Sore throat is rather a symptom than it is a disease or infection.
Defining sore throat, what is sore throat? It is the irritation of the throat. Medical conditions such as strep throat, diphtheria, allergies, mononucleosis, gastroesophageal reflux diseases (GERD), cancer or tumor of the throat, tonsillitis, streptococcal pharyngitis and acute viral pharyngitis (inflammation of the throat) may cause sore throat.
Sore throat symptoms are very similar to pharyngitis symptoms in that they are mutually inexclusive. One of the characteristic symptoms of sore throat is pain in the throat.
Statistically, about 2.4 million throat-related cases are treated yearly in the United States and streptococcal pharyngitis is the cause of sore throat in about 37% of all cases in children.
10 symptoms of sore throat
The following are sore throat symptoms you may experience when you have sore throat:
- Difficulty swallowing foods and fluids
- Throat gets dry easily due to loss of fluid
- Increased sense of thirst
- Painful lump-like feeling on the throat
- Hoarse voice
- Tonsils become red and swollen
- Fever and chills
- Difficulty breathing
- Bloody saliva or phlegm
- Difficulty opening your mouth
If you experience shooting pain around your jaw which spreads to the neck area while opening your mouth, bloody saliva, or exudates/pus from the inflammed tonsils in your mouth, it is oftentimes signs of complication.
If you notice any of the aforementioned sore throat symptoms with signs of complication, do consult your doctor, complicated sore throat may be very painful and if left untreated may lead to the spread of infection into the lungs and surrounding tissues:
Antibiotics are the choice of drugs doctors will normally recommend examples of such are penicillin, amoxicillin drugs. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may also be used to alleviate sore throat symptoms, however, drugs are often prescribed after a positive diagnosis has been established and the sore throat has become chronic, or if you have an immunosuppressive disease such as HIV but it must only be taken under the supervision of your doctor, should you use antibiotics as such could lead to antibacterial resistance if there is no warranty for antibiotics.
Recurrent sore throat may warrant tonsillectomy- surgical removal of the pair of tonsils on the two sides of the throat.
The following are precautions and home remedies you can adopt to manage sore throat:
1. Always drink lots of fluids especially mildly warm water. Hot water and foods may irritate your throat, so do try to avoid it. Warm Lemon juiced water may help to relieve the pain if used properly.
2. Avoid smoking.
3. Avoid chemical irritants that may worsen the symptoms.
In order to get proper treatment, it is good to report early. If you have recurrent and persistent sore throat symptoms it could be a sign of other conditions such as glandular disease or cancer.