General Practice 2022

Pharyngitis: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

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Pharyngitis: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment
Pharyngitis: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

Pharyngitis is an inflammation in the throat that can be caused both by viruses, being called viral pharyngitis, and by bacteria, which is called bacterial pharyngitis. This inflammation causes intense sore throat, leaving it very red, and in some cases there can be fever and small painful lumps in the neck.

Treatment for pharyngitis should be indicated by the general practitioner or otolaryngologist and is usually done with the use of medication to reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms, or the use of antibiotics for about 10 days when the cause of pharyngitis is is bacterial.

During treatment, it is important that the person is careful with food, avoiding very hot or cold foods and should also avoid talking, as this can be uncomfortable and cause coughing, which can worsen symptoms.In addition, it is important for the person to rest and drink plenty of fluids during the day.

Symptoms of pharyngitis

The main symptom of pharyngitis is sore throat, which results in difficulty swallowing. Other symptoms that may be present in case of pharyngitis are:

  • Redness and swelling in the throat;
  • Difficulty swallowing;
  • Fever;
  • General malaise;
  • Indisposition;
  • Headache;
  • Hoarseness.

In the case of bacterial pharyngitis, the fever may be higher, there may be enlarged lymph nodes and the presence of purulent discharge in the throat. Learn how to recognize the symptoms of bacterial pharyngitis.

As soon as the first symptoms of pharyngitis appear, it is important to consult the otolaryngologist so that the diagnosis can be made and the appropriate treatment started.

How is the diagnosis

The diagnosis of pharyngitis should be made by the general practitioner or otorhinolaryngologist through the evaluation of the signs and symptoms presented by the person, usually an evaluation of the throat is performed. In addition, a throat culture is usually requested to verify which microorganism may be causing the pharyngitis and, thus, to be able to indicate the most appropriate treatment.

In addition, blood tests may be requested to check for any changes that suggest an increase in the severity of the disease, and this test is more frequent to be requested when white plaques are seen in the throat, as it is suggestive of bacterial infection and there is a greater probability of proliferation, spread and aggravation of the disease.

Causes of pharyngitis

The causes of pharyngitis are related to the microorganisms that cause it.In case of viral pharyngitis, the causative viruses can be Rhinovirus, Coronavirus, Adenovirus, Influenza or Parainfluenza and which can happen as a result of a cold or flu, for example. Learn more about viral pharyngitis.

In relation to bacterial pharyngitis, the most frequent is streptococcal pharyngitis caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes, and it is important that it is identified quickly to avoid the emergence of complications.

How the treatment is done

The treatment of pharyngitis varies according to the symptoms and the cause, that is, whether viral or bacterial. However, regardless of the cause, it is important for the person to rest and drink plenty of fluids during treatment.

In the case of viral pharyngitis, the treatment indicated by the doctor usually consists of the use of painkillers and fever medication for 2 to 3 days. On the other hand, in the case of bacterial pharyngitis, treatment should be done with antibiotics, such as penicillin or amoxicillin, for 7 to 10 days, or as directed by the doctor.For people who are allergic to penicillin and derivatives, the doctor may recommend the use of erythromycin.

It is essential that the treatment is followed according to medical advice, even if an improvement in symptoms has been noticed before the end of the recommended treatment, as this way it is possible to guarantee the elimination of the agent responsible for the pharyngitis.

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