Causes of Sore Throat & Medicines to Cure It
What is a sore throat?
Sore throat is a medical condition marked by pain, dryness or scratchy feeling in the throat that is typically caused by an inflammation due to cold or any other viral infection.
Viruses are responsible for 85%-95% of the throat infections in both adults and young children. There may be other causes for this condition as well such as allergies, smoking, strep throat and mononucleosis. It may also be caused by a bacterial infection called GABHS (Group-A beta-hemolytic streptococcus). Moreover, certain environmental factors such as dry air may also result in a sore throat.
Usually, this condition gets healed on its own; however, it may be pretty uncomfortable at times, requiring medical consultation consequently.
Sore Throat Types
Sore throats may affect different parts of the throat as per their cause. Based on this, the condition may be categorized into the following:
Pharyngitis: It is an inflammation of the pharynx (situated at the back of the throat) and can cause scratchiness in the throat, making it difficult for the person to swallow water or food.
Tonsillitis: Tonsils are the two oval-shaped pads of tissue at the back of the throat on each side. Inflammation of these tonsils is called tonsillitis.
Laryngitis: It is the inflammation of the larynx or voice box, caused by its overuse, infection or irritation.
Risk Factors/Causes Sore Throat
There exist various risk factors that one may be exposed to. While some are beyond our control, others can be avoided with certain precautions such as:
Allergens: Your body’s reaction to allergens may cause a sore throat.
Hygiene: Touching different surfaces over the course of the day results in you picking up germs and if you don’t wash your hands properly before meals or touching your face, it may increase the risk of viral or bacterial infections leading to a sore throat.
Overuse of voice: If you keep yelling, talking loudly or singing for hours, it may make you prone to a sore throat.
Irritants and toxins: Inhaling irritants like air pollutants, dry air, fumes, cigarette smoke and certain spicy foods as well as tobacco may also cause sore throat.
Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): It is a medical condition in which acid from the stomach is stored in the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach; this acid then causes inflammation in the throat and esophagus.
Bacteria: There is a high risk of getting a sore throat from bacterial infections. The most common infection is caused by GABHS (Group A Beta Hemolytic Streptococcus) bacteria. This infection is called strep throat.
Sore Throat Signs & Symptoms
There are different types of sore throats caused by various viral, bacterial or allergic agents. Based on the cause of the sore throat, you may have symptoms like:
- Dry & raw throat
- A burning feeling in your throat
- Feeling scratchiness in your throat
- Pain while trying to swallow water or food
- Redness in your tonsils or throat
- White patches on tonsils
The symptoms of sore throat are not limited to these. Along with the above mentioned signs, you may also have other symptoms such as:
- Nasal congestion
- Coughing & sneezing
- Swollen neck glands
- Loss of appetite
- Runny nose & fever
Sore Throat Diagnostic procedures
Our expert doctors at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad may use the following methods to diagnose a sore throat condition:
- Use of a torch or other similar instruments to examine the throat, ears and nasal passages.
- Gently feeling the neck to look for swollen glands or lymph nodes.
- Use of a stethoscope to listen to your breathing.
- Throat Swab Test: In this, the doctor will rub a sterile swab at the back of the throat to collect samples of secretions and send them to our lab for testing.
- Throat Swab Culture: This test is used to diagnose bacterial infections of throat like pneumonia and tonsillitis. It gives results within 24-48 hours.
Sore Throat Treatment
Sore throats caused by viral infections usually heal on their own within a week. However, there are other conditions as well which need special treatment. You can follow the below mentioned remedies to treat the condition at home:
- Speak less until your throat is completely fine.
- Use a mixture of warm water and ½-1 tsp of salt to gargle.
- Drink warm or cool drinks to soothe your throat.
- Stay in moist air.
If these remedies don’t work and you still have a severe sore throat, trouble in breathing, sore joints, trouble in swallowing and difficulty in opening your mouth, high fever or earache, consult a doctor. Our doctors at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad may prescribe you the following treatments:
- Medicines like acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), aspirin, etc.
- Throat sprays or throat lozenges
- Antacids like Tums, Rolaids and Maalox to neutralize the stomach acid.
- Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) such as Omeprazole (Zegerid OTC) or lansoprazole (Prevacid 24) to block acid production.
- H2 blockers such as cimetidine and famotidine to reduce the production of stomach acid.
Book an appointment at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre and get the best treatment by our ENT specialist.
Best Doctors or Hospitals For Sore Throat Treatment In Ghaziabad & Delhi NCR
Dr. Nripen Vishnoi is one of the best ENT and head & neck surgeons in Ghaziabad. With an experience of over 13 years, he holds expertise in minimally invasive ENT surgeries, having performing routine and difficult emergency cases with utmost efficiency. He specializes in clinical diagnosis, endoscopic transnasal skull base surgeries, minimally invasive endoscopic ear and lateral surgeries, difficult head and neck surgeries. Dr. Vishnoi has performed over 8,000 ENT surgeries independently as well as a large number of endoscopic pituitary surgeries and CSF leak repairs. He holds the reputation of performing the first ever cochlear implant in the history of Ghaziabad on a 13-month-old baby.