Pharyngitis

General description of the disease

Pharyngitis is an inflammation of the lymphoid tissue and mucous membrane of the back of the throat, or the so-called pharynx. As a rule, it is provoked bacterial or viral infections[2]… May be accompanied by fever, sore throat, especially when swallowing, and unpleasant tickling, which provokes a cough. Symptoms usually last three to five days. Streptococcus bacteria is the cause of pharyngitis in 25% of children and 10% of adults. Other causes of illness include fungus, irritation, allergic reactions, such as smoke[3].

 

The reasons that provoke the occurrence of pharyngitis

There are many viral and bacterial agents that can trigger pharyngitis. These include:

  • measles;
  • adenovirus;
  • chickenpox;
  • croup (a childhood disease characterized by a barking cough);
  • Streptococcus group A.

Viruses are the most common cause of sore throat. Pharyngitis is often triggered by the flu, colds, or mononucleosis. Viral infections are not sensitive to antibiotics, and treatment is prescribed only to relieve unpleasant symptoms of the disease[2].

 

Pharyngitis symptoms

The incubation period is usually 2 to 5 days. Symptoms that accompany pharyngitis vary depending on the cause.

Symptoms accompanying pharyngitis vary depending on the cause.

The length of time that pharyngitis is contagious will depend on the underlying condition of the patient. With a viral infection, it is possible to become infected while the virus is present in the body. With streptococcus, the disease can be contagious for as long as the person is not taking antibiotics and in the first 24 hours after they start taking them. A cold usually lasts less than 10 days. Symptoms, including fever, can be up to three to five days[2].

Types of pharyngitis

  1. 1 Streptococcal pharyngitis. The pathogen that causes its development is Streptococcus or group A streptococcus. Clinically, this manifests itself in an inflamed and edematous pharynx, swollen lymph nodes, fever, and red papular rash.
  2. 2 Viral pharyngitis. Viruses are by far the most common cause of pharyngitis in both adults and children. Epstein-Barr virus (infectious mononucleosis) is the most common among them. Also, pharyngitis can be provoked by rhinoviruses, coronaviruses. People with adenovirus pharyngitis often suffer from viral conjunctivitis at the same time.
  3. 3 Gonococcal pharyngitis. This is a form of pharyngitis that is triggered by the causative agents of gonorrhea. The disease can occur both in isolation and together with lesions of the urogenital tract. This form of the disease can be found in patients who have oral sex.
  4. 4 Diphtheria pharyngitis. Distinguishing pharyngitis, provoked by diphtheria, from other forms is easy. This species is distinguished by the presence of a thick grayish-white coating on the back of the throat and surrounding tissues.[6].
  5. 5 Non-infectious pharyngitis. May be caused by mechanical, chemical or thermal irritation such as cold air or acid reflux. Certain medicines can cause strep throat[3].

Complications of pharyngitis

Acute pharyngitis may develop into chronic, and this can be considered the most obvious complication of it. Other complications that may arise as a result of a serious form of pharyngitis or lack of timely treatment include: acute rheumatism, chronic bronchitis, tracheitis, retropharyngeal or peritonsillar abscess, inflammation of the inner ear or auditory tube. It is important to consult a doctor in a timely manner in order to establish the cause of pharyngitis and determine the correct, effective treatment.

Prevention of pharyngitis

The following are ways to prevent pharyngitis:

 
  1. 1 Avoid airborne contact with anyone who has complaints of sore throat, colds, flu, mononucleosis, or bacterial infection. In particular, it is worth giving up close contact, kissing, and the use of common utensils.
  2. 2 Wash your hands often.
  3. 3 Do not smoke and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.
  4. 4 Use a humidifier if the air in your home is too dry.
  5. 5 Add foods containing vitamin C to your diet. Research shows that it has a beneficial effect on the human immune system, the activity of antimicrobial cells.
  6. 6 Add zinc to your diet. This mineral is essential for the activity of lymphocytes; it can be directly involved in the production of antibodies that will help fight infection[5].

Risk Factors

The risk of getting pharyngitis increases if:

  • It is a cold season or a flu epidemic is active.
  • You have had close contact with someone with a cold or a sore throat.
  • You are an active or passive smoker.
  • If you have an allergy.
  • Children can get pharyngitis often if they attend kindergarten[4].

Pharyngitis diagnostics

  1. 1 Physical examination. If you go to the hospital with a sore throat complaint, your doctor will examine you for inflammation, white or gray plaque, and swelling. Also, in addition to the throat, he can examine the nose, ears, feel the neck to understand if the lymph nodes are enlarged.
  2. 2 Sowing from the throat. If the doctor suspects strep, they may order a throat culture. This is a laboratory test. When it is carried out with a special tampon, particles of mucus from the throat or nose are transferred into a special nutrient medium, where the microbes disperse very quickly and form colonies. Thus, with the help of such an analysis, the doctor can determine what types of microbes, bacteria, the mucous membrane of the nose or throat is inhabited, and based on this, prescribe subsequent treatment.
  3. 3 Blood test. If the doctor suspects another cause of strep throat, he or she may order a blood test. This test can detect the presence of mononucleosis or eliminate it. A complete blood count may be done to determine if the patient has another type of infection[2].

Pharyngitis treatment in mainstream medicine

As a rule, pharyngitis is treated on the recommendation of a doctor at home. But in some situations, medication is indispensable. Let’s consider both options.

Home care should include the following:

 
  • Plentiful warm drink to prevent dehydration, as well as to remove waste foods of the body after fighting the virus, bacteria.
  • Eating warm broth.
  • Gargling with a solution of salt or water, or with special herbal infusions.
  • Air humidification using a special device.
  • Bed rest until recovery.

Your doctor may prescribe medications to relieve pain and fever. Traditional medicine is also often used to treat pharyngitis. However, you should definitely consult a doctor before buying any antipyretic, pain relievers, or using alternative treatments to avoid complications.

In some cases, medical attention is needed to treat pharyngitis. This is especially important if it is triggered by a bacterial infection. In such cases, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. It is important to complete the entire course of antibiotics to prevent the infection from returning or worsening. It usually lasts 7 to 10 days.

Useful foods for pharyngitis

As a rule, with pharyngitis, patients have a decrease in appetite. In addition, food intake is accompanied by pain or discomfort during swallowing. Therefore, food should be healthy and as gentle as possible in order not to damage the mucous membranes.

 

During the period of illness and recovery, it is imperative to include in the diet such foods as:

  • Slow carbohydrates that provide energy – vegetables, fruits, cereals, herbs.
  • Products containing polyunsaturated fatty acids – seafood, seeds, nuts.
  • Products, the composition of which is enriched with protein – boiled chicken breast, rabbit, eggs (preferably boiled), veal.
  • During acute inflammation, drink plenty of fluids in your diet. It is advisable to drink at least 8 cups of liquid a day. It will help remove toxins and other substances in the body that remain after fighting bacteria and viruses. Drinks should be warm. You can use juices diluted with warm water, compote, tea with honey, decoctions of medicinal plants with antimicrobial effect, chicken broth.
  • It is important to include probiotics in the diet, which have a good effect on the intestinal microflora and trigger the active work of the immune system. These include dairy foods of normal fat content, sauerkraut.
  • It is also important to include fruits and vegetables in the diet, which will be a source of vitamins for a weakened body.

Traditional medicine for pharyngitis

  1. 1 Potatoes are an effective folk remedy for pharyngitis. You can inhale over potato steam or gargle with freshly squeezed potato juice.
  2. 2 Tonsils can be lubricated with propolis tincture. You can buy it at the pharmacy. Dilute one part of 10% propolis extract in alcohol in two parts of peach oil or glycerin and lubricate the back of the throat with this mixture[1].
  3. 3 You can prepare a decoction to gargle your throat. To do this, take 500 ml of water, bring them to a boil, add 1 tablespoon each. sage and plantain. Simmer for 15 minutes. Then cool a little, add 1 tbsp. honey and a small pinch of citric acid. Gargle with this broth for several days 3-4 times a day.
  4. 4 Pharyngitis can be treated with a budgetary and affordable tool – sea salt. You will need 500 ml of warm water – its temperature should be approximately 36 degrees. Dissolve a tablespoon of sea salt in it and gargle with this remedy for at least a week, 5-6 times a day, even if the throat has stopped hurting at this point.
  5. 5 Warm milk with honey and butter should be drunk at night to soothe pain. You can adjust the proportions to taste.
  6. 6 Eucalyptus is a natural antimicrobial agent that can be used to relieve inflammation. You can add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a humidifier or water and gargle with it.
  7. 7 Licorice. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), licorice is used to relieve inflammation – you can rinse your mouth with a tincture. Licorice should not be used in large quantities, as it can lead to high blood pressure, low blood potassium levels, and can affect levels of the hormone cortisol.
  8. 8 Chamomile tea can be used to relieve sore throat or as a soothing, anti-anxiety natural remedy[5].

Dangerous and harmful foods for pharyngitis

  • It is important to exclude sweets from the diet, as they negatively affect the functioning of the immune system, reduce its activity. Chocolates, desserts are better replaced with dried fruits, berries, a small amount of honey.
  • It is undesirable to eat foods that contain trans fats. These include sour cream, fatty meat, different spreads, margarine, etc.
  • It is important during the period of treatment and recovery not to drink or eat cold foods: cocktails, ice cream, chilled desserts. Even plain water is recommended to be heated, because cold can negatively affect the healing process and increase the symptoms of pharyngitis.
  • Soda, alcoholic beverages, smoking are also strictly prohibited – they not only harm the immune system, but also irritate the mucous membrane, which significantly delays the recovery period.
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The administration is not responsible for any attempt to use the information provided, and does not guarantee that it will not harm you personally. The materials cannot be used to prescribe treatment and make a diagnosis. Always consult your specialist doctor!

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