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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rs 15 - Rs 2 lakhs
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?
Managing FB in the ear, nose and throat
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?
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Swallowing food comes naturally to human beings. But when there is a problem, it is usually called Dysphagia. Esophagus, a muscular tube-like organ located at the back of our throat, usually helps in swallowing food and transferring them to our stomach. When esophagus does not function properly, dysphagia happens. Patients suffering from brain or nerve disorder, seniors and babies might have this problem.
People with dysphagia might witness the following issues:
There are 2 main reasons, why the Esophagus might become dysfunctional.
There can be a number of reasons for both the condition. Here are the reasons why the muscles and nerves might not work.
Certain diseases can create problems with your nervous system, which in turn can affect the esophagus. These diseases are polio, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease.
The esophagus might be blocked because of these reasons:
Tonsils are the two oval-shaped tissue pads at the back of your throat, which function as a mechanism to protect you from diseases. Any infection of the tonsils is referred to as ‘tonsillitis’.
You can suffer from tonsillitis at any age, but it is more commonly diagnosed in children. Tonsillitis is highly contagious.
There are two types of tonsillitis:
Tonsillitis can cause viral and bacterial infections. The ‘Streptococcus (strep) bacteria’ is a common cause. Some other causes include:
Since tonsillitis has various causes, symptoms too tend to differ. Some symptoms include:
In children, symptoms such as excessive drooling, increased irritability or poor appetite are usually noticeable.
If the tonsillitis is mild, especially caused by a virus, it usually doesn’t require any treatment. More critical cases of tonsillitis might require treatments such as tonsillectomy (a surgical process used to remove the tonsils) or administration of antibiotics.
Penicillin is the most commonly administered antibiotic. Once commonly performed, tonsillectomy (surgical removal of tonsils) is now reserved for extremely critical cases. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult an ent-specialist.
Women, who have been thinking that cardiac diseases are something that doesn’t need much attention, then you have tragically mistaken. As a matter of fact, these are the diseases which most women aren’t too aware of. However, it is affecting a lot of women all over the world. The most common issue in cardiology, particularly among women is a heart attack. The first thing that we should know is that Cardiovascular diseases like heart attack are killing as many women as men.
Almost more than 25,000 women are dying all over India every year from a heart attack or other coronary heart diseases. The ratio results show that women are suffering from heart attack three times more than that of breast cancer. The main reason that creates this higher toll is that the disease may be different in women. However, in the case of men, it stays more localised. In the case of women, the disease is diffused and spread out, but it can be treated.
You cannot seek immunity only through pills:
We should be aware of the fact that pills will help you to curb the chance of having a heart attack, but again doctors claim that the risk does hike quite significantly after the menopause in women. The pills in such case can create various side effects and eventually trigger more cardiac diseases. The formation of clots in blood are created by different kinds of hormonal contraception, which is the main reason for a potential heart attack in women.
Heart attack symptoms in women:
We all know that the classic heart attack symptoms include severe pressure on the chest and extreme chest pain. However, these symptoms can be quite subtle in case of women. So, here we are listing down 4 of the most common symptoms of heart attack for women and those are:
If you experience any one of these symptoms even, make sure that you go for a check immediately. Take quicker action as each minute that goes on during a heart attack is creating the death of a heart muscle.
Smoking doubles the risk of a heart attack in women
According to experts in cardiology, the most important fact that triggers a heart attack in women is smoking, which increases the blood pressure and causes the blood to pile up in your blood vessels, reducing the good HDL cholesterol which clots the blood and eventually results in a heart attack.
You must be wondering about the favourable chances of having a heart attack for women. The fifth and final thing to know about a heart attack is that women who are weighing thirty pounds or more have more chances of heart attack. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a cardiologist.
Rheumatic fever is a kind of autoimmune ailment that can occur as a result of group A streptococcal throat infection leading to inflammatory lesions in the connective tissues of the body. This disease specifically affects the joints, heart, blood vessels and various subcutaneous tissues located all over the body.
History of the effects of rheumatic fever:
The disease has been evaluated and depicted since the 1500s, though the connection between the rheumatic fever, and the throat infection was not found out until it was late 1880s. And the sore throat was also related to the rash, which is caused by streptococcal exotoxins, along with fever. Rheumatic fever was one of the leading causes of deaths in children as well as one of most common reasons behind the acquired heart diseases in adults before the invention and availability of penicillin.
Reasons behind the causes of rheumatic fever:
Even though adolescents and adults may be affected by the rheumatic fever, it mostly affects children aged between 5 to 15 years. It is a common disease in areas like South-Central Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and several parts of New Zealand and Australia. Group A streptococcus bacterium is the primary cause of this fever, and it also leads to scarlet fever in some people. It makes the body attack its own tissues once it has been attacked by the bacteria. This particular reaction leads to widespread inflammation throughout the body and forms the basis of all the common symptoms of the rheumatic fever.
You may have to take your child for the strep test if you notice any of the following symptoms:
Harmful impacts of the rheumatic fever:
Developed mostly due to strep throat infection, it can affect the heart, skin, joints and nervous system of children. Though it may not affect all who have gone through a strep throat infection, it can lead to long-term diseases of the heart and its valves and is termed as a rheumatic heart disease. Since each attack of rheumatic fever may cause further damage to the heart, it is very crucial to make sure that your child doesn’t have one more attack of the fever, and it is therefore, important to have regular doses of penicillin injections and consult a specialist for receiving further advice on treatments and prevention.