Throat Irritation: Treatment

Simon Wong Health Hunter

Throat irritations call for special concern and care. If left untreated, the problem could lead to more problems that might be potentially deadly.

While it does not mean that you have an infection or irritation of throat every time your throat aches, an aching throat should be a cause for concern.  Strep throat is one type of infection, caused  by a bacterium. It should be treated; otherwise, it could lead to other problems, such as rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease (an inflammation of the heart valves), which could be serious.  There is another kind of throat infection– tonsillitis. This, too, is caused by a bacterium or a virus.  Tonsillitis, if neglected, could  be extremely painful. The symptoms of both these infections are the same — soreness, inflammation and pain. You should see your doctor if you develop such symptoms.

There are many types of streptococcus, one of which infects the urinary tract, another causes bacterial pneumonia; yet another could cause teeth decay. There is a type known as streptococcus pyogenes. It causes millions of sore throats each year.

According to Michael Gerber, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics and director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, those most susceptible to strep throat are children between the ages of 3 and 12 years.

The pain caused by strep throats could  be more agonizing than sore throats. As far as strep throats are concerned,  there are a number of symptoms, such as swollen lymph glands in the neck, fever, headache, abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting.  A simple throat culture could identify the bacteria. Once it is identified, it could  be treated with antibiotics.

Some helpful tips:

1) Stay in bed;

2) Drink lots of fluids;

3) Gargle with warm, salt water;

4) Take a pain pill;

5) Spray your throat or suck lozenges, such as Chloraseptic and Sucrets.

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