A sore throat is a scratchy and burning sensation in the upper respiratory tract that is often a harbinger of a flu infection. Throat and tonsils are reddened, not infrequently it comes to swelling and painful swallowing.
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 can lead to temporary voicelessness.
As further causes for sore throat irritation by pollutants (smoking!) And too long and loud speaking come into question. Depending on the specific cause of the disease usually sounds within a few days to a week without consequences.
In the case of sore throat, especially bacteria, viruses and other germs damage and irritate the mucous membranes in the throat. These then become inflamed and the throat can swell, hurt and occasionally turn red. Mostly, sore throat, along with scratching the throat, hoarseness and difficulty swallowing, are early signs of a cold or tonsillitis or other, usually harmless, infections.
In addition, sore throats are often accompanied by swollen tonsils, lymphadenopathy, coughing, runny nose, headache and fever.
As a cause of sore throat, the diseases listed below come into consideration.
Sore throats can not be described as a disease, but they are a symptom of a disease. To diagnose a sore throat, no independent diagnosis is required, since the person concerned notices himself or indicates to the doctor that he feels pain in the throat. The doctor will conduct examinations to identify the cause, especially in the case of sore throat pain.
Using a spatula, he looks at the tonsils and inspects the mouth and throat for obvious redness and other signs of illness. The palpation of the neck is also possible to detect swelling of the lymph nodes.
As a rule, scratching in the neck is the first sign of subsequent sore throat. Irritated mucous membranes together with mucus and difficulty swallowing occur as a result.
When you have a sore throat, everyone thinks of a cold or a flu infection. Sometimes harmless sore throat develops various complications only after some time.
Infections in the throat and pharynx often penetrate deeper into the respiratory tract. It can cause inflammation of the trachea, bronchi or even pneumonia. Children are especially likely to have tonsillitis. There is a risk here that breathing difficulties can be threatened by swelling tonsils or swelling of the epiglottis.
In purulent tonsillitis pus (abscesses) form on the tonsils within a few days. In rare cases, these cause the mouth can not be properly opened (jaw clamp or jaw lock). Here immediate medical help is necessary!
The streptococcal infection can also lead to heart muscle inflammation. This dreaded late complication manifests with sudden onset of weakness and massive chest pain. Due to the risk of heart muscle inflammation, general physical exertion and sport should be avoided in case of a cold!
Sore throat, which after a cold that has survived suddenly and very massively, indicate a side-hungrina. These are lymphatic channels that run downwards on both sides of the pharynx. They occur either on the right or left side. The defenses of the pharyngeal mucosa are usually still weakened and the bacteria in the form of pneumococci or staphylococci thus find ideal conditions. If the treatment is inconclusive and severe sore throats occur, there is a risk of otitis media, rheumatic fever, nephritis, rheumatoid arthritis or, in the worst case, sepsis (blood poisoning). The latter, however, occurs extremely rarely.
If the sore throat is extremely severe or persists for more than three days, a doctor's visit is recommended. This is especially true when children or people with weakened immune systems (for example, seniors or people with pre-existing conditions) are affected. Even if other symptoms such as high fever, a bad general condition or heavy dysphagia are added, the cause should be clarified by a physician.
The same applies if the tonsils are heavily swollen and red, or if there is a jaw clamp. Often, the lymph nodes on the neck are significantly swollen or the sore throat accompanied by abdominal pain and / or nausea. The visit of an ear, nose and throat doctor is inevitable in these cases - but the family doctor can be the first point of contact and refer the patient, if necessary, to a specialist.
In case of mild sore throat, which is a concomitant of a flu infection, it is often sufficient to take painkilling, over-the-counter medicines from the pharmacy. Even home remedies can provide relief in these cases. If the sore throat is very sudden or only one-sided, however, a doctor should be contacted as soon as possible.
Mild sore throat should not be treated at first. They usually go by themselves after a few days. Almost always the sore throat is treated by those affected themselves. The over-the-counter medicines are available in every pharmacy, which also gladly advises. In most cases, agents are used that have anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, antibacterial or soothing effects. Contrary to popular belief, lozenges or gong medications are beneficial, but they do not shorten the duration of sore throats. It also home remedies are effective, which can relieve the symptoms of warm camomile or sage tea.
If the sore throat lasts longer (more than seven days) or if it becomes more and more severe, a doctor should be consulted. Mostly, additional warning signs are accompanying respiratory distress.
The doctor then takes a thorough examination of the exact complaints and previous illnesses, as well as allergies and medications taken. The smoking and drinking habits of the patient should also play an important role. Well-known is the examination of the doctor of the throat interior by means of a wooden spatula and lamp. He checks if the throat is inflamed and if the tonsils are enlarged. A smear can provide additional causes in the laboratory in the form of possible pathogens. For example, tonsillitis or streptococcus bacteria. Often, the lungs are audited with a stethoscope, so that a differential diagnosis can exclude other findings or harden.
For bacterial sore throat antibiotics prescribed by the doctor are useful. Operatively, it should only be used in case of tonsillitis.
Sore throat usually occurs as a secondary symptom of a cold and flu and does not necessarily have to be treated and examined by a doctor. It is quite sufficient if the person concerned spares the neck, drinks tea and takes throat drops. In most cases, this results in a positive course of the disease, even without a therapy by the doctor. Ideally, the patient should not talk or sing much. The sore throat can occur as a side effect for up to one week before and after the cold.
If the sore throat is very severe, seek medical attention. In these cases, a normal increase in food and drink is no longer possible, which severely limits the quality of life. A doctor should also be consulted if treatment with home-based methods does not succeed. In these cases, the sore throat can lead to a worse problem.
The treatment of sore throat to the doctor is done with drugs and sprays that are sprayed in the throat. The drugs are usually antibiotics, so it does not cause tonsillitis and pneumonia. In most cases, however, the sore throat disappears on its own, so no doctor needs to be consulted.
Other home remedies ↵ for sore throat Sore throat, in the context of colds, can not be prevented. However, the prevention of the causes of a cold is quite preventable. A healthy diet and plenty of exercise in the fresh air and sauna can be used indirectly as a prevention for sore throat.
Various measures help to relieve sore throat. Useful are lozenges with hyaluronic acid or Icelandic moss. They form a film on the mucous membrane and protect against irritation and a renewed attack by pathogens. Salt-containing lozenges protect against dehydration of the mucous membrane.
The immune system can better fight the pathogens. Salted lozenges are particularly suitable for people who need to be in smoky rooms or rooms with dry heating air. Even sucking ice cubes can relieve pain. Viruses can be washed away by gargle solutions. Pathogens are mechanically removed from the mucous membrane. For example, gargles with salt water are useful.
For sore throat, the circulation should be specifically promoted. So the immune system can better ward off the viruses. Useful are inhalations and teas with medicinal plants such as sage. The tannins of sage protect the mucous membrane, the essential oil has a disinfecting effect.
Patients with sore throat should drink enough. In addition, they should take a soft, non-irritating food. In the acute phase one or two gentle days are recommended. The air in the apartment should be well moistened just in winter and cigarettes should be avoided. It is also sensible to wear a scarf or neck wrap. In particular, the neck and chest should be kept warm. Sweating is to be avoided.