Treating Acute Pharyngitis: Causes, symptoms and treatment

December 06, 2018

Find out how to keep a sore throat away. Learn symptoms, causes, risk factors and ways to a quick recovery. If you are still suffering from acute pharyngitis here are a few things you can do.

You wake up with that familiar sickening feeling. Your throat feels dry and hurts. Even swallowing water feels like a task. You know it's the dreaded Pharyngitis or commonly called 'a sore throat'. It is caused by the inflammation of the pharynx, which is in the back of the throat. It is also characterized by scratchiness of the throat or itching.
Pharyngitis is very common and usually caused by the common cold virus. It can also be an infection by bacteria such as Streptococcus, allergens, irritants like air pollution, Gastroesophageal reflux disease etc.
Constant talking can cause muscle strain and worsen the condition.

1. What puts you at risk to Pharyngitis?

2. What are the symptoms of Pharyngitis?
It usually starts with a pain in the throat which is often a sign of the common cold. Other symptoms are scratchiness in the throat and difficulty in swallowing. It often leads to a cough or even fever. If a cough worsens leading to breathlessness or you have a high-grade fever, consult your doctor immediately.

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3. What is the diagnosis?
Depending on your conditions, the doctor would take your detailed medical history. He/she will physically examine your backend of the throat to check for signs or inflamed throat and tonsils. If required, a few tests may be advised by your doctor. The commonly ordered tests are:

  • Throat swab culture and sensitivity
  • A complete blood picture

4. How to keep a sore throat away?
If you are prone to frequent attacks of a sore throat, these tips would help in preventing further episodes to an extent.

  • Avoid contact with things you are allergic to.
  • Take an Annual Flu vaccine.
  • Give up smoking.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, especially after using the toilet, before eating, and after sneezing or coughing to avoid a viral infection.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitisers.
  • Avoid close contact with people suffering from a cold or flu.

5. What are some ways to a quick recovery?
A sore throat is a condition that usually takes a few days to subside. However, these techniques can aid in a quick recovery -

  • Take a few days off work to get adequate rest to help your body regain strength.
  • Drink lukewarm water or vegetable soups to soothe your throat.
  • Take steam inhalations at regular intervals. This helps reduce the pain and helps in breathing.
  • Gargle with warm salt water twice a day.
    Must read about -Are You Having the Right Amount of Salt? 10 Things You Need to Know About Salt Intake
  • Take plenty of fluids to keep your body properly hydrated.

6. What is the medication for Pharyngitis?
Mild cases of acute pharyngitis get relieved in a weeks time with following home remedies. Your doctor may advise some medications depending on your symptoms

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  • Painkillers like Paracetamol, Ibuprofen etc.
  • Antibiotics for bacterial infection
  • Anti-histamines like Cetirizine, Chlorpheniramine, if you have a running nose.

7. Are there any complications that Acute Pharyngitis can lead to?
In most cases the Acute Pharyngitis is self-limiting. However in children, elderly and immune-compromised individuals it can aggravate to serious conditions. Some of the serious manifestations of a sore throat are


Article by Dr. Anchal Pandey, D.N.B (Family Medicine)
Consultant Physician, CallHealth

Have a Question? Consult Dr. Anchal Online.

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