Common Medical Conditions

How to Get Rid of Throat Infection?

Written by
Dr. Vidhi Hareshbhai Talati
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Dec 08, 2016 and last reviewed on Aug 02, 2019   -  5 min read

Abstract

Abstract

Are you wondering how to get rid of your throat infection? Read the article to find out the possible causes and treatment options for a sore throat.

How to Get Rid of Throat Infection?

Throat infection is referred as pharyngitis. It is characterized by irritation, pain, burning sensation, scratching feeling in the throat. It initiates with difficulties during swallowing. The most common cause for this is viral or bacterial infection. Sometimes this bacterium is self controlled.

This falls in the top 10 disease groups. Some researches show that about 600 million people have had sore throat in their life span. This problem lasts for a minimum of 3 to 4 days even after taking proper treatment. All races and both genders are affected. Most common age for this problem is 5 to 15 years. Children below 3 years of age are less commonly affected.

It is a one type of upper respiratory tract infection. It is referred as swelling of trachea or tonsils. Both viral and bacterial pharyngitis have similar pathophysiology, signs and symptoms. It is one type of contaminated disease and it spreads from one person to another person via sputum or sneeze particles.

Its onset is sudden and disturbs one’s day to day activities because it disturbs the swallowing of food and fluid leading to weakness.

Signs and Symptoms Associated with Pharyngitis

There are many signs and symptoms associated with pharyngitis. They are as follows:

Headache - severe headache occurs due to congestion in sinuses. It is referred as sinus headache. Due to inflammation of the tracheal wall, there is irritation which leads to over secretion of the sputum constantly. This sputum accumulates into sinuses around trachea and gets trapped into it. This blockage of sinuses cause headache. It may be associated with sneezing, itching and pain. Pain is aggravated by cold weather and damp atmosphere, forward bending movement, in early morning, and in winter.

Cough is absent in acute pharyngitis. It appears after 24 hours of initiation.

Fever - high grade fever occurs with bacterial infection. Temperature of body is above 38 degree Celsius or 100.4 Fahrenheit. Fever which is associated with pharyngitis is known as scarlet fever.

Joint pain and muscle ache - pain is felt in muscles around neck and shoulder because of over use. Swelling of tonsils cause over use of these muscles.

Swollen lymph nodes - there are many glands present in our body for providing immunity. These nodes get swollen due to infection of bacteria especially from staphylococcus group A ( most common bacteria).

What Causes Pharyngitis

Abscessed or impacted tooth - abscessed tooth causes inflammation of the adjacent tissue such as tonsils and trachea which leads to sore throat or throat infection.

Oral ulcers - it mostly occurs due to infection of bacteria such as candida species, which cause spread of infection to trachea, that leads to irritation and swelling of throat. It presents as white patches in the mouth.

Viral infection - rhinovirus, corona virus and para influenza virus grow in cold weather more and more in throat and cause infection. It comes from respiratory tract only and gets trapped into trachea.

Bacterial infection - there are many types of bacteria which cause throat infection but most common bacteria are staphylococcus group A in adults and group C and G in children. Bacteria and virus are usually spread from persons already infected with this infection. Infected persons while sneezing release tiny droplets with these organisms in air and this air when inhaled by a noninfected person leads to sore throat. These virus and bacteria release the toxins and irritate the throat, which stimulates the mucosa to release the inflammatory elements and cause throat inflammation.

Gastroesophageal reflux - regurgitation of the acid from stomach into mouth causes damage of the mucosa of throat and may increase the risk of infection.

Diagnostic Tests for Throat Infection

There are not many tests available for diagnosing throat infection. In primary stage, only visual observation and palpation is used and in later stage or chronic stage, throat culture test is used.

  • Throat culture test - it gives 90 to 99 % accurate results. It is best used in emergency department. But it is largely used in office based practice means in clinics. Peripheral tissue of the throat is taken with some specific instrument after giving local anesthetics and analgesics. This tissue will then be investigated in laboratory for possible infected organisms.
  • Visual investigation - a doctor or physician may see all the infected areas with the help of torch light. The infected skin will be visible as red, pink, marked, swollen and sometimes white patches may appear in the deeper part of mouth and throat. Doctor may palpate the neck area also for lymph node enlargement. If patient has enlargement of lymph node, he will feel intense pain even on light palpation by physician, which may help to confirm diagnosis. Sometimes, neck region may also be swollen in advanced stage.

Natural Remedies for Treating Throat Infection

  • Salt water gargling is the best home remedy for treating sore throat. But it gives only temporary relief. For best results, dissolve one teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water and gargle with it many times a day and before sleep. Warm water and salt will remove the excess fluid within tissue leading to shrinkage of tissue and helps in decreasing the swelling. Use this remedy for at least four times a day for effective results.
  • Use licorice root tea - it fights against viral infection and the associated inflammation. It gives soothing effects on the membrane of trachea and removes irritation. Take this tea two times in a day.
  • Use baking soda - its alkaline property helps to kill bacteria in the throat. It is a straight forward remedy which works as antibacterial home medicine. It also soothes the minor rashes in the throat. Dissolve half teaspoon salt and half teaspoon baking soda in one cup of warm water and gargle it every four hours.

Pharmacological Treatment

This disease is self limiting in nature and symptoms associated with it are relieved within three to four days. There are many pharmacological treatments used to treat pharyngitis.

Antibiotics

If antibiotics are given early in this disease, the symptoms will be relieved within one day. It is best used in this case without cough.

  • Penicillin G benzathine - it is effective when bacteria are active in its multiplication. It inhibits the synthesis of cell wall of bacteria. Inadequate dose only restricts the multiplication and does not destroy the bacteria totally. So, with inadequate concentration the chance of recurrence may increase. It is given intramuscularly by injection and dosage is 1.2 million units in case of staphylococcus infection. It is widely used because of low cost and minimal chance of side effects.
  • Amoxicillin - it also restricts the synthesis of tissue in the wall of bacteria. Its most common side effect is skin rash. It does not taste bad and that is why best acceptable in children. Single dose daily is enough for destroying bacteria. Dosage - 775 mg once in a day for 10 days, taken within 1 hour after finishing lunch or dinner.
  • Cephalexin - it stops or arrests the production of the wall of the bacteria. It is best effective against rapidly growing bacteria. This drug is widely used in patients who are not comfortable with Penicillin. Dosage - 250 mg every 6 hours or doses range from 1-4 g/day in divided doses.
  • Azithromycin - it is best used in patients with Penicillin allergy. It has very high cost and very high effectiveness to destroy bacteria. It has same mechanism as above. Only single dose for shorter duration may give best results. Dosage - 500 mg once, then 250 mg once daily for 4 days is enough for treating throat infection.
  • Erythromycin - it also has similar action as above. It gives best results against Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Acinetobacter haemolyticus which are not destroyed by Penicllin. Dosage - 500 mg every 6 or 12 hours depending on the severity of symptoms or 500 mg every 12 hours or 333 mg every 8 hours.

Corticosteroids

They are best used in chronic case of throat infection. They are widely used in treating swelling.

  • Dexamethasone - in case of throat infection, it gives best result when used with antibiotics. Betamethasone is also used as alternative option. It decreases the release of inflammatory elements and permeability of capillary and leads to suppression of swelling. Dosage - 0.75-9 mg/day intravascular or intramuscular every 6 or 12 hours.
  • Prednisone - it also has similar activity. It is inactive form and must be converted into active form Prednisolone. Dosage - 5 mg for 6 days after taking breakfast or meal or at bedtime.

Do you have sore throat? Consult an ENT otolaryngologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/ENT-Otolaryngologist

Frequently Asked Questions


1.

What is a viral throat infection?

A sore throat that results from infection by a virus is called viral throat infection. The common viruses that cause throat infection are the influenza virus (cold and flu), varicella-zoster virus (chickenpox), and Epstein-Barr virus (infectious mononucleosis).

2.

What is a bacterial throat infection?

Likewise, a sore throat that results from infection by bacteria is called bacterial throat infection. Streptococcus (strep throat) is the most common cause of bacterial throat infection.

3.

Can yeast infection affect the throat?

Candidiasis or oral thrust that is caused by the yeast Candida is the most common type of yeast infection that can affect the mouth, throat, gastrointestinal tract, and genitals. Candida lives inside the body, and when your immunity is weak, it grows and results in infection.

4.

How to cure a throat infection?

Depending on the cause, a throat infection can be treated by:
- Painkillers.
- Throat lozenges.
- Cough syrup.
- Herbal tea.
- Warm salt water gargle.
- Antacids for acid reflux.
- Antibiotics if it is a bacterial infection.
- Take a lot of fluids.
- Rest.

5.

How long does a throat infection last?

A viral throat infection will last for about a week to ten days. And you will feel better within 2 to 3 days after you start taking antibiotics for bacterial throat infection.

6.

How do you know if you have a throat infection?

If your throat feels scratchy, burning, raw, dry, or if it irritates, it might be a sign of throat infection.

7.

Which tablet is best for throat infection?

There is no need to take tablets for viral throat infection. And for bacterial throat infection, Amoxicillin is the preferred antibiotic.

8.

What is the reason for throat infection?

Some of the common causes of a throat infection are cold and flu or other viruses, strep throat and other bacteria, allergies, dry air in winters, environmental irritants, injury to the throat, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and tumor of the throat.

9.

Why is my sore throat not going away?

A sore throat that lasts for more than a week is usually due to throat injury (by shouting too much), environmental irritants (cigarette smoke, chemical smoke), or allergies. It can also be due to a dry climate, mouth-breathing habit, and postnasal drip.

10.

What is strep throat?

Throat infection that is caused by the bacteria Streptococcus is called strep throat. It is the most common bacterial throat infection.

Last reviewed at:
02 Aug 2019  -  5 min read

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