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What Causes Pharyngitis

young lady with Pharyngitis

A sore throat is known medically as pharyngitis, and it is a common ailment that is rarely caused for alarm.

The causes, transmission, and symptoms of pharyngitis are discussed in this article. Similar illnesses, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention are similarly covered.

What Is Pharyngitis

The inflammation of your throat causes pharyngitis, generally known as a sore throat.

You might believe that sore throats exclusively affect grownups, but this is not the case. Pharyngitis can strike children as well, with the same symptoms as adults.

It’s usually not that bad, but you should find out how long pharyngitis lasts so you know what to do if it does.

person mouth with Pharyngitis

How Do You Get Pharyngitis

Pharyngitis is infectious in both viral and bacterial types.

When a person with the disease coughs or sneezes, tiny droplets containing the virus or bacterium are released into the air.

Infection can occur when a person is exposed to:

  • Inhaling tiny drops
  • After contacting infected materials and touching their face.
  • Ingesting contaminated food or beverages

Therefore, washing hands before handling food or touching one’s face is a necessity

Virus infections, such as the common cold, normally take 7-10 days for people to recover from. People may be contagious before symptoms show due to the viral incubation period.

What Causes Pharyngitis

women suffering from pharyngitis

Pharyngitis can be caused by a variety of viral and bacterial causes.

They are as follows:

Viral infections such as the common cold, influenza, or mononucleosis are the most typical causes of pharyngitis. Antibiotics are ineffective against viral infections, therefore treatment is limited to symptom relief.

Pharyngitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection. Antibiotics are required for bacterial infections. Strep throat, caused by group A streptococcus, is the most common bacterial infection of the throat.

Colds and cases of flu can put you at risk for pharyngitis if you get them frequently. This is especially true for persons who work in the healthcare field, have allergies, or get sinus infections frequently. You may also be in danger if you are exposed to secondhand smoke.

What Are The Symptoms Of Pharyngitis

The symptoms of pharyngitis differ depending on the underlying cause.

A cold or flu can induce the following symptoms in addition to a painful, dry, or scratchy throat:

  • sneezing
  • headache from a runny nose
  • cough
  • fatigue
  • Fever, chills, and bodily aches (a low-grade fever with a cold and higher-grade fever with the flu)

How Is Pharyngitis Diagnosed

Sore throats can be caused by a variety of medical issues.

While viral infections are the most prevalent cause of pharyngitis, it is still critical to diagnose the cause in order to effectively treat the illness.

Blood Tests

medical personnel taking blood test in a patient

Blood tests may be ordered if your doctor suspects a different reason for your pharyngitis.

A little amount of blood is collected from your arm or hand and submitted to a facility for testing.

Throat Culture

female doctor doing throat culture procedure on a patient

A throat culture will most likely be taken if your doctor suspects you have strep throat.

This entails taking a sample of your throat secretions with a cotton swab. A fast strep test may usually be done in the office by most doctors.

Physical Exam

doctor doing physical exam on a male patient

Your doctor will examine your throat if you have symptoms of pharyngitis.

They’ll look for white or gray spots, swelling, and redness, among other things. Your doctor may examine your ears and nose as well.

How To Treat Pharyngitis

If your pharyngitis is caused by a virus, home care might help you feel better.

The following are some examples of home care:

  • To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water.
  • Consuming hot broth
  • Gargling with a warm saltwater solution (1 teaspoon of salt per 8 ounces of water)
  • The use of a humidifier
  • Take it easy till you feel better

A doctor may prescribe a course of oral antibiotics, such as amoxicillin or penicillin, to treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics aid in the reduction of symptoms and the prevention of complications.

To guarantee that the infection is cleared and that reinfection does not occur, it is critical to finish the entire course of antibiotics.

At Kingwood ER, we treat a wide range of urgent medical diseases and symptoms, ranging from major emergencies like stomach discomfort, heart attacks, and blood clots to minor emergencies like bladder infections, allergic reactions, and fevers.

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How To Prevent Pharyngitis

A person’s risk of developing or transmitting pharyngitis and other illnesses can be reduced by doing the following:

  • Hands should be washed thoroughly and frequently.
  • When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose.
  • avoiding close contact with people who are infected with a contagious virus or bacterium
  • avoiding smoking and secondhand smoke exposure
  • avoiding meal and drink sharing

person properly washing hands

Key Takeaways

Pharyngitis is a common ailment that develops in conjunction with colds and the flu. Viral pharyngitis usually goes away on its own within a few weeks, while bacterial pharyngitis may require antibiotic treatment to avoid problems.

Pharyngitis complications, such as rheumatic fever, are uncommon. Anyone experiencing severe, recurrent, or persistent symptoms should consult a physician.

When you or a member of your family suffers a medical emergency, having access to emergency care close to home is critical.

We have skilled physicians, compassionate personnel, and cutting-edge equipment at Kingwood ER, allowing us to provide speedy and convenient care.

We also provide 24-hour service, seven days a week, including holidays, to meet the medical needs of our patients. Book an appointment with us today!

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