Throat ache can be caused due to a number of conditions. These are classified into types, based on the part of the throat gets affected. The most common conditions that tend to cause throat pain are laryngitis and tonsillitis.
The viral infections that can cause throat ache are common cold, flu, measles, chicken pox, croup and mononucleosis. Although different bacteria can cause throat ache, the most common bacteria is Streptococcus pyogenes. Other causes of throat ache include allergies, irritants, muscle pain, dryness, muscle strain, HIV infection, GERD and tumors.
A doctor will generally check for the symptoms and will check the back of the throat of the affected person for redness, white spots and swelling. The neck could also be examined to see if he/she has any swollen glands. A throat culture is recommended if the doctor wants to check whether a person has strep throat or not.
A Throat ache caused by a viral infection normally gets resolved within a week or so. However, there are some medications that a person can take to get relief from the pain. throat ache caused by bacterial infections can be cured with the use of antibiotics. The treatment for tonsillitis depends on the cause.
A throat ache is a painful, dry, or itchy feeling in the throat. Pain with scratch feeling in the throat is one of the most common symptoms. Majorly throat aches are caused by infections or dry air. Usually it will go away on its own.
Some other treatments that may help to treat the throat pain are a spray that has a cooling ingredient like menthol or eucalyptus and a numbing antiseptic like phenol, cough syrups and throat lozenges. If throat pain occurs due to GERD, some of the medications that may help to treat it are antacids to neutralize stomach acid, H2 blockers to reduce production of stomach acid and proton pump inhibitirs to prevent the formation of stomach acid.
Tonsillitis caused due to bacteria is generally cured with the help of antibiotics. However, if a person suffers from viral tonsillitis, antibiotics would not help him/her. In that case, the person has to take some precautions and adopt a healthy lifestyle and allow the body to fight off the infection on its own. Sometimes a person may have to undergo tonsillectomy if the tonsillitis is recurrent or persistent.
Penicillin, used to treat strep infection, has a number of side effects. They are nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and headache. A person may also experience white patches inside the mouth or throat and a swollen, black and hairy tongue. Antibiotics in general can cause severe diarrhea and stomach cramps. A person on antibiotics may also experience severe allergic reactions in the lips, tongue, face and throat. Ibuprofen can cause dizziness, nervousness and ringing sensation in the ears in addition to the symptoms already mentioned above. Cough syrups can cause drowsiness, sleep problems, headache and vision problems.
There are a number of guidelines that a person can follow even after he/she has taken medications to deal with throat pain. A person should drink enough fluids to keep the throat moist, include comforting foods broth, caffeine-free tea and warm water with honey to care for the throat and also gargle with salt water. He/she should avoid talking too much, use a cool air-humidifier to keep the air moist and avoid coming in contact with irritants like cigarette smoke and other products. Tonsillectomy is generally performed in children. A child undergoing this surgery should take enough rest and also drink lots of water.
Throat pain due to strep throat can be treated with antibiotics. In this case, the throat pain may subside within 48 hours. A sore throat does not require medications if it is caused by a viral infection. It generally lasts for five to seven days and so the accompanying throat pain will also subside after that period. A child may require about 7-10 days to recover from a tonsillectomy.
Ibuprofen, which is used to treat throat pain, is available within a price range of Rs 15- Rs 230. Tonsillectomy may cost a lot if it is done from a reputed private hospital. The cost of the surgery in such cases will exceed Rs 2 lakhs. Penicillin antibiotic can cost anything between Rs 500 – Rs 1000. Cough syrups to treat throat pain are available within a price range of Rs 100- Rs 200.
Sore throats can be caused due to a number of causes including viral and bacterial infections, allergic reactions to environmental pollutants, dry air, smoke, chemical and other irritants, injury and even tumors. Thus although the bacterial or viral infections can be dealt with quite easily, pain in the throat can recur. This is due to the fact that the triggering mechanisms cannot b controlled so easily. Hence, there are no permanent cures.
One of the easiest ways to treat throat pain is to gargle with warm water. A mixture of ginger, honey and lemon when consumed with a little bit of warm water can do wonders. Other alternative remedies that can help ease throat pain include: slippery elm, licorice root, marshmellow root and honeysuckle flower.