Inflammation of the pharynx, present at the back of the throat, is called pharyngitis. Many people refer to it as a sore throat too. Pharyngitis can commonly result in pain, discomfort or scratchiness in the throat, but can also cause painful swallowing in some individuals. In fact, pharyngitis-induced sore throat is one of the most common reasons for doctor visits in the United States.

What Causes Pharyngitis?

Pharyngitis is mostly caused by a viral infection such as influenza, mononucleosis or the common cold. If it is caused by a viral infection, an antibiotic does not cure the problem but only relieves the symptoms. The viral infection completes its course and the symptoms go away in a week or so. However, when Pharyngitis is caused by a bacterial infection such as a strep throat, antibiotics are needed for treatment.

What are the Symptoms?

Symptoms accompanying pharyngitis can vary depending on what the underlying issue has been. When common cold and flu leads to pharyngitis, the following symptoms can occur:
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Chills and fever
  • Headache and body ache
  • Fatigue.

If the underlying problem is mononucleosis, in addition to the above, symptoms can also include rashes, loss of appetite and swollen lymph nodes.

In rare cases where pharyngitis is caused by a bacterial infection, symptoms are:

  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • General malaise
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Red, patchy throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Bad taste in the mouth.

Is Pharyngitis Contagious?

People are worried whether pharyngitis can spread from one person to another. The answer is yes – pharyngitis caused by a viral or bacterial infection is contagious and can easily be transmitted from one to another. Sometimes it can also be caused by a toxin or an allergy and in those cases, pharyngitis is not contagious.

Simple measures like the ones below can help prevent the spread of Pharyngitis.

  • Avoid sharing drinks, food and eating utensils (if possible) with the patient.
  • Avoid kissing.
  • Avoid using contaminated items such as towels, clothing and brushes.
  • Keep alcohol-based sanitizers handy at all times to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Wash your hands many times a day, especially before and after eating. Don’t forget to brush your teeth after eating. To find out more information on how to care for your oral health, visit Evergreen Dental Clinic in Chatswood to receive some advice and guides by just clicking on the link.

Conclusionpharyngitis-checkup

Pharyngitis can be treated at home without any antibiotics as it is mostly caused by a viral infection. However, visiting your doctor can ensure that the underlying problem is not a bacterial infection, in which case treatment is important. If you’re suffering from a sore throat for more than a week or have developed rashes, a visit to your doctor for a thorough check-up is a good idea.

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