- Throat and neck pain
- What Is Pharyngitis?
- Causes of Pharyngitis
- Risk Factors for Pharyngitis
- Symptoms of Pharyngitis
- Diagnosis of Pharyngitis
- Medications for Pharyngitis
- Home Remedies for Pharyngitis
- 20 At-Home Remedies for a Sore Throat
- Home Remedies for Sore Throat for Adults
- Home Remedies for Young Children
- When Pain Relief Is Not Enough
- Throat Infection: 6 Brilliant Home Remedies for Throat Infection
- Home Remedies For A Throat Infection
Throat and neck pain
The FP suspected that the patient had infectious mononucleosis caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. She performed an abdominal exam, but there was no evidence of hepatosplenomegaly. Other features of mononucleosis may include nausea, anorexia without vomiting, uvular edema, generalized symmetric lymphadenopathy, and lethargy.
The FP recommended supportive measures including ibuprofen and/or acetaminophen for pain and fever, plenty of fluids, and rest. The patient was sent to the lab for a Monospot test, and the result came back positive the following day. At that point, the FP also recommended avoidance of contact sports for the next few months because of the risk of splenic rupture associated with mononucleosis. At a follow-up appointment a week later, the patient was doing somewhat better but continued to have some fatigue, pharyngitis, and lymphadenopathy. Fortunately, this was the start of summer vacation for the student, so she was able to take time off to recuperate.
You can now get the second edition of the Color Atlas of Family Medicine as an app for mobile devices by clicking on this link: http://usatinemedia.com/
What Is Pharyngitis?
A sore throat is a common symptom of several different diseases.
Pharyngitis is a sore throat caused by inflammation of the back of the throat (also called the pharynx).
One of the most common reasons people visit their doctor, pharyngitis can make it painful to swallow, and you may experience soreness, discomfort, pain, or scratchiness in the throat.
Pharyngitis is often present because of another illness, such as a cold, the flu, or mononucleosis (“mono”), and most sore throats subside within a week or less.
Causes of Pharyngitis
Pharyngitis is caused by swelling in the back of the throat between the tonsils and the larynx.
Most sore throats are occur during colder months and are caused by viral infections such as the common cold, flu, mono, measles, chickenpox, and croup.
However, bacteria such as Group A Strep, whooping cough (caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis), and diphtheria can sometimes cause pharyngitis.
The illness often spreads between people by breathing in bacteria or viruses that are spread in the air, or by touching a surface with germs on it.
Other causes of a sore throat may include allergies, dryness, irritants, straining your throat muscles, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), HIV infection, or tumors of the throat, tongue, or larynx (voice box).
Risk Factors for Pharyngitis
Risk factors for pharyngitis include the following:
- Cold and flu seasons
- Having close contact with someone who has a sore throat or cold
- Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke
- Frequent sinus infections
- Attending daycare
Symptoms of Pharyngitis
Symptoms of pharyngitis may include the following:
- Sore throat
- Joint pain and muscle aches
- Skin rashes
- Swollen lymph glands in the neck
Depending on what illness is causing the sore throat, symptoms can vary, as in the following:
Sore throat with cold:
- A low fever (less than 102 degrees F)
- Mild headache
Sore throat with flu:
- Body aches
- Fever higher than 102 degrees F
Sore throat with mononucleosis:
- Enlarged lymph nodes in neck and armpits
- Swollen tonsils
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen spleen
- Liver inflammation
Diagnosis of Pharyngitis
Your doctor will most likely start by giving you a physical exam that may involve checking your temperature; looking at your throat, ears, and nose with a lighted instrument; checking your neck for swollen glands (lymph nodes); and listening to your breathing with a stethoscope.
Your healthcare provider may also take a throat culture or do a rapid strep test by taking a swab from your throat to be checked for the bacteria Group A Strep (the cause of strep throat). Some clinics can get results right away while others need to send off the sample to a lab for testing.
If the rapid, in-clinic test comes back positive, then you almost certainly have a bacterial infection. If the test comes back negative, then you likely have a viral infection.
A blood test might be done to determine whether an infection is more likely caused by a bacterial or viral agent.
If your doctor suspects your sore throat is related to an allergy, you may be referred to an allergist for additional tests, or if you experience chronic or frequent sore throats you may be referred to an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor).
Medications for Pharyngitis
If your sore throat is caused by a virus, antibiotics won’t help and it will go away on its own within five to seven days.
However, antibiotics can help if your sore throat is caused by the following:
- Strep throat
- Chlamydia or gonorrhea
If you have the flu, antiviral medicines may be effective.
Home Remedies for Pharyngitis
The following remedies may help soothe a sore throat:
- Getting rest
- Avoiding alcohol
- Quit smoking
- Drinking warm liquids, such as lemon tea or tea with honey
- Gargling with warm salt water (1/2 tsp of salt in 1 cup of water) throughout the day
- Drinking cold liquids or sucking on fruit-flavored ice pops
- Sucking on hard candies or throat lozenges (for adults only)
- Running a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier
- Taking over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin). Children under 19 should not take aspirin.
20 At-Home Remedies for a Sore Throat
Sore throats are a pain. No one wants to cringe every time they swallow.
A common sore throat is caused by a viral infection and goes away eventually – but while you’re waiting, there are things you can do to relieve the pain.
The remedy is more than stocking your medicine cabinet with over-the-counter remedies that temporarily soothe the pain. There are other easy, affordable at-home remedies that people of all ages can use to relieve a sore throat using ingredients you likely already have in your pantry.
Home Remedies for Sore Throat for Adults
Soup broth – traditional soups might be hard on a sore throat, but a warm (not hot) broth can soothe the throat and go down easy.
Throat lozenges or cough drops – these stimulate saliva production which coats the throat and keeps it moist, easing sore throat pain on contact.
Salt water gargle – mix one teaspoon of table salt with 8 ounces of warm water. Gargle the mixture for 15 to 30 seconds, then spit it out. Add one half-treaspoon baking soda with the salt water to kill bacteria as well.
Tea with honey – combine the soothing capabilities of honey with the warmness of tea to ease your throat discomfort. Chamomile tea is preferred – one, for taste, and two, for it’s astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. Add some lemon juice to your tea for an extra kick of vitamin C.
Ibuprofen or acetaminophen – these over-the-counter medications can reduce throat pain. Ask your doctor about these medication first if you have high blood pressure or any heart condition.
Licorice root – mixed with water to create a gargle solution, licorice root has been seen to soothe throats and reduce coughing – look into making licorice root tea!
Sage and Echinacea – according to one study, Echinacea/sage spray was just as effective at soothing a sore throat as traditional over-the-counter throat sprays. Seen as a bit more of a preventative supplement, echinacea (by itself) can still be useful in treating your cough from the inside out – helping break up mucousy coughs and is a remedy for sore throats and even a runny nose.
Marshmellow root – A 2005 study found that an herbal cough syrup containing marshmallow root was effective in treating coughs due to colds and bronchitis.
Apple cider vinegar – while not the most pleasant way, but a tablespoon can help. It contains acetic acids, which research shows is antimicrobial, meaning it kill pathogens that cause infections leading to cough.
Cayenne pepper – Just mix a teaspoon with 8 ounces of water. While it sounds counter intuitive, cayenne peppers are packed with vitamin C and is a natural analgesic (pain reliever) as it coats and soothes your throat (after the initial burn). Along with treating sore throats, it can also help with a stuffy nose helping to break up the mucous in your nose and throat. J
Essential oils – certain natural oils, like those of nutmeg, bergamot, and cypress, all contain camphene, which has a cooling, refreshing effect.
Home Remedies for Young Children
Depending on the age of your child, they may be too small to have lozenges or hard candies. Furthermore, they may not be ready for some of the more well-known adult remedies we listed above that can soothe their throat. If that’s the case, try one of these:
Popsicles – the coldness of a popsicle may temporarily numb the throat.
Cold liquids – try ice water or milk, but stay away from acidic drinks like orange juice or soft drinks.
Pineapple juice – Bromelain, a digestive enzyme found in pineapples, is a tasty way to relieve a dry cough.
Throat sprays – check the medication’s label to ensure your child is old enough to take an over-the-counter throat spray. Most medications should be recommended by your doctor if your child is under the age of 2.
Honey – honey has been known to soothe a sore throat, tame a nighttime cough and speed up healing. In fact, a study from the Mayo Clinic says that honey is just as effective as dextromethorphan, a common over-the-counter cough medicine, at treating a cough!
Peppermint – the American Cancer Society states that sprays containing peppermint oil (an “essential oil”) may relieve the pain of a sore throat.
Humidifier – the best way to soothe a sore throat is to keep it moist. Having a humidifier keeps the air from becoming too dry and helps keep your throat and mucous membranes moist.
Children’s Tylenol – acetaminophen is the active ingredient here and a common sore throat remedy. In children’s medicine, it is given in safe dosages.
Hot sauce – similar to the cayenne pepper remedy for adults, use a hot sauce containing cayenne for a milder effect that comes in a liquid form, rather than using powdered cayenne methods.
WARNING: many articles and blogs online claim collodial silver to be a remedy for sore throats. GoHealth Urgent Care does not recommend collodial silver as a safe or effective treatment in children or adults. The Food & Drug Administration first warned the public of silver’s side effects in 1999 and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health has seen no quality studies on the health effects of taking collodial silver and has only noted how dangerous it is to your health and well-being.
When Pain Relief Is Not Enough
As mentioned earlier, common sore throats tend to go away on their own. If you experience any of these symptoms of strep throat, however, you may need a prescription for an antibiotic. If none of these at-home remedies are helping after 48 hours, you can book an appointment online with us, and the widget below will help you find the GoHealth Urgent Care center nearest you!
GoHealth Urgent Care partners with these regional healthcare providers:
- Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care in New York
- Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care in San Francisco
- Legacy-GoHealth Urgent Care in Portland & Vancouver
- Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care in Connecticut
- Mercy-GoHealth Urgent Care in Arkansas, Springfield, St. Louis & Oklahoma
- Novant Health-GoHealth Urgent Care in North Carolina
Throat Infection: 6 Brilliant Home Remedies for Throat Infection
A pesky throat infection is hard to handle and that is why we all look for quick fixes and home remedies for throat infection. The irritation and itchiness can make it difficult for you to concentrate on your daily chores. Not to forget, the terrible pain that may accompany in severe conditions. A lot of kitchen ingredients are known for their powerful anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties and can help fight infections. They can also help in boosting your immunity and making you stronger from within.What causes a throat infection? It could be tonsillitis, cold or a strep throat. It is usually one of the first effects of cold, flu or congestion. A throat infection is basically caused by some virus or bacteria. It may be an effect of some other ailment that you are suffering with or may be attacked by the pollutants or irritants in the air or some kind of allergies. Some of the common symptoms of a throat infection are.
Look out for the following symptoms if you feel you are suffering from a throat infection. Here’s how you can tell:
1. Swelling of the tonsils
2. Swollen lymph nodes in your neck
3. Throat pain and inflammation
4. Pain in your ears
These are the most common symptoms which may be accompanied by other side effects like fever, muscle pain, fatigue, headache, watery eyes, runny nose or cough. Here are 6 brilliant home remedies for throat pain. Goes without saying, you must consult a doctor because throat infections may require an antibiotic course. But these tips can definitely help ease the symptoms and give some relief. You may have not known but your kitchen is a storehouse of natural cures.
Home Remedies For A Throat Infection
1. Gargle with salt water
This is one of the oldest and easiest home remedies for sore throat that even your grandmother would recommend. Salt is known to have amazing anti-bacterial properties. Mix ¼ teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Gargle at least two-three times a day. It will rinse away the bacteria and neutralize the acids that may be causing the burning sensation.
(Also read: 15 Genius Ways to Use Salt Beyond Seasoning)
Salt has great antibacterial properties
2. Turmeric milk
Another wonderful home remedy for throat infection from granny’s treasure trove, drinking turmeric milk has been considered to be ancient tradition in our country. It known to treat a sore throat, cold and even persistent coughs. It can even relieve swelling and pain. In the world of Ayurveda, it is known as a natural antibiotic.
(Also read: A Secret Ingredient that Turmeric Milk is Incomplete Without)
Turmeric is a natural antibiotic
3. Herbal tea
In his book, ‘Ayurvedic Home Remedies ‘, Dr. Vasant Lad suggests making a herbal tea with 2 parts ginger, 2 parts cinnamon and 3 parts licorice. Steep this mixture in water for 5-10 minutes and drink at least three times a day.
Make a herbal tea with cinnamon, licorice and ginger
You can make a decoction of ginger, honey and a squeeze of lime mixed with warm water or have a teaspoon of raw honey. Honey quotes and moistens the throat and is very effective in treating nigh time cough. Prefer raw honey, over regular honey for medicinal purposes. Honey also acts as a hypertonic osmotic which means that it can draw water out of the inflamed tissues. This helps in reducing swelling and inflammation in the throat.
(Also read: Is Honey-Lemon-Water Really a Miracle Potion)
Honey is the best medicine for cold and cough
5. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is the latest to join the superfood bandwagon. It is acidic in nature and can kill the bacteria in the throat. It can also help ease cold symptoms if the throat infection is a result of mucous build-up. You can add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your herbal tea or use the same to gargle with it.
(Also read: 10 Proven Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar)
ACV is the new superfood
6. Suck on garlic
We agree, as much as we love garlic in food, chewing raw garlic may sound repulsive but it really words in treating a throat infection. Garlic contains a compound called allicin that can kill the bacteria and the fight the germs that may have caused the infection. Place a clove of garlic between your cheek and teeth and suck on it like a candy. Keep it in your mouth, crush it gently and let the juices do the magic.
CommentsIn his book, Dr. Vasant Lad also suggests some precautions regarding the food items that you should be avoiding. If you are suffering from a throat infection, it is best to stay away from dairy products like cheese and yogurt and even fermented foods.