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All About Pharyngitis

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 8 Sep 2016 | comments*Discuss
Pharyngitis Pharynx Larynx Sore Throat

Pharyngitis is a common condition which we will probably all suffer from at one time or another; for many several bouts are likely throughout life.

What Is The Pharynx And Pharyngitis?

The pharynx is described as the area between the back of the nose all the way down to your voice box (the larynx). Like other parts of the throat, the area can become inflamed quite easily and in most cases pharyngitis is simply known as a sore throat, though it may itself be a symptom or consequence of other disorders.

Causes Of Pharyngitis

Pharyngitis is almost always caused by a viral infection. These are very common and usually manifest in conditions such as influenza, a common cold or as a symptom of more serious illnesses that attack the immune system.

In a few cases it may be caused by a bacterial infection, commonly strep throat which can be quite serious if left untreated, however these forms of infection occur a lot less than those of a viral nature.

Symptoms Of Pharyngitis

The most common symptom is to experience pain or discomfort in the throat. Occasionally this may affect swallowing making eating and drinking uncomfortable.

It is also likely that you will have an increase in temperature which is common when the body is fighting infection and viruses like flu.As pharyngitis is usually accompanied by a cold it is likely that you will also feel congested and suffer from post-nasal drip which happens as the nasal secretions trickle down the back of the throat causing a nasty taste and sensation and sometimes a tickle.

Treatments For Pharyngitis

Most people will be able to manage their symptoms at home with no medical assistance. Warm fluids that are soothing on the throat can help, avoiding very hot drinks as these may harm the inflamed tissues or make your discomfort worse.

Basic pain relief such as paracetamol or aspirin can help ease your pain or headache; paracetamol is also useful for helping decrease a high temperature.

If you have noticed white spots or pus at the back of your throat, you have a high temperature that will not lower even with the use of paracetamol taken regularly for a few days or your pain is making it almost impossible to swallow fluids, please see your GP as you may need antibiotic therapy.

Rest your voice and try and get plenty of sleep to prevent the infection from spreading to your larynx and causing laryngitis or even to other parts of the anatomy. If you are having difficultly breathing or you or you notice a rash developing, seek medical advice urgently as you may have an underlying condition that can be very damaging.

Preventing pharyngitis.

Pharyngitis may not be preventable in all cases but the risk can be lowered for some. Do not share eating utensils or cups with those with a sore throat and avoid sharing towels or other household items whilst they have a sore throat or cold.

Keep your immune system healthy by eating a healthy diet containing all the essential vitamins and minerals and make sure you are always well hydrated, especially during the winter months when the viruses that cause a sore throat are more virulent.During the cold weather wear a scarf to keep the tissues of the throat warm with a good blood supply and well oxygenated.

Sore throats are very common and rarely cause long term damage as they usually resolve themselves in a few days. However if symptoms persist please see your doctor as your may need a prescription to help your body fight the infection.

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