WHAT IS A SORE THROAT?
A sore throat is a condition of pain, dryness, irritation, and scratchy feeling anywhere in the throat. Pain gets worsens when one swallows.
Strep throat or streptococcal infection is also a type of sore throat that is caused by bacteria and it requires antibiotic treatment to prevent complications.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN SYMPTOMS OF SORE THROAT?
- The most common factor of sore throat is pain in the throat, especially when one is swallowing.
- Dryness and scratches in the throat.
- Another symptom is redness in the back of the mouth.
- One has stinky breath.
- The problem of mild cough.
- Swelling in neck glands.
- Vomiting and nausea.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN CAUSES OF SORE THROAT?
- Cough, cold, the flu, and viral infections : Cough and cold are two of the important reasons for a sore throat caused by different types of infections. Flu and viral infections also cause sore throats. A number of influenza and viruses can infect the human throat. But in some cases, a disease called Pharyngitis is caused by a fungal infection. Some viruses are mononucleosis(transmitted through saliva), mumps(swelling of the salivary glands in the throat), etc.
- Strep throat and bacterial infections : Bacterial infections also cause sore throats. Strep throat infection and tonsils are caused by group A streptococcus bacteria. Sexually transmitted infections (chlamydia and gonorrhea) can also cause a sore throat.
- Allergies : Immune system of the body reacts to allergy sources like pollen grains, and pet dander, releasing a chemical that causes sore throat, sneezing, and watery eyes. Excess mucus in the nose that is caused by nasal congestion drips down the back of the throat (postnasal drip) cause sore throat.
- Dry Air : Dry air sucks moisture from the throat, and leaves the throat feeling dry and scratchy. Dehydration also leads to the situation of dryness of the throat, which later causes sore throat problems.
- Smoke, chemical, thermal and mechanical irritation : Many types of irritants are present in the environment which cause sore throat. Some irritants are tobacco smoke, air pollution, cleaning products, and aerosolized sprays such as air fresheners.
- Different types of injury : Some types of injury cause pain in the throat which later on covert into a sore throat. For example, a piece of food stuck in the throat, repeated use strains the vocal cords and muscles in the throat. One can get a sore throat after talking loudly, yelling, or singing for a long period of time.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) : Gastroesophageal reflux disease is defined as the condition in which stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. The acid in the esophagus burns the throat and causes a sore throat.
- Tumor : A tumor of the voice box, tongue, or throat is a cause of sore throat in some cases.
HOW CAN WE DIAGNOSE A SORE THROAT?
- A doctor will diagnose the sore throat firstly by seeing the throat’s outer physical appearance. The doctor might also check the back of the throat by the use of light.
- A rapid strep test is also a method used by doctors to diagnose sore throat.
- A test of a throat culture can also help to diagnose sore throat.
- In severe cases of sore throat, ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialists are recommended.
HOW CAN A SORE THROAT BE TREATED?
- Take plenty of rest and proper sleep, and also give rest to your voice box.
- Drink lots of fluid, it makes your throat moist and prevents dehydration.
- Gargles with warm salt water. A glass of water with 1 tablespoon of common salt can help to soothe a sore throat.
- Humidify the air by using a cool-air humidifier to eliminate the dry air that irritates a sore throat.
- Avoid cigarette smoke and cleaning products at home that create sore throat.
- Antibiotics are prescribed by doctors and pediatricians when the condition of the sore throat gets severe.
Sore throats are symptoms of common cold, bacterial, viral, and influenza infections that resolve most of the time by home remedies, but in some severe cases, proper testing for diagnosis and for treatment is required. Sometimes a sore throat is something more, than a consultation from a doctor or ENT specialist, is required.
So, at Specialty Care Clinics, our experts provide you with the best consultation and treatment methods for sore throat. If you or anyone you know have a sore throat problem, connect with us at 469-545-9983.