Prolonged sore throat: When should you worry?

Sore throat is a common problem that every household faces. Ranging from children to adults and also to elderly member of the household this is a common issue with rather little solution.

Triggering factors:

Smoking

There exist various factors which can cause prolonged sore throat. The below stated list would make you aware of them, namely,

  • Smoking (active and passive)
  • Environmental pollution
  • Tonsil abscess
  • Gonorrhea
  • Mono
  • Tonsillitis
  • Acid Reflux
  • Mouth Breathing
  • Postnasal Drip
  • Allergies.

Persistent sore throat without fever:

Coughing

Often it is seen that people continue to have prolonged sore throat and even after a lot of treatment it seems as if antibiotics don’t work. What is very important in these cases is to find out the exact causes and treatment as required. Sometimes we have hyper allergy towards certain things and they cause these sore throats. Pollens, dust, mold and synthetic fragrance are common causes of sore throat. Common colds also lead to sore throat though they subside within three to four days. Airborne allergies have the following symptoms:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Watery eyes.
  • Postnasal drip is also common.

Inflammation of lymph nodes:

tooth abscess

A common cause of prolonged sore throat can be inflammation of lymph nodes. The general causes of lymph node inflammation are:

  • Ear infection
  • Flu or cold
  • A tooth abscess or infected tooth
  • Mononucleosis
  • Strep throat
  • Infection in the skin
  • HIV
  • Cancer (The last two happen at a very rare occasion.)

Bacterial and viral infections:

tonsillitis

There are certain bacterial infections that persistent sore throat without fever where even antibiotics don’t work. Peritonsillar abscess is something of that sort. It is a situation where there is a pus filled lump is formed within tissue. This situation happens when tonsillitis becomes intense or is left untreated for a longer time. It can cause immense pain in one side of the throat and can cause problem while swallowing. At extreme cases there can be problem while breathing. It may be necessary for doctors to drain out the abscess and give antibiotics for the infection.

Throat injury:

Throat injury

Often we here patients complaining that even after having lots of antibiotics and anti allergic there are still suffering from sore throat problem. The problem may be that throat injury caused by burns from hot food items, even foods which have sharp edges such as chips, crackers or pieces of sum nuts. Gargling with warm water or with salt water may help deal with it.

Acid Reflux:

chest-pain

This symptom is better known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease. This is a condition when the contents of the stomach tend to come up along with acids. This condition gets worse at night as one sleeps. Symptoms of this include:

  • Pain in the middle of chest
  • Sore throat
  • Burning sensation in the mouth
  • Dry cough
  • A feeling of lump in throat.

Lifestyle modification is a major way to do away with this disease.

Prolonged sore throat:

stuffy nose

Viral infections caused due to seasonal changes are often responsible for sore throat happen. Viral sore throat is actually the starting point of viral infections. They remain for about four five days and then turn into runny or stuffy nose. The conditions caused by viral infections are generally worts during the first few days leading to a lot of discomfort.

Strep throat:

Strep throat

Streptococcus pyogenes is the scientific name of the bacteria which is responsible for sore throat. It is mostly found in children and adolescents rather than adults. It is a communicable disease and can get into one person from another infected person’s respiratory track secretions that are either through coughing or sneezing. Even if one gets cure after sore through it is important to diagnose its cause because it might be strep throat that is causing such situation. Several million people get affected by strep throat in USA every year. Strep throat is more common during winter and spring. One is more likely to get strep throat if he/she ages around 5 to 15 or if he/she goes into gathering where a lot of people are coming in close proximity.

Some of the common symptoms of sore throat:

fever

  • Fever
  • Enlargement of lymph node around throat and neck
  • Pus filled masses in the back of the throat.

Confirmatory tests:

There are two types of test that confirm strep throat namely, the “rapid strep” and the “throat culture swab”. The first test is generally not available in all doctors chamber and is neither a very confirmatory test. On the other hand there is this swab test where it takes about two three days time to get the reports but is a gold standard test.

Treatment of sore throat:

antibiotics

If strep is detected doctors provide with antibiotics such as penicillin or amoxicillin but often it subsides within a five to six days naturally. One may not believe it but our body has immune systems which are enough powerful to deal with infections as such.

Through this write-up I have tried to make people a bit aware of the causes and treatment of prolonged sore throat.

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