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Why You Should Never Ignore Sore Throat


Have you ever woken up from your sleep with a sore throat? It is a pain in the throat region resulting from a viral infection. You will feel the pain more while swallowing something. Along with that, you will also experience itchiness on the inside of your throat. You should always confer with a medic if you often suffer from a sore throat. Your sore throat infection might indicate something harmful to your health.


What is a Sore Throat?

Sore throat, mainly caused by a virus, is known as pharyngitis in medical terms. Like common cold and flu, sore throat is also a viral infection. However, streptococcus sp. bacteria also causes this medical condition in some cases. To prevent any further complications related to sore throat infection you should treat yourself with antibiotics prescribed by your doctor.


Symptoms of Sore Throat

When you have a sore throat infection, the symptoms will vary depending on the cause of that. Some of the common signs of sore throat include:

  • Pain and itching sensation on the inner portion of the throat.
  • Increase in pain while talking or swallowing.
  • Swelling of other glands close to your neck and jaw.'
  • The swelling of tonsils is also known as red tonsils.
  • The appearance of white patches around your tonsil.
  • A muffled voice.

Suppose a bacterial or viral infection causes your sore throat. In that case, the symptoms list will differ from the previously mentioned ones.

  • Fever
  • Runny nose.
  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Headache along with body ache
  • Nausea followed by vomiting.


When Should You Visit a Doctor?

According to physicians, sore throats should go away after having a hot drink or naturally after one or two days in children. If the condition persists and your child has difficulty breathing or swallowing, you should take your child to a physician immediately.


If we consider an adult, they should only visit a doctor in case of one of the following conditions.


  • Sore throat that lasts beyond a week and gets severe with every passing day.
  • Difficulty in swallowing and breathing.
  • Pain in the body joints.
  • Body temperature rises over 101°F (38.3°C)
  • Presence of blood in your saliva or phlegm.
  • Occurrence of lump near the neck region.
  • Hoarseness of voice lasting for more than two weeks.
  • Earache
  • If your neck or face gets swollen.


Once you see a doctor, they will test the saliva sample taken from your throat with the help of a swab. The medical professional will perform this test if they suspect that the reason behind this sore throat is a bacterial or viral infection. As mentioned earlier, Streptococcus sp. is responsible for causing the throat infection.


Cotton Swab Test

By performing the cotton swab test, a doctor can detect the presence of microbes. Children and teenagers risk developing sore throats followed by rheumatic fever. After being diagnosed with a throat infection, the doctor will prescribe appropriate antibiotics.


EBV Test

The presence of the Epstein-Barr virus in the body directly affects the bone marrow and the blood. White blood cells, i.e., Lymphocyte count, will increase in the body, damaging the body's immune system. If the doctor suspects that EBV has caused a sore throat, he will run some blood tests to ensure the presence of the virus in the body.


Home Remedies for Sore Throat

Before visiting the doctor, you can try the following remedies at home.

  1. Keep your body hydrated by drinking lots of fluids like water, coffee, and soup.
  2. Gargle with lukewarm salt mixed with water.
  3. Take steamy showers.
  4. Drink soups and tea with honey which is a warm liquid.

Is Sore Throat Life Threatening?

In most cases, sore throat is not life-threatening, but it can cause severe problems in your body. Some of them are mentioned below -

  • Tonsillitis: A viral or bacterial infection is primarily responsible for causing tonsillitis. Tonsils are present behind our throat, and their inflammation is known as tonsillitis. Two of the primary symptoms of tonsillitis are sore throat and headache.
  • Lemierre Syndrome: This syndrome occurs in the human body by bacteria, and sore throat is one of its symptoms. Lemierre syndrome can be life-threatening if the infection reaches the jugular vein deep in the throat and causes the blood to clot. The clotted blood will, in turn, cause septicemia.
  • Head and Neck Cancer: Cancer can develop in any cell of the body. When cancer occurs in the head or neck region, it may cause a sore throat, and the person may face difficulty breathing and swallowing.
  • Peritonsillar Abscess: When pus is developed and stored in the body behind the tonsils, peritonsillar abscesses can occur. Sore throat is one of the signs associated with the peritonsillar abscess, along with difficulty in swelling, headache, and lymph nodes.


Final Words

Sore throat infection is common among people, and in most cases, the reason is quite simple: bacterial or viral infection. There are some helpful home remedies that we have mentioned in the article above. Try them if you feel that you are dealing with a sore throat. You should always consider visiting a doctor if the symptoms don't disappear. The doctors usually prescribe antibiotics you need to take to get rid of this medical condition which is more of a sign than a disease.



Medanta Medical Team
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