An Overview of Sore Throat
A Sore Throat is an irritation, pain, and scratchiness of your throat. It can also become worsens when you swallow anything. If you are feeling a tense pain in your throat, then you are suffering from Sore Throat. The most common and spared cause of a sore throat is pharyngitis. It is a viral infection that occurs due to cold weather. You do not need proper treatment for restoration of sore throat caused by a virus.
A sore throat can also cause by bacteria but are very rare. Most known of them is Strep Throat, an infection caused by streptococcus bacteria. Sore throat by bacteria needs particular attention, and if left ignored, it could cause serious health complications. Environmental factors like dry air etc. can also cause a sore throat.
Types of Sore Throat
Three prominent and essential parts of the throat are the larynx, pharynx, and tonsils. If you have an issue with any of these parts, you can get a sore throat. There are three types of sore throat based on the infection of each region.
It is an infection that affects the area behind the mouth.
This type of infection affects the tonsils very severely. Tonsils are the soft tissue in the back area of the mouth. Due to swelling and redness of tonsils, you can get too much pain.
This infection affects the voice box or larynx and causes pain.
Causes of Sore Throat
You can get a sore throat due to various reasons or causes. Some of the most common and well-known causes of sore throat are:
Flu, Colds, and other viral infection
Research tells us that the virus causes 90% of sore throat. Some of the Virus that cause sore throats are:
- Influenza Virus, the flu.
- The common cold.
- Measles, an illness by a virus that causes fever and rash.
- Chickenpox, an infection that affects the immune system and causes too many rashes on the whole body and fever.
- Mumps, an infection by which you could get swelling of the salivary gland in the neck region.
- Mononucleosis, A disorder that is spread by saliva.
- Bacterial infection can cause deep sore throats. The most common bacterial infection is strep throat, an inflammation of the tonsils and throat, mostly caused by streptococcus bacteria.
- Almost half of the sore throats cases in children are caused by strep throat.
- Some of the sexually transmitted infections caused by bacteria like Gonorrhea and chlamydia also cause a deep sore throat but rarely.
If you live in an area with pollens, pet dander, and grass, your immune system will release many chemicals when reacting to these allergic substances. These chemicals give symptoms like watery eyes, throat irritation, nasal congestion, and sneezing. Due to these, goblet cells release excess mucus. This extra mucus in the nose come down to the throat area and cause pain and irritation in the throat.
Dry air sucks water and mucus from your mouth, nose, and throat area and causes dryness and scratchiness. You can get dry and warm air from the heater when you are sitting right before it.
Air Pollution, Smoke and Chemicals
Air pollution and smoke are a threat to your regular health and can cause sore throat. Chemicals and particles in it irritate the throat. You can get a sore throat with cigarette smoking, tobacco smoke, Air pollution, and other cleaning chemicals and products.
Research by health assistants shows that after the attack of September 11 on the world trade center, more than 60% of firefighters had reported irritated and sore throats.
An injury such as a cut or hit to the neck can irritate your throat and result in a sore throat. If you get a set of food stuck in your throat, it can also trouble you.
Any physical stress on your vocal cords and muscles of the throat during singing, yelling, and talking loudly for a long time can cause a sore throat.
If you have a tumor in your tonsils, neck region, you can get sore throat symptoms. A tumor in your throat is very dangerous for you and could be hard for you to get rid of.
Other causes of sore throat are:
- COVID-19, a viral infection.
- Croup: A common illness in children having symptoms of a harsh and itchy cough.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a digestive disorder that causes sore throat.
Symptoms of a Sore Throat
Symptoms of the sore throat depend on the cause and can vary from one reason to another. Some of the symptoms of a sore throat are:
- Irritation and scratchiness in the throat.
- Deep and tense pain in the throat.
- Pian often becomes more resonant with talking and swallowing.
- Unable to swallow anything in severe cases.
- Swelling of glands in your jaw and neck.
- Red and swollen tonsils.
- Itchy and white pus on tonsils.
- Thick and hoarse voice. You will feel difficulty in eating and talking.
You can get some symptoms of a sore throat in other parts of the body. Some of them are:
- Cough and cold fever.
- Runny nose
- Body pains.
- Vomiting, and Nausea.
- Loss of appetite.
- Nasal Congestion.
Diagnosis of Sore throat
A doctor can diagnose a sore throat by examining the patient. He will use a small torch to check the condition of the back of your throat. The doctor will also check either you have a sore throat or strep throat.
If a doctor comes to know that you have strep throat, he will follow a particular procedure. You will get a throat culture to find the strep throat. The doctor will take a swab and run it to the back of your throat and collect a few drops of saliva. A rapid test can give you an idea that you have strep throat or not.
For further confirmation, your samples will be sent to the lab, and the lab specialist checks all the details and will send you an in-depth report and let you know that you have strep throat. A lab report can take two to three days.
If you have some severe symptoms like tense pain and difficulty swallowing, you will have to contact an ENT specialist. He could treat a sore throat in a better way and gives you hope of a better life.
Foods to eat in Sore Throat
You can eat foods that are soft and can be swallowed without any difficulty and pain. The soft form of any food will protect you from the scratchiness of the throat. Some of the good foods to eat with a sore throat are:
- Gelatin desserts.
- Cooked and non-spicy vegetables
- Mashed potatoes
- Warm oatmeal, grits, and cooked cereals.
- Apple and Grape juices.
- Cream-based soups and broth.
- Fruits and vegetables.
- Hard-boiled eggs.
- Cooked pasta and macaroni.
These foods will protect you from irritation that will be caused by hard and tangible goods. You can take them in liquid or semisolid form.
Foods to avoid in Sore Throat
You will have to avoid some foods which are challenging, sour, or spicy. These foods are difficult to swallow and cause harshness in your throat. Some of them are:
- Soda water
- Crusty bread
- Dry and hard snacks like popcorn and potato chips.
- Fresh and raw fruits and vegetables.
- Acidic and sour foods like oranges, grapes, and lime, etc.
- Spicy sauces and seasonings.
Avoid all of these and get fast and complete recovery from a sore throat. These foods are not good and healthy for you. It can also cause severe complications like tonsilitis and damage soft parts of your neck. Spicy foods can also affect your glands as they are the softest arts of all.
Sore Throat and Fever
If you are suffering from a viral infection and cause sore throat, then there is an excellent chance of a high-grade fever for you. Sore throat causes high-grade fever because it affects tonsils and causes tonsillitis. Tonsils are the most essential and critical tissue to take part in your whole body's metabolic processes. Any infection to the tonsils will increase the metabolism rate and increase the temperature of your body.
It is challenging for you to maintain the average temperature of the body in a sore throat. Viral infections also cause cold fever and flu. It also decrees your whole body's efficiency, and you cannot comment on your daily life activities.
How to Treat a Sore Throat
You can treat a sore throat by taking some medicines. Analgesics and antibiotics are the best to treat a sore throat. Some of the antibiotics used to treat a sore throat are:
- Ibuprofen i.e. Motrin and Advil
- Acetaminophen or Tylenol
You cannot give aspirin to children and young people because it can cause a rare syndrome called Reye's syndrome.
A doctor could prescribe you some more medicines to treat a sore throat, reducing pain in your throat.
- Cough Syrup.
- Throat Lozenges.
- Antiseptic like phenol can also relieve pain due to a sore throat.
Home Remedies to Treat Sore Throat
Medical science tells us that rest is the key factor to solve or cure any disease. So, first, you will have to take plenty of rest to boost your immune system. Your immune system will be able to fight infections and help you get rid of a sore throat.
You can also try some home remedies for a sore throat. Some of them are:
- Gargle with a combination of warm water and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Cool your throat by eating a virus deal with like a popsicle or frozen yogurt.
- Turn on a cool fog humidifier to add dampness to the air.
- Give a long rest to your voice so that your throat can get better feelings.
- Suck on a few hard treats or a tablet.
- Drink warm fluids that vibe mitigating to the throat, for example, hot tea with nectar, soup stock, or warm water with lemon. Natural teas are exceptionally mitigating to an irritated throat.
- Always use fresh and clean water free from any germs and infectious organisms.
You can also use some homemade foods like:
- Baking soda gargle
- Marsh mellow roots
- Slippery elm
- Apple cider vinegar
How to prevent a sore throat
You can prevent or can cure by following some safety measures. It can protect you from the germs, which are causes of sore throat. Some of the following prevention can help your fast recovery from a sore throat.
- You will have to wash your hands from time to time. Wash your hands before eating, after toilet and coughing and sneezing.
- Never share your foods, drinks, glass, and other eating utensils with anyone.
- Take a tissue with you to throw away your cough and sneeze. You can also use the elbow to avoid the spread of sneeze.
- You will have to avoid touching any public thing like telephones, drinking water fountains, etc.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers to wash hands as it kills all the germs and gets rid of them.
- Do not live too much close to people who have fever and sickness.
- Always clean your home phones, TVs, and other daily life use pieces of stuff.
The Bottom Line
We have discussed all the aspects of a sore throat like causes, symptoms, treatment, home remedies, and preventions. You can get a piece of in-depth knowledge about a sore throat by reading this article. Take care of yourself, especially in cold weather, and live a good and healthy life. Bacterial and viral infections, just as injuries and wounds, cause most sore throats. Most irritating throats improve in a couple of days without treatment.
Warm fluids, rest, saltwater washes, and over-the-counter medicine can help to treat and reduce the pain of an irritated throat at home. Strep throat and other bacterial sore throats are treated with anti-infection agents. Your primary care physician can utilize a swab test to see whether you have strep.