Sore throat and general difficulties swallowing are a not uncommon symptom of pathological changes in the mouth, throat and pharynx, especially in the case of inflammation and colds.
Sore throats and sore throats usually occur as part of a cold or tonsillar angina. But laryngitis can also be possible.
A sore throat is a scratchy and burning sensation in the area of the upper respiratory tract, which often precedes a flu-like infection. Throat and tonsils are reddened, swelling and painful swallowing difficulties are not uncommon.
The cause is usually a bacterial or viral infection in combination with a weakened immune system. If the inflammation also spreads to the larynx, severe hoarseness and even temporary voicelessness can result.
Other possible causes of sore throats are irritation from pollutants (smoking!) And talking too long and loudly. Depending on the specific cause, the disease usually subsides within a few days to a week without consequences.
In the case of a sore throat, bacteria, viruses and other germs in particular damage and irritate the mucous membranes in the throat. These then become inflamed and the throat can swell, pain and occasionally turn red. Usually a sore throat, in addition to a scratchy throat, hoarseness and difficulty swallowing, are early signs of a cold or tonsillar angina or other, usually harmless, infections.
In addition, sore throats are often accompanied by swollen tonsils, lymph node swelling, cough, runny nose, headache and fever.
The diseases listed below may be the cause of a sore throat.
A sore throat cannot be described as a disease, rather it is a symptom of an illness. In order to diagnose a sore throat, there is no need for an independent diagnosis, as the person concerned notices or tells the doctor that he is feeling pain in the throat. The doctor will do examinations to identify the cause, especially if you have difficulty swallowing the sore throat.
He looks at the tonsils with a spatula and inspects the mouth and throat for any recognizable redness and other signs of illness. Palpation of the neck is also possible to identify swelling of the lymph nodes.
As a rule, scratching the throat is the first sign of a sore throat that follows. Irritated mucous membranes, including mucus, as well as difficulty swallowing then occur.
When you have a sore throat, everyone thinks of a cold or a flu-like infection. Sometimes harmless sore throats take time to develop into various complications.
Infections in the throat and pharynx often penetrate deeper regions of the airways. It can lead to inflammation of the windpipe, bronchi, or even pneumonia. Children often suffer from tonsillitis. There is a risk here that swelling of the tonsils or swelling of the epiglottis can cause shortness of breath.
With a purulent tonsillitis, pus foci (abscesses) form on the tonsils within a few days. In rare cases, these lead to the fact that the mouth can no longer be opened properly (jaw clamps or locks). Immediate medical help is necessary here!
The strep infection can also lead to myocarditis. This dreaded late complication manifests itself with sudden weakness and massive pain in the chest. Because of the risk of heart muscle inflammation, physical exertion and sport should generally be avoided if you have a cold!
Sore throats that appear suddenly and very severely after a cold, indicate a lateral cord angina. They are lymphatic vessels that run down both sides of the throat. They occur either on the right or on the left. The defenses of the pharynx are usually still weakened and the bacteria in the form of pneumococci or staphylococci thus find ideal conditions. If the treatment is unsuccessful and a severe sore throat occurs again, there is a risk of otitis media, rheumatic fever, kidney inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis or, in the worst case, sepsis (blood poisoning). However, the latter occurs extremely rarely.
If the sore throat is extremely pronounced or if it lasts longer than three days, a visit to a doctor is recommended. This is especially true when children or people with a weakened immune system (e.g. senior citizens or people with previous illnesses) are affected. Even if there are other symptoms such as high fever, poor general well-being or severe swallowing difficulties, the cause should be clarified by a doctor.
The same applies if the tonsils are severely swollen and reddened or if there is a jaw clamp. Often the lymph nodes on the neck are swollen or the sore throat is accompanied by abdominal pain and / or nausea. A visit to an ear, nose and throat doctor is unavoidable in these cases - but the family doctor can also be the first point of contact and refer the patient to a specialist if necessary.
In the case of a slightly pronounced sore throat that occurs as a side effect of a flu-like infection, it is often sufficient to take pain relievers, over-the-counter medication from the pharmacy. Home remedies can also provide relief in these cases. If the sore throat starts suddenly or only on one side, however, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.
A mild sore throat should initially not be treated at all. They usually go away on their own after a few days. The sore throat is almost always treated by the person affected. The over-the-counter drugs are available in every pharmacy, which is happy to provide further advice. In most cases, agents are used that have an anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, antibacterial or irritant effect. Contrary to general opinion, lozenges or gargle medications are beneficial, but they do not shorten the duration of the sore throat. Home remedies that use warm chamomile or sage tea to relieve the symptoms are also effective.
If the sore throat lasts longer (more than seven days) or gets worse, a doctor should be consulted. Usually additional warning signs are accompanying shortness of breath.
The doctor then conducts a thorough examination of the exact symptoms and previous illnesses, as well as allergies and medication taken. The smoking and drinking behavior of the patient should also play an important role. The doctor's examination of the inside of the throat using a wooden spatula and lamp is well known. Here he checks whether the throat is inflamed and whether the tonsils are enlarged. A smear can reveal further causes in the laboratory in the form of possible pathogens. For example tonsillar angina or streptococcal bacteria. Often the lungs are listened to with a stethoscope so that differential diagnostics can rule out or substantiate further findings.
For bacterial sore throats, antibiotics prescribed by a doctor are useful. Surgical procedures should only be used in the case of tonsillitis.
Sore throats are usually a side symptom of a cold and flu and do not necessarily have to be treated and examined by a doctor. It is completely sufficient if the person concerned is gentle on the throat, drinks tea and takes throat sweets. In most cases, the disease progresses positively, even without therapy by the doctor. Ideally, the patient shouldn't speak or sing a lot. The sore throat can appear as a side effect for up to a week before and after the cold.
If the sore throat is very severe, a doctor should be consulted. In these cases, the usual increase in eating and drinking is no longer possible, which greatly reduces the quality of life. A doctor should also be consulted if treatment with the home methods is unsuccessful. In these cases, the sore throat can lead to a worse problem.
Treatment of a sore throat at the doctor is carried out with drugs and sprays that are sprayed down the throat. The medication is usually antibiotics to prevent tonsillitis and pneumonia. In most cases, however, the sore throat will go away on its own, so there is no need to see a doctor.
other home remedies ↵ for a sore throat Sore throats, in the context of colds, cannot be prevented. However, the prevention of the causes of a cold must be prevented. A healthy diet, lots of exercise in the fresh air and a sauna can be used indirectly to prevent sore throats.
Various measures will help relieve a sore throat. Lozenges with hyaluronic acid or Icelandic moss are useful. They form a film on the mucous membrane and protect against irritation and renewed attack by pathogens. Salty lozenges protect the mucous membrane from drying out.
The immune system can fight the pathogens better. Salty lozenges are particularly suitable for people who have to stay in smoky rooms or in rooms with dry heating air. Sucking ice cubes can also relieve pain. Viruses can be washed away by gargle solutions. Pathogens are mechanically removed from the mucous membrane. For example, gargle solutions with salt water make sense.
With a sore throat, blood circulation should be specifically promoted. This enables the immune system to fight off viruses better. Inhalations and teas with medicinal plants such as sage are useful. The tannins of sage protect the mucous membrane, the essential oil has a disinfecting effect.
Patients with a sore throat should drink enough. They should also eat a soft, non-irritating diet. In the acute phase, one to two gentle days are recommended.The air in the apartment should be well humidified, especially in winter, and cigarettes should be avoided. A scarf or neck wrap is also useful. The neck and chest in particular should be kept warm. Sweating is to be avoided.