Sore throat

There is no secret about what a sore throat is or what does it feel like. A sore throat is an irritation and sometimes pain in the throat that makes it hard to swallow. This is also the first symptom of pharyngitis (inflammation of the throat or pharynx) .

Among the most common causes of sore throat is flue, or some kind of viral infection (like a common cold, measles, croup, chickenpox). On the other hand, a sore throat caused by a bacterial infection is rarer and it needs treatment with antibiotics.

Whooping cough is a serious and contagious bacterial infection. Streptococcus pyogenes causes strep throat. Common in countries with a low degree of development, diphtheria also causes sore throat.

There are also other causes that may cause this condition. Some are not so serious like : muscle strain after yelling, talking in a noisy environment, talking for a long period of time ; allergies to dust or to pet dander, pollen ; dryness : living in a room without air humidity; irritants: tobacco smoke or other chemicals. Others are very serious and may be life threatening : HIV infection : can cause also a fungal infection of the throat; tumors of the throat or tongue; or gastroesophageal reflux disease when stomach acids come back into the food pipe.

Besides the causes above mentioned there are also some risk factors that may cause this condition. Children are more prone to sore throats. Persons who smoke or who are exposed to chemical irritants may develop this condition too . The risk is increased by frequent sinus infections and a low immunity.

When a person suffers from sore throat he can feel a scratchy sensation in the throat, hoarse voice, pain when swallowing, dry throat, swollen glands in the neck. There could be also an other type of signs like : chills, runny nose, fever, sneezing, cough and different types of aches (most common is head ache ).

For treatment is important to check the opinion of a doctor. If the sore throat is caused by a viral infection then it will last about 5 days and it doesn’t need any kind of treatment. You can use as a home remedy teas or warm water with honey. Rest in bed is also recommended and a a cool-air humidifier to eliminate dryness in the air.

If the cause is a bacterial infection the doctor will prescribe antibiotics such as penicillin for 10 days and it is very important to take the full course of antibiotics. Otherwise the infection will spread around the body.

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