12 Causes Of Sore Throat (Pharyngitis) and How To Manage It

12 Causes Of Sore Throat (Pharyngitis) and How To Manage It

Sore throat is a painful irritation in the throat that can occur with or without swelling of the pharynx. The pharynx, commonly referred to as the throat is the part of the body that connects the nasal and oral cavity with the larynx and the esophagus. It belongs to the digestive and the respiratory system. 

The pharynx is divided into 3 parts: The nasopharynx, oropharynx, and laryngopharynx. The two common health issues that affect the pharynx are inflammation and pharyngeal cancer. Pharyngitis, additionally known as a sore throat, is inflammation of the throat. Infectious agents and noninfectious factors can cause it.

Causes of Sore Throat

  1. Burns from consuming a hot meal.
  2. Voice overuse: Certain activities that involve the use of your voice can cause you to have a sore throat for a short while. Examples of those activities include shouting, singing, and talking for an extended period.
  3. Dry mouth
  4. You were sleeping with your mouth open
  5. Infectious mononucleosis (kissing disease)
  6. Common cold: is a common viral infection of the upper respiratory tract (nose and throat) that is caused by different types of viruses. The common cold is usually not a severe health issue that lasts a long time. Most patients get better within the first two weeks without being admitted to the hospital.
  7. Strep throat: likewise known as streptococcal pharyngitis, is a bacterial infection that causes sore, scratchy throat. It is caused by group A streptococcus bacteria, and It is more common in children. Strep throat can lead to rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease. Strep throat is transmitted by direct contact with sores or mucus produced by an infected person. Antibiotics are the best treatment of choice for strep throat, and it is also given as prophylactic to prevent rheumatic fever.
  8. Postnasal drip: is excessive mucus accumulation that drips down to the back of your nose to the throat. It can be caused by cold air, dry air, certain irritants, nasal sprays, certain kinds of foods, and hormonal changes. Postnasal drip can be managed with humidifiers, nasal decongestant, or antihistamine.
  9. TonsillitisIt is the inflammation of the tonsils, which are two oval-shaped pads at the back of the throat. Viruses usually cause it, but it can be caused by bacterias as well.
  10. Adult-onset seasonal allergies: are allergic reactions to certain things such as mold, pollen, or dust.
  11. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  12. Influenza (the flu)

Signs and Symptoms of Sore Throat

  • Itchy throat
  • Painful and difficulty swallowing
  • Red swollen tonsil with pus or white patches on them
  • Swollen tender lymph nodes
  • Fever

Diagnosis of sore throat

Sore throat is easy to diagnose due to the apparent symptom of itchy throat and painful swallowing. The exact cause can be investigated with:

  • Full blood count.
  • Skin patch test.
  • Sputum analysis.
  • Laryngoscopy: the back of the throat can be scrapped, and the content examined.

Treatment of Sore Throat

  • Intake of tea with lemon
  • Throat lozenges
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Gargle warm salt water
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDs): ibuprofen
  • Analgesics: paracetamol
  • Antibiotics: depending on the cause of sore throat
  • Surgery: can be carried out depending on the cause of the sore throat. For instance, tonsillectomy can be done for tonsillitis.