Sore throat treatment | Causes & Symptoms | Dr. Neetu Modgil
Sore throat is a common problem. It is usually common during the winter season and the season during which the incidences of respiratory diseases are on the rise.
Sore Throat types
A Sore Throat can be due to a cold: If it is due to a cold, it may disappear or goes away within a day or two. A cold often manifests with a sore throat followed by a runny nose, nasal congestion, and other symptoms. A Sore throat due to streptococcus infection or strep throat is another type of sore throat caused by streptococcus bacteria. This type of sore throat may prolong and become more severe and problematic.
Sore throat causes
There are several causes of your sore throat including bacteria, viruses, dry air, presence of allergens in the air, pollution, and presence of irritants in the air. However, one of the common causes of sore throat is a viral infection. The symptoms of a cold manifest with a sore throat followed by a runny nose, nasal congestion, watery eyes, sneezing, and cough.
Sore throat symptoms – dry throat, throat irritation, scratchy feeling, and throat pain are the typical symptoms of sore throat. If you get a cold or flu – you will experience a burning feeling, raw sensation, throat pain, and scratchy feeling at the back of your throat.
As a sore throat can be caused by bacterial and viral infections, irritants, or allergens, the symptoms associated with it may vary depending on the cause. However, the typical signs and symptoms of a sore throat are as follows:
- A scratchy sensation and a raw feeling at the back of the throat are associated with throat pain.
- Augmentation of pain while swallowing or talking
- Swallowing difficulty
- Red or swollen tonsils
- Swelling in the neck or jaw with sore and swollen glands
- Hoarseness or smothered voice
- White stones in the tonsils or the appearance of white patches or pus on the tonsils
In addition, a sore throat that results owing to some infections – either viral or bacterial may be associated with the following signs and symptoms:
- Mild to severe headache
- Nasal congestion
- Runny Nose
- Body pain
Sore Throat Treatment
A sore throat caused by cold or cold viruses can be treated symptomatically as there is no specific treatment or cure. However, there are plenty of ways in which the infected person can feel better. Therefore, to make the patient comfortable, you can give over-the-counter medicines – which will ease fever and pain. In addition, using warm liquids, hot soups, and gargling with warm salt water help the patient to feel at ease. Similarly taking proper rest, eating a nutritious and healthy diet, and drinking plenty of fluids can also make the patient feel better.
Sore Throat Medicine
Medicines are commercially available as OTCs. They can be used to relieve symptoms of sore throat and cold. However, they are not very effective though. You can use common over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen for body aches and pain related to sore throat or cold. Remember not to give aspirin to children. You can use throat sprays and lozenges to soothe your throat for temporary relief from irritation. Even decongestants can be used only for a few days, but not for long as they may cause drug overuse and rebound effects.
Streptococcus bacteria also cause similar types of symptoms like a sore throat. The infection caused by streptococcus bacteria spread through nasal secretions and saliva expelled during sneezing and coughing. Strep throat is common in children, but can also occur in adults as well. When you see a doctor for sore throat, he or she will diagnose the cause based on the signs and symptoms you have. If the doctor suspects strep throat after noticing white spots in your throat with inflammation, fever, and swollen lymph nodes, then he or she may order a rapid strep test or go for a lab culture.
You should consider going to an ENT specialist as soon as you notice that you might have strep throat because it is more serious than a sore throat due to a cold or flu. Untreated streptococcus infections can cause serious illnesses like rheumatic fever – which can damage heart valves. With timely intervention, your strep throat can be treated within 10 days.
When to seek medical help for your sore throat?
You should seek medical help for a sore throat treatment if your sore throat persists for long and begins to become aggressive with fever, nausea, or when it becomes more unusual than normal.