Symptoms of a throat infection are:
• a fever
• rarely a cough
• a sore throat
• pain while swallowing
• sometimes the tonsils are infected; with visible white-yellow dots
• the lymph nodes in the neck may be swollen and sensitive
• impaired immunological resistance
By the way, throat infection may be symptomatic of Pfeiffer’s disease
A throat infection is accompanied by fever, cough and sore throat complaints. Our tips for throat infection include:
- First, make sure to bolster your immunity;
- Drink cold water or have sorbet to cool the throat
- Gargle with chamomile tea (cooled) or salt water;
- Take the rest you need; real rest and not the 'I have errands to finish' type of rest!
- Do you have a fever? Read here to learn why you should avoid suppressing the fever;
- Adopt a diversified diet. Read our new nutritional advice for strong resistance.
Self-medication is not suitable to treat pharyngitis. The most important advice is to improve your immunity. About 9 in 10 throat infections are virus-based, so antibiotics are not a suitable option to treat the condition.
In the other 10% of cases, Streptococcus pyogenes is the most common cause of bacterial pharyngitis. Your general practitioner can conduct a rapid strep test to determine the cause of your condition and how to proceed.
The benefit of viral pharyngitis is that it tends to be self-limiting, disappearing over the course of a week as your body wins the war against the original pathogen.
We mentioned salt water up above, and it was put to the test in a study of 387 otherwise healthy volunteers. Gargling with salt water significantly reduced the number of URTI episodes, and a little goes a long way! You may find relief with only half a teaspoon in a cup of water.
Echinaforce Sore Throat Spray
A randomized, double-blind study conducted in 2006 compared our Echinaforce Sore Throat Spray to a pharmaceutical spray known as Collunosol, a combination of chlorhexidine and lidocaine. They followed 133 patients with acute pharyngitis or tonsillitis with the herbal spray matching the efficacy of the pharmaceutical spray! So, when you've spent the day overusing your voice, or feel a tickle in the throat, be sure to have your Echinaforce Sore Throat Spray close at hand.
Look to the tips we have for sore throat!
With pharyngitis, not only is the throat irritated, but the mucous membranes are also red and swollen due to infection. Swallowing is painful and the voice is hoarse often becomes hoarse as the tissue swells and narrows. A throat infection can be accompanied by fever as the pathogen causes systemic symptoms.
There are two kinds: acute and chronic.
- The acute form suddenly appears and will go away within approximately 14 days and is commonly caused by a virus or bacteria.
- A chronic throat infection lasts a long time and is difficult to get rid of, often a combination of a variety of different causes including inhaling irritants such as pollutants in the air or underlying conditions.
The cause of a throat infection is viral in most cases and can absolutely be considered contagious. As mentioned, 90% of cases of pharyngitis are viral in origin, so during the incubation period it is easy to spread to those around us.
Coughing and sneezing disperse these airborne pathogens all around us, making those inhaling the droplets susceptible to infection.
Do you suspect you have pharyngitis? Please contact your general practitioner if:
- if after three days you still have a fever;
- if drinking or swallowing are difficult;
- if the sore throat is accompanied with a rash on your face and/or chest;
- if the sore throat lasts more than seven days;
- if you become progressively more ill.
With children it is necessary to contact your general practitioner if:
- if your child gives you the impression of being incredibly ill;
- if your child complains their breathing feels oppressed;
- if your child cannot swallow saliva.
If there are other symptoms you worry about, please consult your primary care provider.
Self-medication is not suitable for pharyngitis (throat infection) or tonsillitis (infection of the tonsils). Consult a doctor, especially if the complaints persist, since the severity of a throat infection or tonsillitis may be underestimated. A neglected throat infection or tonsillitis can cause nasty complications, such as a middle ear infection or forms of arthritis.
Tip: improve your resistance.
- If you or your child is asthmatic, dairy products may exacerbate the accumulation of mucus in the pharynx.
- Add variety to your diet with salads made with horseradish (a little, grated), watercress or garden cress.
- Drink herbal tea with thyme, sage, juniper, goldenrod and parsley, sweetened with some honey.
Are you not only battling a sore throat, but fatigue and fever as well? Then, you probably have the flu. If you want to know if it is the common cold or the flu, do the test!
If children have a recurrent throat infection or if the tonsils are enlarged and causing them to snore, breathe restlessly or have difficulty swallowing, tonsil removal (tonsillectomy) may be considered. This also applies if abscesses form around the tonsils, as they are an easy source of recurrent infections elsewhere in the body.
Although removal of the tonsils is a routine operation, it is important to realize that tonsils have a clear function and should not be removed without reason.
The tonsils, as part of the body's lymphatic system, are thick lymph node membranes that form a barrier against infections such as cold and flu. They help trap the pathogens, allowing the body to form the proper antibodies against them.
Parents should also expect the size of the tonsils to change over time, until about the age of a 4-year-old child when tonsils reach their maximum size. After that, they gradually shrink relative to the growth of the child, until they reach their definitive size (around age 12). In some children, however, they are exceptionally big. This may be caused by an infection which causes the tissue to swell.
In the old days, only part of the throat tonsils was removed, but nowadays they are usually completely removed. The severity of the complaints determines whether or not it is necessary to remove the tonsils. Your primary care provider will help determine whether surgery is the most appropriate route to follow.