Sore throat can be painful, irritating and troublesome. People suffering from throat pain may even experience pain while drinking water. Some of the common symptoms of sore throat include headache, vomiting, white patches in your throat, hoarseness, blood in saliva, rash, joint pain and lump in neck.
Causes of Throat Pain
Bacterial and Viral Infections
Inflammation of the larynx, pharynx and tonsils, sinus, blockage of nose, common cold, strep throat and blisters can cause throat pain. Strep throat is the most common bacterial infection, which is caused by streptococcal bacteria. Strep throat can trigger rheumatic fever, which in turn can lead to inflammation of the kidney or heart valve problems.
Also, throat pain is caused by viral infections such as mumps, influenza or herpangina and mononucleosis. A bacterial infection may also cause a sore throat. Plus, throat pain can occur due to inflammation of the adenoids, inflammation of the uvula and inflammation of the epiglottis.
Throat pain can also be caused by irritants such as air pollution, smoking, low humidity etc. Harmful chemicals such as ammonia, formaldehyde and hydrogen sulphide are found in cigarette smoke that cause inflammation and irritation of the throat.
According to the American Cancer Society, people who smoke are at high risk of throat cancer, lung cancer and oral cancer. Smoking can also cause dryness that can lead to difficulty swallowing. Too much intake of alcohol can erode the mucosal lining of the stomach. Also, the cigarette smoke inhibits the function of specialized cells in the bloodstream.
Certain diseases such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, chronic fatigue syndrome and allergies can cause throat pain. Throat pain can also be caused by glandular fever, which can cause severe breathing problems. Glandular fever is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Secondary infections such as heart inflammation, meningitis or pneumonia, ruptured spleen and prolonged fatigue are some other complications of glandular fever.
The treatment options for glandular fever include drinking plenty of fluids, gargling, taking painkillers such as ibuprofen, taking antibiotics and steroids and getting plenty of rest.Mouth breathing, chicken bone, fish, measles and surgery such as adenoidectomy or tonsillectomy are some other causes of throat pain.
How to Treat Throat Pain
If you have pain in your throat due to common cold symptoms, drink tea with honey and lemon, drink cold fluids, consume cold foods such as watermelon, apples, bananas, peppermint, yogurt, citrus fruits, tomatoes etc., ditch acidic foods and try over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen after consulting with your health care provider.
If your sore throat is caused by a strep throat, take antibiotics prescribed by your doctor, try over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen after consulting with your health care provider, eat foods that are easy to digest and avoid acidic foods. If you have pain in your throat due to the presence of blisters in and around the mouth, drink cold milk products, avoid fruit juices and avoid foods high in citric acid.
If you have a sore throat after surgery, take cough drops or anesthetic throat sprays. If you have a sore throat due to allergies, take antihistamines such as Claritin and Benadryl after consulting with your health care provider.