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Throat Ache: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Throat ache can be caused due to a number of conditions. The most common conditions that tend to cause throat pain are pharyngitis and tonsillitis. Pharyngitis or sore throat is a condition characterized by pain, scratchiness or irritation of the throat that usually worsens when a person tries to swallow. Pharyngitis or sore throat is generally caused by a viral infection such as cold or flu. Tonsils are situated at the back of the throat. They are collections of lymphoid tissue and form a part of the immune system. The tonsils trap germs and prevent them from entering your airways. However, the tonsils sometimes get affected and get inflamed and cause a lot of pain in the throat.

The viral infections that can cause sore throat are common cold, flu, measles, chicken pox, croup and mononucleosis. Although different bacteria can cause sore throat, the most common bacteria is Streptococcus pyogenes. Other causes of sore throat include allergies, irritants, muscle pain, dryness, muscle strain, HIV infection, GERD and tumors.

A sore throat 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. Sore throat caused by bacterial infections can be cured with the use of antibiotics. The treatment for tonsillitis depends on the cause.

How is the treatment done?

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 doctor may recommend medicines to treat the throat pain or to contain its symptoms. Some medicines that help to treat throat pain and are easily available are acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin. 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.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Tonsillitis, which can cause throat pain, exhibits a number of other side effects as well. They are redness of the tonsils, painful ulcers or blisters in the throat, headache, loss of appetite, white or yellow coating on the tonsils, fever, difficulty in swallowing or breathing, swollen glands in the neck or jaw area and even bad breath. Children may experience nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. A doctor can determine whether a person needs treatment for throat pain by asking a person to take a rapid strep test. Or else a doctor can swab the back of the throat to collect samples and check for signs of bacteria. A person experiencing such symptoms and who has been diagnosed by the doctor as suffering from strep throat or tonsillitis can undergo treatment.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

A person who has not experienced the symptoms associated with sore throat or tonsillitis is not eligible. A person may experience throat pain due to a number of different reasons. Thus, a person, who has not been properly diagnosed by a registered medical practitioner, is not eligible for treatment for pharyngitis or tonsillitis.

Are there any side effects?

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.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

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.

How long does it take to recover?

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.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

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.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

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.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

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.

Safety: High Effectiveness: Medium Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: Low Side Effects: Low Time For Recovery: Medium Price Range:

Rs 15 - Rs 2 lakhs

Popular Health Tips

Pharyngitis and Tonsillitis

Dr. Ramakanth Reddy 90% (95 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma In Child Health
Pediatrician, Hyderabad
Pharyngitis and Tonsillitis What are pharyngitis and tonsillitis? Pharyngitis and tonsillitis are infections that cause inflammation. If the tonsils are affected, it is called tonsillitis. If the throat is affected, it is called pharyngitis. If you have both, it s called pharyngotonsillitis. These infections are spread by close contact with others. Most cases happen during the winter or colder months. What causes pharyngitis and tonsillitis? There are many causes of infections in the throat. Viruses are the most common cause and antibiotics will not help. Causes of throat infections include: Viruses (most common) Bacteria (such as strep) Fungal infections Parasitic infections Cigarette smoke Other causes What are the symptoms of pharyngitis and tonsillitis? The symptoms of pharyngitis and tonsillitis depend greatly on what s causing it. For some people, symptoms may start quickly. For others, symptoms start slowly. These are the most common symptoms of pharyngitis and tonsillitis: Sore throat Fever (either low- or high-grade) Headache Loss in appetite Not feeling well Nausea Vomiting Stomach aches Painful swallowing Redness or drainage in the throat The symptoms of pharyngitis and tonsillitis may look like other medical conditions or problems. Always check with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis. How are pharyngitis and tonsillitis diagnosed? In most cases, it is hard to tell the difference between a viral sore throat and a strep throat based on physical exam. It is important, though, to know if the sore throat is caused by strep bacteria, as this calls for antibiotics to help prevent the complications that can happen with these bacteria. As a result, most people, when they have the above symptoms, will get a strep test and throat culture to find out if it is an infection caused by strep. This will involve a throat swab in the healthcare provider s office. Quick tests, called rapid strep tests, may be done. This may immediately show as positive for strep and antibiotics can be started. If it is negative, part of the throat swab will be kept for a throat culture. This will further identify strep in 2 to 3 days. Your healthcare provider will discuss the treatment plan with you based on the findings. How are pharyngitis and tonsillitis treated? Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment based on: How old you are His or her overall health and medical history How sick you are How well you can handle specific medicines, procedures, or therapies How long the condition is expected to last Your opinion or preference If bacteria are not the cause of the infection, the treatment is usually more for comfort. Antibiotics will not help treat viral sore throats. Treatment may include: Acetaminophen or ibuprofen (for pain) Increased fluid intake Throat lozenges Gargling with warm salt water Antibiotics are prescribed if the cause of the infection is bacterial. What are the complications of pharyngitis and tonsillitis? Most cases of pharyngitis and tonsillitis will run their course without any complications. But, if the disease is caused by strep, rare complications, including rheumatic fever, rheumatic heart disease, and kidney disease can happen. Treatment with antibiotics can prevent these complications. When to call your healthcare provider? If a sore throat is severe and includes trouble swallowing, drooling, or neck swelling, see a healthcare provider right away. Key points about pharyngitis and tonsillitis Pharyngitis and tonsillitis are infections in the throat that cause inflammation Pharyngitis and tonsillitis can be caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, and cigarette smoking Most infections are caused by viruses. Antibiotics do not cure a viral infection, and should not be used If a bacterial infection is diagnosed, it will be treated with antibiotics Pharyngitis and tonsillitis can be treated with pain relievers, increased fluid intake, throat lozenges, and gargling with warm salt water
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How To Deal With The Presence Of Foreign Bodies In Ear/Nose/Throat?

Diploma - Diploma - OLO - Rhino-Laryngology, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
ENT Specialist, Pune
How To Deal With The Presence Of Foreign Bodies In Ear/Nose/Throat?
What is a foreign body (FB)? Foreign body or FB is an object or piece of extraneous matter that has entered the body by accident or design. It is common to see certain items getting stuck in the ear, nose or throat especially, in young children. While most of the time they do not raise an alarm, however, sometimes they can lead to severe consequences like rupture of the eardrum or even choking. How do FBs affect ear, nose and throat? Children over 9 months develop an ability to pick up objects. As they explore the environment around them, they tend to put items such as peas, beans, marbles, beads, cotton, paper, etc, in their mouth, nose or ears. A similar trend can be seen in adults with mental disorders. Trauma/ fall/accident can force FBs like rock, pebbles into the ear, nose or throat. Adults while riding a bike or sleeping on the ground (campsites) can have insects: flies, ants, roaches fly into the nose or ear. Choking occurs when FBs block the airway, common reasons are: not chewing the food properly, diseases like Parkinsonism, drinking alcohol or certain drugs that slowdowns the process of swallowing. Managing FB in the ear, nose and throat Foreign bodies in the ear Symptoms: Pain in the ear, discharge or bleeding from the ear, feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear and dizziness and nausea in extreme cases. Management: Make sure the patient is sitting in an upright position, pull the pinna or outer semicircle of the ear towards the back. This can help you see the object clearly and also loosen it to wiggle out. If you can see the object clearly, use a tweezer to grasp the object and gently remove. In case a live insect gets trapped inside the ear lie down and place few drops of warm vegetable or baby oil. Use oil only if symptoms of eardrum perforation like pain, bleeding/discharge from the ear is absent. Tilting the head to the affected side can facilitate gravity to dislodge the object. Foreign bodies in the nose: Symptoms: Pain and difficulty in breathing from that side of the nose. Management: Keep the uninvolved nostril closed by pressing a finger against the side of the nose and gently ask the person to blow from the affected nostril. Foreign bodies in the throat: Symptoms: Choking, inability to breathe and speak Management: Perform Heimlich maneuver: abdominal thrusts, if trained otherwise, it is advised to call for medical help immediately. How can you prevent foreign bodies from entering your ear, nose, throat? Discourage talking, playing, laughing when food is in the mouth. Do not give whole grapes, popcorn, nuts to children below 3 years. Keep small objects out of reach of small children. Teach children to avoid placing objects into their nose, ears.
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Tonsillitis - What Should You Know?

Dr. Biswajit Banik 91% (87 ratings)
ENT Specialist, Faridabad
Tonsillitis - What Should You Know?
Tonsillitis is a condition, which is characterized by infection of the tonsils in your throat. The tonsils are a pair of lymph nodes that are situated in the throat; its primary function is to protect the body from various infections. Although the disorder can occur at any age, it is majorly common among children. A large number of bacteria or viruses can cause this disorder, but the most serious symptoms occur when it is caused by the streptococcal bacteria. Causes The first defense mechanism of the body is made up of the tonsils. They synthesize white blood cells which fight against infections. Although tonsils combat these infections, at times, they can fall prey to the same, thus resulting in tonsillitis. Tonsillitis can be caused by both virus and bacteria; however, it is mostly caused by the former. Kids and school going children are very vulnerable to this disorder as they can come in contact with harmful viruses and bacteria very easily. Symptoms You will experience symptoms such as a sore throat, bad breath and have difficulty in speaking. Swelling of the tonsils will also make swallowing of food a difficult affair. Other symptoms of tonsillitis are stomach cramps, fever and headaches. The neck and the jaw may also feel tender due to the swollen lymph nodes. Treatment If the symptoms are mild, then it usually does not require any specific treatment. For severe symptoms, antibiotics are prescribed to combat the bacteria that caused the infection in the first place. Chronic cases of this disorder warrant a surgery known as tonsillectomy. In case of dehydration, intravenous fluids are administered. In addition to these treatment methods, there are certain home remedies that you can follow. The tips you can follow are: Keep yourself well hydrated Use a humidifier Gargle with lukewarm water mixed with salt, regularly
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Benefits Of Honey!

Vedic Gram 83% (301 ratings)
Vedicgram Ayurveda
Ayurveda, Noida
Benefits Of Honey!
Traditionally, the use of honey stretches back to time immemorial. It is still considered one of the most precious gifts of nature to mankind. Modern research also suggests that honey has unique medicinal and nutritional properties. Honey should be incorporated in your daily diet as it is one food which is naturally beneficial for your overall health and does have any side effects. Following are the traditional uses of honey, according to ayurveda: 1. Prevents anemia: Honey contains high amounts of iron, manganese and copper which are very essential for building hemoglobin. According to ancient texts, honey is a traditional cure as well as prevention for anemia as it helps in maintaining the optimum level of red blood corpuscles and hemoglobin. 2. Promotes eye health: Honey has been used to treat various eye diseases since ancient times. It is known to improve vision with daily application. It is an effective cure against diseases like conjunctivitis, trachoma or even something as minor as eye itching. It is also beneficial to treat glaucoma in the early stages. 3. Skin care: Ancient texts on ayurveda mention that external application of honey is effective in curing sores or other wounds. It works like an antiseptic and helps to soothe pain and hastens the healing process. It is also used to treat skin burns or carbuncles. 4. Cure for coughs: Honey is extremely useful in treating coughs. It works as a demulcent which aids in soothing the swollen mucous membrane present on the upper respiratory tract. It relieves you from irritating coughs and associated symptoms like frequent spurts of cough while talking and difficulty in swallowing. It is a chief ingredient in ayurvedic cough syrups for the same reason. You can also try honey gargles to relieve pain from throat inflammation.
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Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Care

Dr. Honey Gupta 86% (28 ratings)
ENT Specialist, Faridabad
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Popular Questions & Answers

Sir/Madam, Pain in throat last 30 days repeated any homeopathy medicine please advice thanks.

Dr. T. K. Mandal 89% (21 ratings)
Homeopath, Bankura
You are suffering from sore throat or chronic pharyngitis. You must do saline water gurgling 2-3 times a day. If it is your chronic tendency of repeated attack you must take proper medication through proper case taking.

I am having high throat pain for last 2 days with cough too. Due to which I cannot swallow things easily. Can you please suggest me some medicines to cope this up.

Dr. Shweta Nangia 90% (20 ratings)
ENT Specialist, Delhi
You may be suffering from acute pharyngitis and need a course of antibiotics along with supportive treatment. Please visit an ENT specialist for confirmation of diagnosis and further management. Plenty of fluids, rest, saline gargles may provide temporary relief.

I was suffering from fever and cold with pain in throat 10 days back I took medication for that for 5 days now I am feeling very weak and I am having pain in my legs. What should I do?

Dr. Ashok Mishra 88% (2297 ratings)
General Physician, Allahabad
Firstly let me know the medication you took ? Did you felt shivering before onset of cold and fever . Till the time you reply you may take Tablet Trinerve -- LC once daily. Syrup Mac- Total 2 Tsf twice daily after mealsThis will help you.

Have bile reflux since from many years. Oftenly I keep getting constipation n I got pimple kind off bubble on side of my anus mouth. I find it hard to go for motion. I shud pressurise. Wat ever I eat sumtime I puke. Bcoz of bile reflux I get throat pain n burning oftenly. Is there a permanent solution for this.

Dr. Kr Dhar 90% (75 ratings)
General Physician,
You have to go with biological lifestyle, proper diet and suitable daily practice habit for permanent cure In beginning medicine also be taken for good result then depending on condition medicine could be put off by tapering dose.
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