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  Shelby Leith   April 18, 2017   Sore throat 6 Comments

The hard-to-swallow truth about pharyngitis

Velocity Care explores the causes, symptoms and treatment options for pharyngitis

What is pharyngitis?

A sore throat can be very uncomfortable.

Pharyngitis is the medical term for a sore throat. You can get pharyngitis from a virus (such as the common cold or the flu) or from a bacterial infection (such as strep throat). Symptoms range in severity from a mildly irritated throat to a severely sore throat – where talking and swallowing are extremely painful. Pharyngitis occurs when a virus or bacteria infect the throat area, causing inflammation to occur. The throat and often the tonsils become red and swollen and, in many cases, a fever may be present as well.

Irritants can also cause pharyngitis; when you inhale or ingest them, they cause your throat to become sore.

Common irritants that cause sore throats:

  • Smoke.
  • Cold air.
  • Chemical fumes.
  • Certain medications.

Acid reflux, a condition where the acid from the stomach makes its way back up the esophagus and into the throat, often causes pharyngitis as well.

Home remedies for pharyngitis

You can usually treat a mild sore throat at home with over-the-counter or natural home remedies. Medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help to reduce the pain, and numbing throat sprays or lozenges can provide relief as well.

A saltwater gargle can be very soothing to a sore throat and also has disinfectant properties that can encourage healing. To try this at home mix ½ teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of warm water and stir until all the salt has dissolved. Gargle with this mixture and try to allow it to coat as much of the throat as possible without swallowing it. Spit it out when you are done.

Tea with honey is another remedy that can help to soothe the pain and scratchiness associated with pharyngitis. Add 1 teaspoon of honey to warm tea and drink. The honey will help to coat your throat and the warm liquid will provide some relief from the pain.

When should I see my doctor?

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it is time to visit your Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center:  

  • A sore throat lasting longer than a week.
  • A fever of 101 F or higher.
  • Severe pain and difficulty swallowing.
  • Swollen tonsils.
  • White areas in the throat or on the tonsils.
  • A red rash.

Any of these symptoms may indicate a bacterial infection, which may require antibiotics.

If you or a loved one is experiencing the symptoms of pharyngitis and you would like to speak with one of our doctors about the best treatment options available for you, please visit one of Velocity Care’s walk-in clinics today. We are here to help the people of Louisiana and Arkansas and always have your best health as our primary goal.

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Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo

Medical disclaimer

This site offers medical, health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. General information found on this website is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your health care professional.  If reading after hours, one option for treatment is to seek an urgent care or  walk-in clinic for medical advice. 

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