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Persistent or Chronic Sore Throat | Save Yourself From Pain

By on December 16, 2012

There is nothing as irritating as having a persistent or chronic sore throat, it is for me and I’m sure you may also have similar sentiments. That feeling of having something in your throat that you want to get rid of so badly but it cannot go away despite you trying to clear your throat hundred and one times.it gets even worse when it persists for more than three days when it becomes chronic.

Causes of Persistent or Chronic Sore Throats

There are enough causes that can make you get a persistent sore throat, ranging from micro-organisms to allergies and even disease complications

Chronic Sore Throat

Bacterial vs Viral Sore Throat

Viruses

Influenza viruses that cause the common cold and flu are the major cause of sore throat,the infection begins with a runny nose with clear mucus and persistent coughing,the infection then spreads to the throat and that is when you start to experience the irritation around the throat.

Apart from the influenza viruses, there are some viral diseases that also cause sore throat,most of them are childhood illnesses like measles,),chicken pox,croup(with a ” barking” cough) and mononucleosis.

Bacteria

Though not as common, bacterial organisms also cause sore throat and the most common is the streptococcus bacteria commonly called strep bacteria, bacterial diseases that cause sore throat are whooping cough(the child has a characteristic ” whoop” at the end of the cough) and diphtheria which causes respiratory infection

Other than the infectious organisms, sore throat can also be cause by other factore than need you to pay keen attention to

Allergies

If you have a sensitivity to pet dander,moles,dust or pollen such that you start to sneeze when you come into contact with them, you may want to avoid them as they could trigger an allergic reaction around your throat causing an inflammatory process than can end up chocking you and become life threatening. This is accompanied by a post nasal drip that could also inflame the throat

Gerd(Gastro esophageal reflux disease)

This is a digestive disorder that is caused by failure of the sphincter at the entry into the stomach to close tightly causing hydrochloric acid to reflux (come out) through the food pipe(esophagus) and up to the throat, the acid “burns” the throat tissues causing the area to swell and irritate.

This is accompanied by heartburn, a feeling of throat fullness like you have a mass in the throat and voice hoarseness

Muscle strain

When you have a tendency to often shout or sing loudly, talk to people in a noisy environment or you’re the coach of a football team where you have to constantly shout to your players you end up straining the muscles around your neck which then translate into a sore throat and voice hoarseness

US Navy 040113-N-4614W-005 Capt. Wan Mun Chin ...

US Navy 040113-N-4614W-005 Capt. Wan Mun Chin examines a patient suffering from a sore throat and high fever (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dry air and mouth breathing

During the winter season when people have to heat up the house to warm themselves causes evaporation of moisture in the room air and you end up inhaling dry air that is likely to cause friction around your throat and cause it to have an irritating sore, mouth breathing when you have nasal congestion also contributes to a sore throat as mouth breathing does not moisten inhaled air, so you end up having a burning throat

Cold irritants

We all love to take cold stuff like icecream, soda,beer and especially more so after a very hot day ,the problem comes in when we take too much of it and you end up having an irritating throat and the worst part is that when you get a sore throat which is burning in nature you think a cold feeling will help to soothe the throat and reduce the burning sensation,this only works to make the sore throat even worse and creates an opportunity for viral or bacterial infection to set in

Oral sex

This may be a bit controversial to talk about but it does contribute to sore throat, the vagina has bacteria that does cause infection in the vagina but do cause infection in other parts of the body,so when you practice oral sex,you transfer the bacteria to your throat and they cause a sore throat, the bacteria is transferred to your partner through kissing

HIV infection

One of the symptomatic or opportunistic infections of HIV-infection is a persistent sore throat that does not seem to heal,it is caused by bacteria or viruses that “take advantage” of the compromised body’s immunity

Cancers of the throat | Throat Cancer

Malignant cancers of the larynx,tongue and pharynx cause sore throat due to cell mutation around the area. This is accompanied by difficulty in swallowing,hoareness ,mouth breathindg and blood stained saliva or phlegm

Persistent or Chronic Sore Throat Symptoms

Pain is the first indication, it is burning, irritating pain that starts when you swallow food,progressing to swallowing saliva until talking becomes difficult as well

Dry throat and constant behavior of taking fluids to wet it

Voice hoarseness and scratchy in nature(some people actually fancy this voice and intentionally shout to get though it is not advisable)

Loss of appetite due to refusal to eat to avoid the pain

Swollen tonsils that appear red and pus like in the event of a bacterial infection

The lympnodes around the neck also become swollen and tender so neck pain is also present

Halitosis or bad breath associated with stale air in the mouth as you rarely open up to speak to avoid the pain

The common sore throat associated infections cause concurrent symptoms like

  • Fever
  • Running nose
  • Cough
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • painful swallowing

Prevention and Treatment of Persistent or Chronic Sore Throats

You will need to gurgle warm saline water at least three times a day to help soothe the throat,throat lozenges are also helpful and avoiding cold drinks as aquick remedy makes recovery faster,though they work well,it does not always mean the sore throat will go away,so you may need to monitor your progree and see a doctor when you notice that:

The sore throat has persistent for more than five days

Difficulty in eating and swallowing

A feeling of a lump in the throat

Blood stained saliva

Voice hoarseness lasting for two weeks

Recurrent sore throats

For an infant,please monitor for

The child has difficulty breathing for three days

Difficulty swallowing foods

Drooling saliva constantly

If the child is positive for any of these signs, please rush them to the doctor immediately and make sure you explain the frequency of the sore throat so that the doctor can rule out any possibility of complications of the sore throat in the child as it is associated with rheumatic heat disease and kidney diseases

Prevention of Persistent or Chronic Sore Throats

As we have discussed in the causes of sore throat,majority of them can be avoidable through behavioural modification like avoid voice overuse,limiting oral sex,reducing contact with allergens,dental hygiene and use of an antiseptic mouth wash and gurgling it at least once a day kill microrganisms

Maintaining a diet with a lot of fruits,vegetables and drinking lots of water also works to boost the body’s immunity and keep the throat moist

Read Part II of this article dealing with Throat Cancer here