In the case of a sore throat, the mucous membranes of the throat are inflamed. The medical name is pharyngitis. Throat infections can occur at any age, but children are particularly affected. More about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of sore throat. A scratchy throat is often a harbinger of a sore throat. This is accompanied by a sore throat and difficulty swallowing. Sometimes even speaking hurts. A dry feeling in the throat and frequent clearing of the throat are also typical symptoms of a sore throat. In addition, the neck area is red and swollen. In bacterial infections, mucous membrane deposits and purulent specks are often found in the throat and palate.
A sore throat is often accompanied by a mild fever. In children, high body temperatures over 39 degrees Celsius are also possible. The general well-being is limited, some of those affected feel really sick. A simultaneous cold, cough, runny nose, and hoarseness accompany the throat inflammation.
Lateral cord angina
A special form of pharyngitis is the lateral cord angina. In this form of angina, in addition to the pharyngeal mucosa, the lymphatic tissue of the back wall of the pharynx is inflammatory. If the side cords swell at the exit of the eustachian tube, they sometimes close the connecting duct between the throat and the middle ear. Then headache and earache and even otitis media are often the result.
If the tonsils are also bright red and inflamed, it is called tonsillo pharyngitis. Pure tonsillitis is called tonsillitis. When it comes to laryngitis, doctors speak of laryngitis.
The causes of throat infections are manifold. Pathogens are often responsible for an inflamed throat. These include above all cold viruses such as adenoviruses, coronaviruses, influenza viruses, parainfluenza viruses, and rhinoviruses. Herpesviruses or measles, rubella, cytomegaly, and Epstein-Barr viruses are less common causes of pharyngitis.
If bacteria multiply on the inflamed mucous membrane of the throat, the symptoms worsen. Typical bacteria in a sore throat and other sore throat and tonsillitis are streptococci. Children in particular then also complain of the stomach and intestinal complaints such as nausea and abdominal pain.
Contagion With Sore Throat
The pathogens of a pharynx infection are usually transmitted by so-called droplet infection, i.e. through saliva when speaking or via nasal secretion when sneezing. This happens very quickly, especially in community facilities such as schools or day-care centers. It is not uncommon for many children to develop a sore throat together, especially in the cold winter months. During this time, the mucous membranes of the throat dry out from the frosty winter and dry heating air. Dry mucous membranes are less immune and cold viruses have an easy time penetrating the mucous membrane.
Non-Infectious Sore Throat
In addition to the typical viruses and bacteria, there are other causes of throat inflammation. These include above all smoking (including passive smoking), dust, and the use of chemicals. Women sometimes suffer from frequent throat infections during menopause, as the mucous membranes dry out as a result of hormonal changes. A hereditary mucosal disorder can also cause a sore throat. Non-infectious throat infections are usually chronic.
The diagnosis of sore throat is already made based on the symptoms. A look into the mouth and throat also underpins the diagnosis. If a bacterial infection with streptococci or Pfeiffer’s glandular fever (infectious mononucleosis) is suspected, a swab of the pharynx may follow.
Mild inflammation of the throat does not necessarily have to be treated by a doctor. As with a cold, the same applies to sore throat: With treatment, it lasts 7 days, without a week. More than 85% of all patients with sore throats are healthy even without therapy.
However, if the symptoms are bothersome and the pain is severe, pain-relieving solutions for gargling as well as lozenges and throat tablets with the active ingredients flurbiprofen, dichlorobenzyl alcohol, amylmetacresol, levomenthol, benzocaine, and tyrothricin can help. Pain can be relieved with antipyretic agents and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, and acetylsalicylic acid (ASA).
Antibiotics For Bacterial Sore Throat
If the throat is bacterial, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics (for example, penicillin). This is especially true if streptococci are the cause of strep throat. If left untreated, there is a risk of rheumatic fever in this case. To avoid this, it is particularly important to take the antibiotics exactly as prescribed by your doctor and for a long enough time. Treatment usually lasts ten days.
In the case of a sore throat, simple rules of conduct and home remedies often help to alleviate the symptoms. Drink a lot (especially warm tea or still water) and gargle with salt water to keep the mucous membranes sufficiently moist. In the form of tinctures for the throat and pharynx, solutions with the herbal active ingredient rattanhia root have proven to be helpful. To enhance the healing effect, tinctures of rattan can also be mixed with myrrh.
Please also note the following tips:
- You should not smoke during a sore throat in order to protect the inflamed mucous membrane. It is best to use this time to quit smoking completely.
- If you have a pronounced feeling of illness, it makes sense to take it easy. To avoid infection, it is best to stay at home.
- If you have a high fever, it is advisable to stay in bed for a few days.
- A healthy body’s immune system is efficient and protects you from sore throat.
Home Remedies For Sore Throat
There are a number of home remedies for throat infections:
- Cold or warm wraps around the neck, for example, made from hot lard, linseed, healing clay, potatoes or lukewarm quark are often found beneficial.
- Sage tea or warm water drunk with apple cider vinegar or gargled relieve sore throats.
- To support the self-healing powers, sweat-inducing teas with linden and elderflower help.
- Repeated throat infections can be contained with beaver nellus root tea.
- Sea buckthorn berries and rose hips contain a lot of vitamin C and increase the body’s defenses.
Homeopathy And Schüssler Salts
Even if the effect has not been proven: Many patients swear by the healing powers of homeopathy and Schüssler salts. For example, naturopaths recommend salt number 4 (potassium chloratum) as a Schüssler’s salt for sore throats. In addition, the salts number 21 (Zincum chloratum), 22 (Calcium carbonicum), and 27 (Kalium bichronicum) can be taken.
Proven homeopathic for throat infections are, therefore:
- Beginning sore throat: Mercuris solubilis and Aconitum
- Left-sided sore throat and pain when swallowing: Lachesis
- Difficulty swallowing, acute sore throat, and fever: Belladonna
- Chronic strep throat: Mercuris solubilis
- Dry throat and red throat: Aesculus
- Sore throat and ear pain: Chamomilla
- Sore throat and sore throat area: Phosphorus.