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Pharyngitis - Signs, Symptoms, Treatment and Precautions

Published on Dec 31, 2016 and last reviewed on Feb 03, 2022   -  4 min read


Commonly called the sore throat, pharyngitis is an Infection of the pharynx due to microbes. Read the article to get to know about pharyngitis in detail.

Pharyngitis - Signs, Symptoms, Treatment and Precautions

What Is Pharynx?

The pharynx is a thin mucosal membrane-lined cavity, which lies behind the nose and mouth, and together with them, it opens into the esophagus.

What Is Pharyngitis?

Pharyngitis can be defined as an infection or irritation of the pharynx or tonsils. The etiology is usually infectious, of which most cases are of viral origin closely followed by bacterial infections. Other less frequent causes include allergies, trauma, toxins, and certain cancers.

What Causes Pharyngitis?

It is difficult to distinguish whether a particular event of pharyngitis is due to viral or bacterial infection merely based on history and physical examination. However, the causes are specific for acquiring the infections. The reasons can be any of the following.

What Are the Symptoms of Pharyngitis?

The symptoms of pharyngitis are as follows

  1. Sudden onset.

  2. Fever of mild to moderate grade.

  3. Sore throat and itching sensation in the throat.

  4. Pain in the throat area.

  5. Difficulty in swallowing.

  6. Headache with pain in the eyes, sometimes associated with redness of eyes.

  7. Stuffiness in the nose.

  8. Cough may or may not be present. If present with expectorations, it is likely to be a bacterial infection.

  9. Generalized body ache and weakness.

How Can We Prevent Pharyngitis?

  1. Maintaining a proper immunity level is a must to avoid getting such opportunistic infections. Besides, genetic predispositions of our body build its immunity cells based on our daily habits, including the food we eat, our stress levels, our sleep-wake cycle, exercises, and sedentary habits. With its self-adjusting mechanism, our body forms its defense line. Any sudden change or exposure to the non-routine atmosphere results in the symptoms.

  2. Maintaining proper dietary habits. Fruits and vegetables in the daily diet provide the essential nutrients for our body to form defense cells. Avoid frequent consumption of oil and fat-containing food items.

  3. Frequent heavy alcohol consumption must be avoided.

  4. Avoid continuous sedentary habits. A sleep-wake cycle should be maintained. The sleep of 6 to 8 hours a day suffices bodily needs. A mild to moderate exercise of about 1 hour daily would help pump up the defense cells in the body.

  5. If the person is a known allergic to a particular substance, then avoidance and protection from exposure to the known allergen is the best call.

  6. Oral hygiene also plays an equally important role in acquiring such infections. Brushing and cleaning the oral cavity twice a day helps avoid most bacterial infections.

What Are the Dos and Don’ts in Pharyngitis?


  1. Be responsible enough not to expose other people, especially children, to your infections by sneezing and coughing in public places without covering your nose and mouth with a handkerchief.

  2. Follow a healthy and nutritious lifestyle.

  3. Consult the doctor on time and complete the prescribed treatment course.


  1. Do not self-treat or ask for medications at the pharmacy counter without a doctor's consultation.

  2. Do not wait for too long for the symptoms to subside.

  3. Do not stop the prescribed treatment without consulting the doctor. Stopping the treatment in the middle would leave the infection unresolved, and the person may get sick again.

How Is Pharyngitis Treated?

So, the bottom line is that treatment for any symptom demands attention and consultation with a qualified doctor to get terminated.

What Home Remedies Help in Improving Recovery?

What Are the Complications of Pharyngitis?


Pharyngitis or sore throat is a common yet rarely severe condition and is most commonly associated with the common cold or flu. When you experience any of the symptoms of pharyngitis, reach out to a healthcare provider to get the best treatment. Practicing good respiratory etiquette is needed to prevent the occurrence and spread of pharyngitis

Last reviewed at:
03 Feb 2022  -  4 min read




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