Severe Sore Throat Symptoms

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A severe sore throat is an inflammation of the pharynx and/or throat. It is a symptom of a virus that is very contagious and should be monitored closely. Severe sore throats can have various causes. There are also several remedies for this symptom. Normally, severe sore throats only last four to five days. There is no real cure to stop severe sore throats from occurring, but you can take preventative steps keep them from reoccurring often.

Causes

A severe sore throat can be caused by a common virus, such as a cold and flu, or by a bacterial infection. The most common bacterial infection is Streptococcus, which causes strep throat. Sinus drainage or post-nasal drip can also cause one to have a sore throat. People who snore at night may breath through their mouth, which can cause the throat to be dry and sore.

Symptoms

A common symptom of a severe sore throat is pain with swallowing and possibly a hoarse voice. Pus may appear on the tonsils, and the throat may be red. The neck glands may be tender as well from inflamed lymph nodes. Other symptoms that may occur throughout the body are headache, fever and nausea. These could be signs of either a bacterial or viral infection. If an individual notices white patches appearing in their throat, this could be a sign of strep throat. If a severe sore throat persists for more than two weeks, consult your doctor.

Treatment

A severe sore throat can be easily treated at home. To help relieve some of the pain and swelling, gargle with warm salt water. Drink lots of hot fluids, such as soup or tea, to prevent dehydration and to soothe the throat. Humidifiers and vaporizers also work to relieve a hoarse voice. Decongestants, cough drops and throat lozenges can be used to help numb the throat pain and allow you to breathe easier.

Emergency

Seek emergency medical help immediately if you experience swelling of the tongue or throat, difficulty breathing and/or severe dehydration. If drooling develops or you are unable to cry or make sounds, you may be suffering from epiglottitis, also known as inflammation epiglottis. The epiglottis is the flap of tissue located over the trachea. It closes when a person swallows in order to stop food and fluids from moving into the trachea. Epiglottitis can be fatal if it is not treated quickly.

Prevention

To help reduce the risks of getting a severe sore throat, wash your hands frequently, especially when you are around individuals who may be ill. Drink enough liquids to prevent dehydration. Some irritants that may cause sore throats are fumes and smoke as well as yelling. Avoid these irritants as much as possible. Do not share drinking and eating utensils with anyone to prevent spreading germs. Also, avoid individuals who may have strep throat.

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