or tea with honey.

2. Gargle several times a day with warm salt water (1/2 tsp of salt in 1 cup water).

3. A mist vaporizer or humidifier can moisten and soothe a dry and painful throat.

What are the complications of Pharyngitis?

Complications may include:
1. Ear infection

2. Mastoiditis

3. Sinusitis

4. Peritonsillar abscess


Chapter 1 Pharyngitis

Chapter 2 Tonsillitis

Chapter 3 Quinsy

Chapter 4 Stomatitis

Chapter 5 Gingivitis

Chapter 6 Sialadenitis

Chapter 7 Scarlet Fever

A Simple Guide to Pharyngitis and Throat Diseases

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