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Symptoms of Throat Infection

Throat infection may also refer to sore throat, strep throat or pharyngitis. It is an inflammation or infection of the throat, tonsils or pharynx. It is a condition common to almost anyone worldwide. It occurs anytime or any season of the year but it is more prevalent during winter. Older people and children are discovered being more susceptible to this kind of bacterial infection though it can occur to any age group. People should know that strep throat is communicable or contagious.

Sore throat is usually accompanied by flu or common colds. There are two types of throat infection, bacterial and viral throat infection. A viral infection is caused by different viruses like mononucleosis virus or flu virus. Viral infection is not to be treated with antibiotics because antibiotics have no effect on viruses. Therefore, it is important to identify if an infection is caused by a bacteria or a virus. A bacterial infection is caused by the streptococcus bacteria.

Symptoms of Throat Infection Symptoms

The symptoms can be mild to severe depending on the causative agent.

· Swallowing difficulty

· Throat discomfort

· Sneezing

· Cough

Symptoms of throat infection in babies:

Babies are easily infected with strep throat infection if they are exposed to infected adults.

· Low grade fever

· Swollen throat

· Swallowing difficulty

· Swollen lymph nodes

· Frequent crying

· Irritability

Symptoms of viral throat infection

· Pain in the sinuses

· Congestion

· Voice changes and becomes deeper

· Dryness on the throat

Symptoms of bacterial throat infection

· Inflammation of the throat

· Headache

· Slight fever

· Tiredness

Treatment

Usually, throat infection is self-limiting, meaning it subsides and heals on its own. But an infected person may consult a doctor to ask for some soothing relief for pain in the throat. Bacterial throat infection is treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics are meant to kill bacteria. So they are not to be used with viral infections because they are ineffective against viruses. Viral infection is self-limiting. If you experience symptoms like dizziness and nausea plus the mentioned symptoms above, you should immediately consult your physician because they may be signs of ear infection.

There are a lot of home remedies for bacterial and viral throat infection for adults and for children as well. An example of an old but effective remedy for throat infection is mixing a teaspoon of salt into lukewarm water and gargle it. Drinking plenty of water has always been an advice of doctors to keep the person hydrated and it may wash out some organisms as well. Chicken and vegetable soups also help in soothing and relieving the throat pain in throat infection. However, a baby having a throat infection should be brought to the doctor immediately.

Prevention

A person should make effort into making his/her immune system stronger because a person with strong immune system is not likely to experience throat infections. Increasing one’s immunity means eating a nutritious balance diet, vitamin C intake and regular exercise. Oranges and citrus fruits are a good source of vitamin C. But a person should avoid contact with persons having flu or cold because those are contagious.

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Throat Infection

Throat infections are very common during childhood. The two main categories of throat infection include: Viral infection and Strep throat.

  • Viral infection:

Throat InfectionThis being the most common type of throat infection is associated with high fever. Children with throat viruses suffer from throat pain, which results into poor appetite and sickness, which eventually results into weight loss. Antibiotics do not help throat viruses clear up faster. Viral infections lead to sore throats.

Sore throat is nothing but the inflammation of the throat’s back. A sore throat occurs more easily and frequently when a person has a cold or is suffering from influenza. It also occurs when a person is suffering from sinusitis, measles, diphtheria and even leukemia in rare cases. The symptoms for sore throat are pain, irritation and inflammation in the throat – followed by chills, fever, and some hoarseness or laryngitis. The cure for sore throat is gargling with either plain water or water mixed with salt and lemon. Instead of water, sage tea, grapefruit seed extract, herbs like Echinacea and goldenseal can also be used.

  • Strep throat:

Strep throat is nothing but the pharynx getting infected and it happens due to the streptococcus bacteria. Strep throat is common among children and teenagers. It causes sore throat accompanied by mild fever as well. Other associated symptoms can include headache, difficulty in swallowing, stomachache, and a red sandpaper-like rash.

Antibiotics should be used on a regular basis in order to treat strep throat and also to clear up the symptoms, and to avoid spreading the infection. One of the herbal remedies that is effective as anti bacterial and anti viral is Garlic. 10% of sore throat may be due to Strep throat infection.

Other throat infections include Pharyngitis, Tonsillitis, Epiglottitis and Laryngitis.

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Throat Infection

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.

Causes

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.

Throat Infection Home remedies for Sore throat

· 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.

Transmission

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

· Fever

· White patches on the throat and tonsils

· Tender, swollen lymph nodes at the side of the neck

Other symptoms:

· 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.

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