Sore throat is known as Pharyngitis in medical language. It is the term used to describe the inflammation of the pharynx (which is present in the back of the throat). It is more common in cold months. Sore is associated with a feeling of pain and irritation of the throat. This feeling gets worse when a person swallows.
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In children, 20 to 30 out of every 100 sore throats are strep throat. In adults, only 5 to 15 out of every 100 sore throats is strep throat.
Sore throat Symptoms
- The main symptoms involve cough and throat pain.
- Difficulty in swallowing
- A feeling of nausea or vomiting
- Feeling of soreness in the jaw
- Glands may be swollen
- Hoarse voice lasting longer than 2 weeks
- Irritation or scratchy sensation in the throat
- Muscle weakness, headache, dizziness, or lightheadedness is seen
- Pain gets worse on swallowing
- Pain in body
- Pain in throat
- Presence of white patches or pus on tonsils
- Running of nose
- Swollen and red tonsils
Warning signs are seen in children
Symptoms show in dehydration with dry, sticky mouth, sleepiness, or tiredness. The baby feels thirsty. The baby has few or no tears when crying.
- Difficulty in breathing
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Unusual drooling which indicates an inability to swallow, seen in young children
Warning saw in adult
- If sore throat is severe and lasts longer than a week.
- Difficulty in breathing
- Difficulty in opening mouth
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Fever which is higher than 101 F or 38.3 degree Celsius
- If blood is present in saliva or phlegm
- If hoarseness is seen which is lasting more than two weeks
- If the lump is observed in the neck
- If the rash is present on the body
- Pain in ears
- Pain in joints
- When the frequency of having a sore throat is increased
Sore Throat Causes
Infections are the main cause of sore throat.
- Viral Infections
- Common cold
- Flu or influenza
A very common childhood illness is characterized by a harsh and barking cough. In medical terms, it is known as croup.
A common cause of sore throat is Streptococcus pyogenes, or group A streptococcus.
Allergies to pet dander, molds, dust, and pollen can cause sore throat. Sometimes allergies may be complicated by postnasal drip, which can irritate and may cause inflammation of the throat.
Dryness: If a person is exposed to dry indoor air when he is sitting in a heated room, it can cause roughness of the throat. It gives a scratchy feeling to the throat, particularly in the morning when the patient wakes up. Sometimes when the patient breaths through the mouth because of the blocked nose it can cause a sore throat.
Irritants: Both indoor and outdoor air pollution can cause sore throat.
Indoor air pollution:
- Tobacco smoke
- Chemicals used inside homes
- Sometimes chewing tobacco, drinking alcohol, and eating spicy foods can cause irritation in the throat.
Muscle strain: If a person has a profession that required lots of yelling, like in sports, talking loudly, singer, teacher, without having adequate rest, then they can have a sore throat for a longer duration.
Age: Children and teens can easily develop sore throats. It is seen that children are more likely to have streptococcus infection.
A habit of smoking: Smoking and exposure to cigarette smoke can irritate the throat.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease: Patients who have gastroesophageal reflux disease which is a digestive system disorder in which stomach acids or other contents of the stomach back up in the food pipe.
It has some other symptoms like
- The sensation of a lump in throat.
Epiglottitis: It is a condition in which small cartilage”lid” that covers the windpipe swells and block airflow.
HIV infection: These patients have either a longer duration of sore throat or recurring sore throat due to a secondary infection. As their immune system is not functioning properly, they have recurrent infections. Sometimes fungal infection which is also known as oral thrush and infection of cytomegalovirus infection, which is a common viral infection can also cause sore throat.
Tumors: Cancerous tumors present in the throat, tongue, or voice box (medically known as larynx) can cause a sore throat.
- Difficulty in swallowing.
- Noisy breathing.
- Lump in the neck.
- Blood in saliva or phlegm.
- Abscess in throat
Risk factors Sore throat
- A person who is habitual of allergies.
- A person who is continuously exposed to chemical irritants.
- A person who has chronic or frequent sinus infections.
- Sore throat spreads more commonly in closed spaces like classrooms, offices, or airplanes.
- Those who have weak immunity. Patients having HIV and diabetes. A person who is having treatment with steroids or chemotherapy drugs.
- A person who has stress, fatigue, or having a poor diet.
Prevention of Sore throat
- Always avoid sharing food, drinking glasses, or utensils.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Avoid foods that cause pain when you swallow.
- Avoid touching public phones or drinking fountains with your mouth.
- Drink hot water with honey and lemon.
- Drink a lot of water.
- Gargle with warm and salty water.
- Hygiene is very important in the prevention of any disease. So, washing of hands is equally important. Wash hands thoroughly and frequently, especially after using the toilet, before eating, and after sneezing or coughing.
- If necessary try to sneeze into your elbow.
- Keep the room at a comfortable temperature.
- Make a habit to use before coughing or sneezing. Throw the tissue.
- Quit smoking. Try to avoid places where people smoke.
- Rest and avoid heavy activity until symptoms go away.
- Tips that can relieve the symptoms
- Try to clean telephones, TV remotes, and computer keyboards with sanitizing cleanser.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. This could be a good alternative to washing hands when soap and water aren’t available.
Homeopathic Remedy for Sore Throat
It is suited to a person who is slow in answering questions. He has weak memory and a loss of power. He thinks he is losing his reason. All symptoms are worse at night, from the warmth of the bed, from damp, cold, rainy weather.
His complaints are worse during perspiration. It is given when a patient has marked sneezing. Sneezing in the sunshine. His nostrils are raw, ulcerated with swelling of nasal bones. It is a very good remedy when there is acidic discharge from the nose, it is thick: to run down the lip. This is worse in a warm room.: It cures coryza with sneezing with soreness and rawness. This is worse from damp weather. A patient has a constant desire to swallow. He has a putrid sore throat. This condition is worse on the right side. It cures stitching pain that extends to the ear on swallowing. Fluids return through the nose. It also cures loss of voice.
Dosage: 200, 4 pellets, 2times a day for 2 3 days.
It is given to a person who has a disregard for surrounding objects. It is given when a patient has a dark red or bluish-red throat. It cures the sensation of a lump in the throat. The patient feels soreness and roughness in the throat. Throat feels as narrow and hot. It is given when tonsils are swollen especially on the right side. It has a dark red appearance. A patient has shooting pain that extends to the ears on swallowing. It is given when a patient cannot swallow anything hot. The throat feels very hot. It cures pain at the root of the tongue which extends to the ear.
Dosage: 30, to be given every 4 6 hours.
Use phytolacca Q, 20 25 drops, mix in one glass of lukewarm water, to be used as a gargle. Do this 3 4 times.
It is suited to a person who is talkative. He feels sad in the morning. He has no desire to mix with the world. He feels restless and uneasy. He wants to be off somewhere all the time. He is jealous. The patient feels a sore throat which is worse on the left side. He has difficulty in swallowing. Pain is worse by hot drinks. It cures chronic sore throat with much hawking. Mucus sticks and cannot be forced up or down. This condition starts on the left side. It also cures tonsillitis, where tonsils are large and purple in color. A patient has difficulty in swallowing saliva or liquids. Empty swallowing is more painful than swallowing solids. Condition is worse after sleep. He feels worse on the left side. He feels better by appearing discharges.:
Dosage: 1M, one dose, and wait for improvement. If no improvement, then take another dose for 7 days.
It is suited to a person who lives in his own world. He has various kinds of hallucinations, in which he sees monsters and other imaginary faces. He has various kinds of delirium. He feels frightful, sees images, furious in which he strikes, and his desire to escape. The throat complaint is worse on the right side. The throat is red in color. It is a very good remedy for tonsillitis with a feeling of constriction. He has difficulty in swallowing. It cures the sensation of a lump. It cures spasms in the throat. He feels worse from touch, noise, in the afternoon. He feels better in a semi-erect position.:
Dosage 30, every 4 6 hours for 7 days.
It is given to a person who suffers from loss of memory, with mental confusion. He losses confidence in himself. It is given when a patient takes a cold very easily. He has stitching pain. It cures tonsils that are inflamed, which is worse from empty swallowing. He can only swallow liquids. Throat problems are worse after overuse of voice.
Dosage 1M 4 pellets for 1week.