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Throat Infection Symptoms

Throat Infection Symptoms

Throat infection can be caused due to viruses, bacteria, allergies, or even fungi. Identifying its early symptoms is essential in order to get the condition treated immediately.
Madhura Pandit
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2018
Throat infection, also known as strep throat, sore throat, or pharyngitis, is an infection or an inflammation of the pharynx, throat, or tonsils. It is one of the most common medical conditions experienced by people. It can occur at any time of the year, but, commonly affects people during winter. Although a person of any age group can suffer from it; children and older people are more susceptible to it.
Throat infection can be caused due to viruses like flu virus, mononucleosis virus, adenovirus, rhinovirus; or by bacteria like Streptococcus bacteria; or by fungus. Infection or soreness in the throat is accompanied with other symptoms like those mentioned below.
Symptoms
Throat infection symptoms differ according to the underlying cause. Most of the symptoms observed in case of adults are similar to those observed in children.
Common Symptoms
  • Discomfort in throat
  • Dryness in throat
  • Throat pain
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Tiredness
Signs of Throat Infection in Babies
  • Swollen throat
  • Low-grade fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Irritability
  • Frequent crying
  • Sneezing
  • Slight rash (sometimes)
Signs of Viral Throat Infection
  • Dryness of throat
  • Voice becomes deeper
  • Congestion
  • Sinus pain
Signs of Bacterial Throat Infection
  • Inflamed throat
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Tiredness
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
Treatment
Throat infections can last for 3-7 days, depending on the cause. In milder cases, the infection gets better on its own and does not require any treatment. However, in other cases, especially in bacterial infection, medical treatment is required. Bacterial infection can be treated effectively by antibiotics. Viral throat infection subsides on its own after a couple of days. In case throat infection is caused due to allergy, the doctor will prescribe medications to treat the symptoms, and will also ask you to try to avoid the allergen as much as possible. Fungal infection can be treated with antifungal medication.
Strep throat is contagious and hence, should be treated immediately. Bacterial infection is not contagious after 24 hours on taking antibiotics. In case, other symptoms like dizziness, nausea, vomiting, neck pain, etc., are observed along with the aforementioned ones, you need to consult the doctor immediately.
Several home remedies are helpful in treating minor symptoms of throat infection in adults and children. You can try the following remedies.
• Gargling with salt in lukewarm water is an age-old, but, effective home remedy.
• Similarly, drinking plenty of water helps in keeping the body hydrated.
• Vegetable/chicken soup or honey and lemon tea, can be consumed to relieve the symptoms of throat infection.
• Having hot tea (black or white) with ginger is another useful remedy to treat sore throat.
• Cough lozenges and sprays can help in easing the discomfort in the throat.
Home remedies should be used only in case you suffer from minor throat infection. These home remedies are not meant for babies and toddlers.
Prevention
► Throat infection can be prevented by strengthening the immune system. Therefore, you should try to strengthen you immunity. Having a balanced and nutritious diet, regular exercise, and a good intake of vitamin C helps in increasing the immunity of the body.
► You should include citrus fruits like lemons and oranges in your diet as they are rich sources of vitamin C.
► Secondly, you should stop smoking and reduce exposure to smoke or dry air. Investing in a humidifier can be beneficial for the entire family.
► On the other hand, you should stay away from people suffering from common cold or flu, as these diseases are contagious. Children and babies, especially, should be protected against these contagious diseases.
► Children should be encouraged to follow healthy practices of cleanliness and hygiene.
Throat infection can be a symptom of a severe disorder. Therefore, it is recommended to consult the doctor and get it treated immediately. Take care!
Disclaimer: This article is meant only to provide information. It is not to be substituted for proper medical advice and treatment.