Throat infection or sore throat is a common condition that can occur at any time of the year. It is fairly mild if caused by common cold. However, if you experience frequent or recurring sore throat (that lasts for a couple of weeks), then it is definitely a cause of concern.
As mentioned above, the duration of sore throat helps in proper diagnosis of the condition. Secondly, if the throat infection or soreness in throat does not cease even on taking medication, then the condition is termed as chronic throat infection. Lastly, an unexplained irritation in the throat that lasts for a couple of weeks is persistent sore throat, and should be brought to the doctor's notice immediately.
Common cold, influenza (flu), pneumonia and candida infection are commonly occurring infectious diseases. Throat infection, fever, headache are the typical symptoms of these diseases. If these diseases are left untreated, they can turn chronic, resulting in chronic sore throat.
Allergy to certain foods, drinks, dust, pollen, etc. is another common cause for frequent sore throat. If the person gets exposed to these irritants frequently, it can cause constant irritation in the throat. Similarly, constant exposure to vehicle or cigarette smoke also results in chronic sore throat.
When the immune system weakens, it cannot effectively work in keeping away disease-causing parasites. Hence, the person becomes more susceptible to diseases and suffers from severe sore throat. Poor diet and stress are the common causes of low immunity in people.
Getting exposed to very cold or dry air constantly is another cause of recurring sore throat. Excessively dry air dries out the mucus in the throat, causing irritation and itchiness. Similarly, clogged filters in the air-conditioning unit can indirectly cause irritation in the throat.
Swollen Lymph Nodes
Chronic sore throat and swelling in glands is caused due to swollen lymph nodes. There are several causes of swollen lymph nodes, like infectious mononucleosis, tuberculosis, measles, HIV and other infectious diseases.
Apart from these, it can also be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), drug or medication reaction, tonsillitis, strep throat, chickenpox, breathing through mouth or shouting / singing in loud voice. Throat or oropharyngeal cancer can be one of the potential causes of persistent sore throat. However, in case of cancer, along with sore throat, several other symptoms like lump in the throat, pain in ear or neck, etc. are observed.
As mentioned above, persistent sore throat requires immediate medical treatment. Bacterial throat infection can be treated with antibiotics. Secondly, if tonsils are inflamed, they are permanently removed to prevent severe sore throat. It is essential to find out whether infection is caused due to other underlying infectious disease like pneumonia, etc. If yes, the doctor will first prescribe treatment to cure these infectious diseases. Symptoms of allergy can also be treated using medication. Air conditioners should be cleaned properly and you should avoid being exposed to frequent dry and cold air.
When talking about preventive measures, one of the most important thing to follow is to avoid exposure to smoke, dust, to quit smoking, etc. Secondly, as weak immune system makes one prone to infectious disease, you should follow measure to enhance the immune system. Having a proper and healthy diet and exercising regularly helps in strengthening the immune system. Thirdly, home remedies like salt water gargle, having ginger tea, chicken soup, etc. give instant relief.
It should be noted that infectious diseases can be prevented to a large extent simply by changing one's lifestyle. This information is not to be substituted for medical advice. Therefore, if you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms, it is recommended to consult the doctor immediately. Take care!