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Acute pharyngitis usually appears suddenly and runs its course in a few days or a week. Symptoms, more severe in children, are dry, sore throat, fatigue, and mild fever. Often, swallowing is painful, the head aches, and there is a harsh cough and a persistent desire to clear the throat. The throat frequently becomes swollen and covered with a thick mucous material. Sometimes there is pain in the ears, or hoarseness.
The American College of Physicians and American Society of Internal Medicine have published Clinical Practice Guidelines on Principles of Appropriate Antibiotic Use for Acute Pharyngitis in Adults. They recommend that any adult with pharyngitis should be offered analgesics, antipyretics, and other supportive care. Prescriptions of antimicrobials should be limited to those patients most likely to have group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus.
Chronic pharyngitis is the result of continuous reinfection or chronic irritation of exposed parts of the throat. It is similar to acute pharyngitis, but less severe. The simple catarrhal form can be caused by smoking, dust, smog, or constant breathing through the mouth.
Pharyngitis may also occur as part of an early stage of a disease such as scarlet fever, measles, or whooping cough. Symptomatic treatment includes hot saline gargles, liquid diet, and an increase in fluid intake. Antibiotics may be prescribed when a bacterial infection is present.
pharyngitis/phar·yn·gi·tis/ (-ji´tis) sore throat; inflammation of the pharynx.pharyngit´ic
pharyngitisSore throat ENT Inflammation of the oropharyngeal mucosa, most often viral infection–95% or by bacteria–5% Etiology acute Group A streptococcus, aka strep throat Etiology chronic Caused by a continuing infection of the sinuses, lungs, or mouth; or by irritation from smoking, heavily polluted air, alcohol, or by swallowing substances that scald, corrode or irritate throat. See Strep throat, Throat culture.
pharyngitisInflammation of the PHARYNX causing a sore throat and discomfort in swallowing, and often enlarged LYMPH NODES in the neck. Pharyngitis is most commonly caused by virus infection as part of a common cold, but is sometimes caused by bacteria, such as streptococci, Corynebacterium diphtheriae or other organisms. Persistent pharyngitis may be caused by smoking or excessive drinking of strong alcohol. Very severe pharyngitis may endanger life by causing OEDEMA of the LARYNX. Treatment is necessary in severe or persistent cases and antibiotics may be given after a throat swab has been taken for bacterial culture.
Patient discussion about pharyngitis
Q. Is it really necessary to take antibiotic the whole week? Three days ago my 10 years-old son had a sore throat, after a very short examination the doctor said my son has pharyngitis and that he has to take antibiotics for ten days. He took it for two days and now he no long has any sore throat- Why does he have to take the antibiotic for so long? I don’t want him to take too many medications…