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Overview

Sore Throat - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Sore Throat?

Sore throats can be very annoying and painful. However, the good news is that most sore throats are caused by minor diseases and so they most often go away without any treatments.

The most common conditions that cause sore throat are:

Bacterial infections that cause sore throats are:

  • Strep throat, which doesn’t occur from congestion and cough.
  • Inflammations caused by tonsillitis and adenoiditis.
  • Peritonsillar abscess, which is an infection of the tissues near the throat.
  • Epiglottitis
  • Uvulitis
  • STD infections like chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhea.

Sore throats can also last more than a few weeks if it is caused by an injury or an irritant such as:

  • Throat irritation from smoking, low humidity, yelling, air pollution or because of nasal drainage down the back of the throat.
  • Persistent breathing through the nose because of allergies or for a stuffy nose.
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) whereby stomach acid gets back up into the throat, causing cough and acid taste in the mouth, apart from heartburns
  • Chronic fatigue caused by extreme tiredness over a prolonged period of time.

Treatment :

Treatment of sore throat mostly depends on the cause of the malady. There are several Home Remedies that can bring a relief to this illness. However, remember as viral infections are the most common reasons for developing a sore throat- never try to treat sore throats with antibiotics. For unnecessary application of antibiotic medications often leads to an allergic reaction and also side effects like vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, yeast infection and rashes on the skin. Even the undue use of antibiotics may kill the beneficial bacteria in your metabolic system, resulting in development of dangerous anti-biotic resistant bacteria in your body. However sore throat caused by strep infection may require antibiotics for recovery.

As being said even before that sore throats generally do not need any medications to heal, nevertheless, always visit a doctor if your sore throat lasts more than a week.Also go for a medical checkup if you find difficulty in breathing, joint pain, difficulty in swallowing, an earache, a fever over 101˚F, a rash on your body, bloody mucus or a lump in your throat. Generally hoarseness more than two weeks is not considered a good sign for it can always have serious underlying causes which can even be a sign of throat cancer.

Treatable by medical professional Usually self diagnosable Lab test not required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks
Symptoms
An extremely dry throat Swollen and painful glands on the neck White patches that develops on the tonsils. Hoarseness in voice.

Popular Health Tips

Adenoids and Endoscopic Adenoidectomy!

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery, Diploma In Otorhinolaryngology (DLO), DNB - ENT, Allergy Testing
ENT Specialist, Gurgaon
Adenoids and Endoscopic Adenoidectomy!

Adenoids are part of the ENT (ear-nose-tongue) area. They are basically lump of tissues situated at the back of the nose and higher up in the throat passage. Along with tonsils, they form a part of the lymphatic system and are also known as pharyngeal tonsils. They work in conjunction with tonsils to keep infections and viruses at bay. They also help in maintaining the body fluid balance.

Adenoids mostly occur in children. They basically start to grow from birth and can become enlarged between the ages of 5 to 7 years. They become swollen by fighting some bacteria or virus. However, by teenage years they start to shrink and completely disappears by adulthood. They do not help in fighting diseases and the body develops other ways to fight germs and bacteria.

Problems Caused by Adenoids:
Although adenoids are not harmful, they can become enlarged or swollen when fighting bacteria or viruses. In such situations, it is best to consult pediatric or ENT specialists. However, there are certain symptoms that occur in children:

  1. Breathing problems- Children may experience difficulty in breathing through the nose. Instead, they breathe through the mouth which might lead to dry mouth resulting in bad breath and cracked lips.
  2. Sleeping problems- Children having swollen adenoids having difficulty in having sound sleep. They might snore or experience sleep apnea (irregular breathing or might stop breathing for few seconds).
  3. Ear infections- Have ear infections and even develop glue ear (the ear duct is filled with fluids).
  4. Sinus problem- Your child may experience runny nose or facial pain.

Diagnosis
If your child is experiencing the above symptoms and having difficulty breathing, its best to visit an ENT specialist to get the adenoids checked out. The adenoids cannot be seen through normal eyes and has to be examined using special methods like endoscopy. An endoscope is a long flexible tube with a light, it is inserted through the mouth and the image of the inside of the mouth is seen on a screen.

Treatments for Adenoids:
Depending on the severity of the adenoids, it can be treated with nasal sprays or drops and antibiotics suggested by a doctor. If the adenoid does not shrink or the problem persists, it’s best to go for adenoidectomy.
What is Adenoidectomy? Adenoidectomy is the surgical removal of adenoids. It is generally performed by an ENT surgeon and carried out through the mouth under general anesthesia. The whole operation only requires a day. Your child is released at the end of the day.

Recovery:
After the surgical procedure, your child may experience:

  1. Sore throat
  2. Ear ache
  3. Stiff jaw
  4. Runny nose
  5. Bad breath

All of these difficulties pass away within a week or two. However, you should be careful as there is always a risk of infection after an operation. In case of excessive bleeding, known as hemorrhage, your child may need another surgery where the bleeding is stopped by cauterization.

Moreover, food and drink should be monitored carefully. As your child will have difficulty in swallowing food, it’s best to have fluids like soups or yoghurt. Remember to give them plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Adenoids are not scary diseases. So don’t be scared and give your child all the care and support when they are facing difficulty in breathing or sleeping.

Follow These Steps To Prevent Yourself From Getting A Strep Throat!

DNB (ENT), MBBS, MNAMS - Otorhinolaryngology
ENT Specialist, Gurgaon
Follow These Steps To Prevent Yourself From Getting A Strep Throat!

Strep throat is a common bacterial infection mostly seen among young adults and children, caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, a group A bacteria, that leads to pain and inflammation in the throat. While some people may have mild symptoms, others may encounter more serious symptoms such as high fever and chills, sore throat, swollen glands, loss of appetite, and difficulty in swallowing food.

If you don’t treat the condition soon enough, strep throat can be really painful and troublesome. Although the ideal treatment option for this condition is antibiotic medications, research studies show that they are only effective in reducing the span of the infection by about half a day. Moreover, antibiotics have adverse side effects on your health, so it is always advisable to steer away from those heavy doses. The best way to keep yourself healthy and free from a strep throat is to prevent it from the very beginning. Here are a few steps you can follow to prevent yourself from getting a strep throat-

  1. Avoid contact- Coughing and sneezing which are the usual symptoms of a strep throat, can be contagious. The infection usually spreads from person to person so make sure you do not come in contact with the person suffering from a strep throat for at least a week or two. Also, keep your mouth covered if you ever come in contact with a sick person.
  2. Maintain good hygiene- Good hygiene is the key to a healthy body. In order to keep the infection at bay make sure you use an anti-bacterial soap or hand wash to clean your hands before and after you have your meal. If you’re traveling around then always carry a hand sanitizer.
  3. Change your diet- Include lots of fluid to your diet. Drinking lots of water and fluids will not only keep you hydrated, but will also moisten and lubricate your throat therefore reducing your chances of being affected by a strep throat. Include vitamin supplements or food that are rich in vitamins and avoid spicy or citrus food as they are likely to cause an irritable strep throat.
  4. Avoid smoking- Smoking causes irritation to the throat tissues, which in turn increases the chance of getting a strep throat. So stop smoking, and avoid coming in contact with smokers as well.

Although strep throat may not sound like a chronic illness, it can lead to serious complications if not prevented at the outset. Since there are no proven vaccines to prevent the infection, adopting these aforementioned steps can help you stay away from a strep throat. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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Sore Throat - Factors That Can Put You At Risk!

MS-ENT, MBBS
ENT Specialist, Noida
Sore Throat - Factors That Can Put You At Risk!

If you are experiencing pain, irritation, or itchiness in your throat, the condition is referred to as a sore throat. It is likely for you to face difficulty in swallowing food and the pain worsens when you want to swallow. The primary symptom of a sore throat is throat pain. People of all ages can get affected by a sore throat.

Causes
There are several causes of a sore throat. The most common ones are as follows:

Viral infection
• Viral infections are the most common causes of sore throat.
• These are the infections that are caused by a virus, like the flu or cold.
Measles, chicken pox, and croup are other viral infections that cause a sore throat.

Bacterial infection
• Several bacterial infections also lead to a sore throat.
• They may include strep throat, diphtheria, and whooping cough.

Environmental factors
• Several environmental factors also cause sore throat.
• Exposure to pollen, mold, pet dander, and several other irritants leads to postnasal drip.
• This causes throat pain and inflammation.
• Exposure to dry air, and smoking cigarettes are also common causes of a sore throat.

Diagnosis
• For the diagnosis of a sore throat, a physical examination of your throat is carried out, and your throat will be examined using a lighted instrument.

• Doctors usually look out for inflammations and white patches that indicate strep throat. Your breathing will also be checked.
• The back of your throat can be swabbed for examining samples in order to determine the virus.
• Certain blood tests may also be required to be undertaken.

Treatment
• The treatment of sore throat depends on the cause.
• In case your sore throat is caused by a bacterial infection, you will be prescribed antibiotics for killing the infectious bacteria.
• The medicines should be taken strictly according to a doctor’s prescription.
• You should complete the course of 10 days to get effective results.
• If you stop the treatment at an early stage on noticing improvements, a sore throat can recur soon.

There are certain simple home remedies which are effective for curing the most common forms of sore throat. They include:
• Gargling with warm, salted water.
• Consuming warm fluids like soup, tea, and water.
• Having throat lozenges.
• Reducing the inflammation using ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
• Avoiding exposure to allergens and irritants.

In case your sore throat is caused by a viral infection, the virus should be left to run its course. During its course, you will be prescribed medicines like pain relievers and decongestants for relieving the symptoms. Antiviral drugs are also used in some cases for fighting the virus effectively. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Ent Specialist.

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Prolonged Sore Throat - Can It Be Chronic?

MD - Physician, Diploma in Otorhinolaryngology (DLO), Fellow of Academy of General Education (FAGE)
ENT Specialist, Chennai
Prolonged Sore Throat - Can It Be Chronic?

Are you suffering from a sore throat that is prolonged in nature? Although, a sore throat is not very severe, being prolonged in nature indicates that it is chronic. You should not ignore a sore throat that does not heal over a long period of time. This might be an indication of a serious problem, and you will require proper diagnosis.

When is a sore throat termed as chronic?

  1. A sore throat may take various forms. It can be itchy, burning, scratchy in nature, and can also cause difficulty in swallowing food.
  2. It is likely for a sore throat to be accompanied by a form of pesky cough that leads to further irritation of the throat.
  3. Sore throats can also occur from common colds and several viruses. These usually resolve on their own.
  4. However, when your sore throat is persistent and you cannot find relief, it is referred to as a chronic sore throat. The primary cause of sore throat includes strep throat, allergies, tonsillitis or the infection of your tonsils, inhaling air pollutants, influenza, cigarette smoking, and inhaling via the mouth.
  5. Among these conditions, strep throat and tonsillitis may turn into severe problems, if not treated properly.
  6. Smoking is a major cause of chronic sore throat. You should control your smoking to eliminate these sore throat symptoms.
  7. Snoring is also a major cause for sore throat.

Relief from chronic sore throat
No matter what is the cause of your chronic throat pain, or sore throat is, you should follow some steps and undertake simple home remedies for soothing your scratchy, itchy and painful throat. Some of them include the following:

  1. Do hot water steam inhalation daily, which will help
  2. You must stay well hydrated and should moisten your throat by drinking lots of fluids throughout the day. You should add honey to warm drinks and hot tea.
  3. You may take over the counter pain relievers.
  4. You should install a humidifier in your home for preventing dry air that causes irritation to your throat.
  5. You may try gargling regularly with warm water and salt, at least twice a day.

It is difficult to diagnose the exact cause of a sore throat, but when it worsens or does not tend to leave, something serious is indicated. You must consult a doctor and undertake a physical examination of your throat in order to detect the cause.

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Adenoidectomy - Procedure and Risks

DNB (ENT), MBBS
ENT Specialist, Bangalore
Adenoidectomy - Procedure and Risks

Adenoidectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the adenoid. The adenoid is a gland which is present on the roof of the mouth; its role is to produce antibodies to protect the body against infections. Usually the adenoid glands diminish during your adolescence and disappear by the time you are an adult. Respiratory and throat infections that are chronic in nature, are the main causes of infection in the adenoid glands.

Reason for the removal of adenoids
Throat infections that occur frequently can lead to the enlargement of the adenoid glands. When these glands become enlarged, it results in breathing problems and blockage of the Eustachian tubes. Blocked Eustachian tubes can cause infections in the ear which, in turn, causes severe hearing problems.

The procedure
The surgical procedure is performed under general anesthesia in an outpatient mode. The removal of the adenoid glands takes place through the mouth. Initially, a small instrument is put inside the mouth to keep it open. After this, the adenoids are located in the mouth, following which they are scrapped off with a curette or by applying heat to the area by the process of diathermy (a technique to stimulate circulation by heating up a part of the body with the application of localized heat currents). Once the procedure is completed, you will be discharged on the same day.

Post procedure
Post-surgery, you may experience a sore throat for a few weeks. You must drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Keeping yourself hydrated also helps relieve symptoms of post-surgical pain, if any. Oily and spicy foods should also be avoided as it may cause pain inside the mouth. Applying ice can also relieve pain symptoms. However, don’t apply ice directly wrap it in a cloth and then apply it on the neck. Do not undertake any stressful or strenuous activity for 7-10 days post-surgery to further facilitate the recovery process. Post-surgery, the risks of throat and ear infections are greatly reduced. Breathing through the nose also becomes relatively easier. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an ENT specialist.

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Popular Questions & Answers

Dr. I have been smoking form last 2 years in an average 5-6 cigrate a day. And I got an infection in throat. Is this a symptoms of cancer I worry?

MBBS, M.S. General Surgery, M.R.C.S. England, M.Ch. Surgical Oncology, DNB Surgical Oncology, FEBS Surgical Oncology, DNB General Surgery, MNAMS, FMAS, FIAGES, FAIS, FICS, FEBS Breast Surgery, FACS, Fellowship IFHNOS & MSKCC USA, Fellowship in breast and oncplastic Surgery
Oncologist, Mumbai
If the infection subsided in a few days, it is not a symptom of cancer. If persistent, better to see a surgical oncologist for the same. Why not quit smoking, rather than waiting for the cancer to occur. Most of our patients quit smoking after they get cancer. But by that time it is quite late. 90% of the lung cancers we see in OPD are advanced or metastatic and cannot be cured. Please quit smoking before it is too late. Feel free to contact me directly if you want to discuss this further.
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I have been having a throat irritation from or over 2 weeks. I have consult a doctor also. He gave medicine named cipla azee 250. And a cough syrup KOFEND. BUT STILL I am having cough and vomiting during time of coughing sometimes. What should I do now.

MD (Physician), MD (Pulmonology)
Pulmonologist, Bareilly
Dear Lybrateuser, Cough & Throat irritation, are symptoms of Chest Infection. You can try steam inhalation for temporary relief. If problems persist then get an opinion from a Pulmonologist. Wishing you good health.
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Sinusitis and throat infection, I have done throat endoscopy and result is normal and swab throat culture test result is growth commensal only, what does it means, it is serious disease or normal.

Diploma - Diploma - OLO - Rhino-Laryngology
ENT Specialist, Warangal
Hello, Having Sinusitis with Throat Infection with Normal Endoscopy and Throat swab Culture is Normal. There is no serious disease or condition that you need to worry about. Your Throat Infection might be due to sinusitis because there is continuous post nasal drip (secretions from posterior part of your nose reach throat and cause irritation of throat) Consult an ENT Doctor and get a nasal endoscopy done to rule out Nasal disease, and get a proper work up done to treat your sinusitis. Your thraot infection may subside once sinusitis gets resolved.

High Ige level 406, maxillary bilateral sinusitis and throat infection and I recently taken clopp and alerfix, but didn't improve I'm little worried what could it be, is this a throat cancer ,my ent doctor said it is allergies, but does not heal.

Diploma - Diploma - OLO - Rhino-Laryngology
ENT Specialist, Warangal
Hello lybrate-user, High IgE levels are generally suggestive Of Allergic reaction of your body towards Allergens (Allergy causing substances) Bilateral Maxillary sinusitis & throat pain are common in Allergic conditions. You need not worry about throat cancer as said by your doctor it may be due to Allergic RhinoPharyngitis. You can continue the prescription given by your doctor and follow up with him for further management options.

How to increase my immunity? I have frequent cold with running nose, blocked nose, excess of mucus on my throat, sore throat.

MBBS, Diploma In Tropical Medicine Health, MRCP(UK)
Allergist/Immunologist, Hyderabad
Dear mr. Lybrate-user There are two types of immunity which are related to your question. General immunity (I hope that what you meant in the first sentence of your question. This is maintained or brought unto normal level (if decreased byprolonged illnesses) by taking healthy and nutritious diet and exercise keeping regular hours of meals and work and also getting up early. The second part of your question is about your frequent colds and sore throat. This seems to be a case of allergic rhinitis which can be brought under control by taking anti histamine tablets however this is only a temperarly measure. Your immunity against frequent colds can be effectively increased by immunotherapy. Injections against allergy. For this you need to see an allergist who will perform certain tests to find out the cause of your allergy andadminister vaccine injections against the allergies. Luckily we have a very good methods of investigations and treatment of your condition. Please see an allergist as soon as possible because the sooner you get the treatment the better you get the results.
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Table of Content

What is Sore Throat?

The most common conditions that cause sore throat are:

Treatment :

Play video
Sore Throat
Sore throat refers to a painful , dry or scratchy feeling in the throat. Sore throats usually feel dry,irritated,scratchy and at times burning as well. Those that are caused by a viral infection usually get better on their own in two to seven days. Yet some causes of a sore throat need to be treated.
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice