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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Ear Nose and Throat Disorders Pharyngitis

Pharyngitis

Sore throat or Pharyngitis is an inflammation of the throat or pharynx.


In most cases it is painful, and thus is often referred to as a sore throat. Inflammation of the tonsils  and/or larynx (laryngitis)may occur simultaneously, which can make eating difficult or painful. Most cases are caused by viral infections (40%-60%), with the remainder caused by bacterial infections,fungal infections, or irritants such as pollutants

Types:

Acute pharyngitis & chronic pharyngitis

 

Causes:

The pharynx is a common site of infection. This is because viruses and bacteria often settle in this part of the body after a person inhales dust or water vapor containing the microorganism. Infection can also arise when a person touches their nose or mouth after having touched an object shared with another person with the disease. The foreign invader reproduces rapidly after settling on the body tissue.

 

Treatment:

Treatment can be divided into symptomatic and remedial. Symptomatic treatments attempt to reduce pain and discomfort. Remedial treatments attempt to cure pharyngitis.

Remedial treatments are effective for bacterial infections and fungal infection. No specific treatments for viral infections have been found to be effective and most cases will settle within a few days.

Symptomatic treatments:

  • Analgesics such as NSAIDS and Acetaminophen can help reduce the pain associated with a sore throat.
  • Steroids: A single dose of Dexamethasone reduces symptoms. This can either be given by mouth or intra-muscularly.
  • Viscous lidocaine relieves pain by numbing the mucus membranes of the throat.

Alternative treatments:

Many alternative treatments are promoted and used in sore throats. They are however poorly supported by evidence and up to date recommends that they not be used to treat pharyngitis, include sore throat eculayptus, and chamomile.