A throat infection is pain, scratchiness or discomfort in the throat because of infectious conditions. Having a sore throat makes it painful and difficult to swallow. The soreness in sore throat is often worse in the morning and improves throughout the day.
Viral infection is usually the cause of sore throats. Sore throats don’t respond to antibiotics. In the beginning of a cold, mild sore throat sometimes occurs. If the sinuses or nose is infected, the drainage may run down at the back of the throat which is then irritated especially at night. Or the throat can be infected directly.
If the infection is caused by the bacteria Streptococcus, the infection is called strep throat where in it gets inflamed making it red and swollen. It can be diagnosed through rapid strep test and throat culture at the doctor’s clinic. Sore throat is usually gone within 24 hours if treated immediately. It should be treated completely to prevent rare complications such as glomerulonephritis, affecting the kidneys and rheumatic fever, affecting the heart.
When a person breathes through the mouth, it causes sore throat without any infection involved which is common in dry winter months and the person wakes up in the morning with sore throat. But it then disappears after drinking something.
Allergic rhinitis can also cause a sore throat. Normally, treatment is delayed until culture results are released.
· Hard candies, salt water gargles, and lozenges provide a temporary relief.
· Humidifier is also helpful to relieve symptoms especially for sore throats caused by mouth breathing and dry air.
· Ibuprofen and acetaminophen relieves pain.
· Decongestant is also helpful.
Strep throat is communicable and the most common way to catch it is through close contact with the infected person. Airborne droplet is the method of transmission of this infection. It is common on military facilities, schools, dormitories and families providing a higher chance of transmitting the Streptococcus bacteria. After starting an antibiotic therapy, strep throat is no longer contagious.
Signs and Symptoms
· White patches on the throat and tonsils
· Tender, swollen lymph nodes at the side of the neck
· Sudden sore throat occurrence
· Painful swallowing
· Nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain
· Swollen, red soft palate or uvula
Treatment for Strep throat
Upon strep throat detection, strep throat should be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotic should be consumed in full course. Do not stop abruptly if symptoms subside to prevent resistance and relapse of infection.
Streptococcus is responsive to cephalosporin and penicillin antibiotics. Penicillins are reliable, effective and cheap. Oral penicillin is preferred. It is available in 250 mg to be taken thrice a day or 500 mg to be taken twice a day. A full antibiotic course is 10 days and this should be completed even if symptoms are resolved.
Amoxicillin, cloxacillin and dicloxacillin are all effective treatments for strep throat. Cephalosporins like cephalexin and macrolides like erythromycin are other options for treating strep throat. They are effective and reliable as well.