If someone complains of a slight discomfort on swallowing, a dry throat, tickling and hawking cough,followed by mild febrile catarrh. The condition is Acute Pharyngitis.
A majority of these cases are a result of viral infection and remain for four to five days. At times, this acute pharyngitis extends to cause conjunctivitis, cervical adenitis and in the lower respiratory tract- laryngitis, tracheitis, bronchitis and sometimes pneumonia. It is often accompanied with temperature. Another variety occurs due to influenza virus with many constitutional symptoms like body aches and sweating.
There are numerous viral and bacterial agents that can cause pharyngitis. They include:
Viruses are the most common cause of sore throats. Pharyngitis is most commonly caused by viral infections such as the common cold, influenza, or mononucleosis. Viral infections do not respond to antibiotics, and treatment is only necessary to help relieve symptoms.
Less commonly, pharyngitis is caused by a bacterial infection. Bacterial infections require antibiotics. The most common bacterial infection of the throat is strep throat, which is caused by group A streptococcus. Rare causes of bacterial pharyngitis include gonorrhea, chlamydia, and corynebacterium.
Frequent exposure to colds and flus can increase the risk for pharyngitis. This is especially true for people with jobs in healthcare, allergies, and frequent sinus infections. Exposure to secondhand smoke may also raise the risk.
The incubation period is typically two to five days. Symptoms that accompany pharyngitis vary depending on the underlying condition.
In addition to a sore, dry, or scratchy throat, a cold or flu may cause:
1. Kalium bichromicum :- Indicated in follicular pharyngitius where the follicles of the throat get hypertrophied and look like tubercles von the pharyngeal wall. There is discharge of white, offensive, cheesy material. It is useful when Pharyngitis is attended by dryness in the throat, with accumulation of tenacious mucous.
2. Hepar sulphuris :- Useful for yellow tenacious mucous and sensation as if there are splinters or a plug in the throat while swallowing.Useful for stitches in the throat extending up to the ears when swallowing. Also useful when there is hoarseness with loss of voice.
3. Ignatia Amara :- Given when there is plug- like sensation in the throat, with a tendency to choke.Useful for Stitches in the throat when not swallowing.
4. Chimaphila :- Useful for swollen tonsils and tensive pain in the throat on swallowing.