You wake up at 8 a.m. in the morning and you have a Sore Throat,
Your throat feels scratchy and painful, you have an intense thirst, your head hurts, and you possibly have a fever.
Yet, you still have work to do or someplace to go.
This isn’t the first time this has happened to you.
If you live in the United States, you are one of the 30 to 40 million children and adults who suffer from the same soreness in their throats every year.
Yet you always wonder why you?
Today we will be talking about the sore throat, a common painful condition that has millions suffering worldwide.
We will look at
- What causes a sore throat?
- Signs and symptoms of a sore throat
- How to treat sore throat?
- How to prevent sore throat?
First, let’s look at
How is a human throat from the inside?
The human throat consists of a pharynx, epiglottis, and the larynx.
The pharynx is connected to the mouth allowing food and liquid to pass down via the Oesophagus and allows inhaled air from the nose to enter the lungs.
It is the epiglottis that acts as a lid and prevents food or liquid from entering the lungs.
The larynx contains the vocal cords, and they help you to speak. Hence it is also known as a voice box.
Now that we have looked at the structure of our throat let’s look at
What causes a sore throat?
Although there are various causes of a sore throat, they can be broadly divided into infectious and non-infectious causes.
Infectious causes of sore throat include bacteria and viruses that can infect your throat.
Viruses that can infect your throat are
- Rhinoviruses, which causes the common cold
- Influenza virus
- Mononucleosis virus
- Varicella virus
A number of bacterial infections can also cause a sore throat, the most common being the streptococcus pyogenes, which is caused by the Group A streptococcus, and is known as the strep throat.
Now many cases of a sore throat are not caused by any of these pathogens, and these come under the non-infectious causes of sore throat.
These can include allergies, especially allergies to pets, molds, dust, and pollen can also cause a sore throat.
Sore throat due to irritation with irritants like tobacco smoke or chewing tobacco, drinking excessive alcohol, and eating spicy foods can also irritate your throat.
A sore throat can also develop due to a strain in the vocal cords, which can be caused by excessive yelling, talking loudly, or talking for long periods without rest.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is a digestive system disorder, can also lead to acid reflux into the vocal cords and the pharynx and can cause a sore throat.
Tumors of throat, tongue, or larynx can also lead to a sore throat.
Breathing excessively through your mouth can also cause a dry sore throat.
Let’s look at some of the-
Symptoms of a sore throat
- Pain or a scratchy sensation in the throat that worsens with swallowing or talking,
- Difficulty swallowing sore swollen glands in your jaw or neck,
- White patches or pus on your tonsils,
- A horse or muffled voice,
- Runny nose,
- Body aches,
Now let’s look at some of the
Signs of sore throat
A sore throat that is severe or lasts longer than a week shows the following signs.
- Difficulty in breathing,
- Sore throat associated with joint pains,
- Sore throat associated with an earache,
- If you develop a rash on your skin and a sore throat, it’s also a danger sign,
- If you develop a fever higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit during a sore throat, that is also a danger sign,
- Blood in your saliva,
- Swelling in your neck or face is also a danger sign.
Although anyone can get a sore throat, some factors make you more susceptible, these include-
- Age – Children and Teens are most likely to develop sore throats,
- Exposure to tobacco smoke, smoking, and second-hand smoke can irritate the throat,
- Chronic and frequent sinus infections,
- Bacteria from your nose can irritate your throat or spread infection.
A viral and bacterial infection spread quickly anywhere people gather, whether in childcare centers, classrooms, offices, or airplanes.
You are more susceptible to infections in general if your immunity is low.
Common causes of lowered immunity include–
- Diabetes treatment with steroids,
- Chemotherapy drugs,
- Poor diet.
Sore throat is a self-diagnosis but let’s look at-
How is sore throat diagnosed in clinics?
The doctor will start with a physical examination that will include the use of a lighted instrument to look at the throat and likely the ears and the nasal passage.
Gently palpating or feeling the neck to check for swollen glands also known as lymph nodes,
Listening to your child’s breathing with a stethoscope,
And in many cases, doctors use a simple test to detect steps to avoid bacteria, which is the cause of strep throat.
This test is the throat swab; the doctor rubs a sterile swab over the back of the throat to get a sample of secretions and sends a sample to a lab for testing.
Sore Throat Treatment
A sore throat caused by a viral infection usually lasts 5 to 7 days and doesn’t require medical treatment.
To ease pain and fever, many people turn to acetaminophen, Tylenol, or other mild pain relievers.
However, if a bacterial infection causes your sore throat, your doctor or pediatrician will prescribe antibiotics.
Regardless of the cause of your sore throat, several home remedies will ease your or your child’s sore throat.
Some of the Home remedies for Sore throat are–
- Get proper amounts of sleep,
- Give rest your voice,
- Drink plenty of fluids; fluids keep the throat moist and prevent dehydration,
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol which can dehydrate you,
- Try comforting foods and beverages like caffeine-free tea or warm water with honey,
- Gargle with salt water; add one teaspoon of salt to 200 ml warm water and use that for gargling 8 to 10 times; do it, especially before you sleep and you will feel a lot better when you wake up in the morning.
- Humidify the air around you; you can keep a pan of steaming water in your room or use a traditional room humidifier,
- Consider lozenges and avoid irritants like smoking,
Preventions from Sore Throat
The best way to prevent sore throat is to avoid the germs that cause them and practice good hygiene.
Follow these tips and teach your child to do the same to prevent Sore Throat-
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently especially after using the toilet, before eating and after sneezing or coughing,
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue paper and throw it away,
- When necessary sneeze into your elbow,
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers as an alternative to washing hands when soap and water aren’t available,
- Avoid touching public phones or drinking fountains with your mouth,
- Regularly clean telephones, TV remotes, and computer keyboards with sanitizing cleanser when you travel clean phones and remotes in your hotel room,
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
So, guys, this was all about the sore throat,
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