2022-12-08 16:15 || 1.0.0
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    What to do when you have a sore throat

    Jelen cikk 2022.02.21. előtt készült.

    Utolsó módosítás dátuma: 2022-03-28

    Ez a cikk több mint 2 éve frissült utoljára. Kérjük, olvasáskor vegye ezt figyelembe!

    Pharyngitis and tonsillitis are very common during the cold winter months.  Réka Andó, MD, otolaryngologist at the Buda Health Center, discusses the causes and complications and suggests possible cures. 

    Our throat is one of the gateways to our system and since it is fairly unprotected it is open to a variety of infections.  It is not surprising then, that sore throats accompanied by swallowing and speaking difficulties are common winter occurrences.  What disorders can cause these? What part does the cold play? Do we have to protect our throat against the cold and not ingest cold liquids?

    Sore throat and swallowing difficulties are mostly caused by inflammation of the throat (more specifically, the pharynx) and the tonsils and much more seldom pain due to injury (foreign bodies, hot liquids or corrosive materials).  Pharyngitis and tonsillitis are mostly caused by viruses often followed by bacterial infection.  Other infectious disorders (measles, chicken pox, scarlet fever, German measles and the so-called “kissing disease”, mononucleosis) are also accompanied by a sore throat and inflammation.  Cold plays a part only insofar as it temporarily affects the blood supply and decreases the body’s immunity.  For that matter, pharyngitis may not only be acute but also chronic if the irritation is prolonged and recurring as in the case of allergy or sleeping with an open mouth where the mucous membrane becomes dry and reflux, namely, when the acid contents of the stomach seep back up to the pharynx.        

    HOW DO WE TELL WHEN PHARYNGITIS OR TONSILLITIS IS THE CAUSE OF OUR AFFLICTION?

    At the outset, in pharyngitis, the voice becomes raspy and croaky.  There is a scratchy, burning feeling in the throat followed by pain, fever and a general feeling of malaise.  Respiratory symptoms such a cold, stuffy nose and cough often appear.  In tonsillitis the back of the throat and the tonsils are red and swollen with small yellowish-white spots (follicles) forming on them at a later stage.  Pharyngitis and tonsillitis may also be spread to neighboring areas often resulting in sinusitis, laryngitis and bronchitis.  The oft trivialized pharyngitis and tonsillitis should not be taken lightly since serious complications such as follicular tonsillitis and abscesses may follow with the infection possibly spreading even to the heart and the kidneys.

    If, in addition to high fever, a whitish exudate covers the tonsils and puss-filled nodules appear, this is an indication of follicular tonsillitis.  Serious difficulty in swallowing together with high fever may also indicate a developing abscess.   Viral infections are characterized by swollen lymph nodes accompanied by skin abnormalities in some disorders while in bacterial infections blood test abnormalities and an increase in white blood cell count are found.

    HOW CAN PHARYNGITIS BE ALLEVIATED?

    In order to avoid more serious complications, steps should be taken at the appearance of the first symptoms (dry throat, hoarseness, scratchy, burning, itching feeling, a lump or foreign body in the throat, etc.).  Home remedies such as hot herb teas, gargling with warm salt water, lozenges, natural anti-inflammatories (i.e., honey, garlic) and over the counter throat disinfectants may be of help.  Spices that increase blood supply such as cloves and cinnamon may also be effective.  If, however, fever and pain at swallowing should increase and the inflammation of the throat not cease in a few days, a doctor should be consulted to examine the cause and help accordingly.  Antibiotics are only required when there is bacterial infection.  In the case of respiratory symptoms such as the common cold and a stuffy nose care must be taken to drain the discharge as soon as possible to avoid occlusion of the nasal sinuses and the spread of infection to the paranasal sinuses, the ears and auditory ducts

    No matter how irreplaceable we may think we are at work, pharyngitis accompanied by fever and pain is best treated with bed rest which strengthens the immune system the best together with abundant liquid intake and vitamin supplements.

    Feel free to contact our specialists!

    At the ten-time Superbrands award-winning Buda Health Center, you have the opportunity to attend the private practices of more than 300 renowned specialists, offering expertise in nearly 45 medical specialisms, at three locations. Personalized care is provided by a well-trained and empathetic staff of professionals, who have been working together for a long time. Based on our 23 years of experience and the feedback received from our 450,000 clients, we are constantly working to organize our healthcare services in the most efficient way possible for those who visit us, paying respect to their needs and time.

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