What is Pharyngitis?

Pharyngitis is a condition that is characterized by a sore throat that is caused by inflammation of the back of the throat (also known as the pharynx). It is quite common and may include painful throat symptoms such as soreness, discomfort, pain, or itchiness. Pharyngitis usually occurs along with another illness such as a cold, the flu, or mononucleosis.

Pharyngitis is caused by swelling in the back of the throat between the tonsils and the larynx. It most often occurs during cold and flu seasons when viral infections are prevalent. It usually spreads between people by breathing in bacteria or viruses that are spread in the air, or by touching surfaces or objects that have been exposed with germs.

Risk factors for pharyngitis include:

·       Cold and flu seasons

·       Being in close contact with someone who has a sore throat or cold

·       Smoking or being exposed to secondhand smoke

·       Frequent sinus infections

·       Allergies

Symptoms of pharyngitis may include:

·       Sore throat

·       Fever

·       Headache

·       Joint pain and muscle aches

·       Skin rashes

·       Swollen lymph glands in the neck

Treatment and home remedies

·       Medications such as Tylenol, Advil and Motrin can help (antibiotics if caused by a virus)

·       Getting good rest and sleep

·       Avoiding alcohol and smoking

·       Drinking tea with honey or lemon

·       Gargling with warm salt water

·       Drinking cold liquids or sucking on fruit-flavored ice pops

·       Sucking on throat lozenges

·       Breathing in steam from a vaporizer or humidifier