What is pharyngitis and how is it treated?
Pharyngitis is a disease characterized by the inflammation of the mucosa, lymphoid tissue, and tonsils of the pharynx.
The primary cause of the disease is the inhalation of hot, cold, or contaminated air, chemical irritations. Infectious pharyngitis can be provoked by various viruses as well as microorganisms (bacteria), and fungi of the genus Candida. Frequently, pharyngitis develops due to the growth of infection beyond the focus of inflammation, for instance, from nose or gums.
The disease can also occur as a result of the trauma of the pharynx, for instance, the removal of a foreign body or surgery.
Short information about pharyngitis
Most common causes of pharyngitis
- Inhalation of very cold or hot air;
- General hypothermia;
- Inhalation of chemicals (smoking, etc.);
- Fungi (Candida);
- The spread of infection from neighboring foci of inflammation (teeth, sinuses);
- Lowered immunity;
- Vitamin deficiency;
- Diseases of other organs and systems (gastrointestinal tract, heart, etc.).
Chronic atrophic pharyngitis is usually observed in elderly people due to age-related changes in the mucous membrane of the pharynx.
Symptoms of pharyngitis
There are two types of pharyngitis - acute and chronic.
Acute form develops right after exposure to aggressive factors (infection, tobacco smoke, etc.).
Chronic pharyngitis can be developed as a result of untreated acute form of the disease or as an autonomous disease that occurs with extended irritation of the mucosa. The chronic condition has phases of exacerbation and remission.
Symptoms depend on the character of the disease.
Acute pharyngitis is usually an independent disease that develops after inhaling irritants (most often), eating hot or too cold food, overheating, and hypothermia. Usually, the patient complains of sore throat, dry, and sometimes painful cough. This process can be also accompanied by a raise of the body temperature to 37 C-38 C (98.6 F-100 F), rarely, it can be higher. When examining the throat, you can notice a significant reddening of the mucous membrane of the pharynx. In some cases, minor ulcerations of the mucosa are present.
If it develops as a symptom of another disease (for instance, acute airway viral infections), the manifestations of the underlying disease (scarlet fever, flu, and others) are added to the clinical signs of pharyngitis. In this case, such symptoms as high fever, difficulty breathing, signs of intoxication, rash, and so on can also occur.
It is necessary to distinguish between acute pharyngitis and acute tonsillitis. Acute tonsillitis is called local inflammation of the palatine tonsils. In pharyngitis, the inflammation takes on a more diffuse character. While the symptoms of acute tonsillitis such as painful swallowing, fever, increase of the cervical lymph nodes sizes, are supplemented by symptoms of inflammation of the pharyngeal walls such as sore, dry throat, and dry cough.
In chronic pharyngitis, the manifestations of the disease are less intense. A person can complain of dryness or sore throat, painful and dry cough. A flare-up of chronic pharyngitis resembles the acute form.
How is pharyngitis treated?
Treatment of the disease is aimed at the elimination of the disease cause.
If it is caused by bacteria, treatment is made with antibiotics such as Zithromax or its generic analogs based on Azithromycin. Besides, treatment includes topical rinsing of the throat, irrigation of the tonsils and back of the throat with aerosols, physiotherapeutic methods, inhalations with anti-inflammatory medications r herbs, and in the case of pharyngitis caused by prolonged inhalation of smoke or irritating substances, use protective equipment or change places of work.
General recommendations for treatment are:
- Quit smoking,
- Do not drink alcohol,
- Use humidifiers at home,
- Do not eat food that irritates the throat,
- Do not breathe in cold air.
Any medication for pharyngitis should be prescribed and carried out under the supervision of a physician as the uncontrollable use of antibiotics can cause serious health complications. However, after you get your prescription, you can save on the treatment you can order the medicines from our online drugstore.