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Persistent Sore Throat - Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Updated on December 31, 2013

What is Persistent sore throat?

A chronic or persistent sore throat is an irritating and painful problem. It can persist for more than 3 moths and make your daily living a hard time. Since it starts with a simple, acute sore throat, we sometimes neglect it. And the only time we take action in treating this is when we have the persistent sore throat. In order to get rid of this difficulty, we need to eliminate first the causes that make the sore throat last.

Symptoms

This condition can be characterized by the never ending symptoms of sore throat. It never fully heals as what most of the affected complain about. Because of this persistent condition the client may manifest the following:

  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Pus formation at the back of throat
  • Cough
  • Red, inflamed throat
  • Runny nose
  • Swollen neck lymph node


The patient may also manifest depression as the persisting sore throat can hinder some daily life activity. Sense of pleasure is decreased for the fact that the patient is in pain. The patient drive to work may be lessened as they feel weak and incapacitated. Symptoms that need immediate care are difficulty in breathing & speaking, drooling, high fever, severe headache and severe pain upon swallowing.

Causes

Infectious agents are the causative means for this condition. But a simple habit of breathing through the mouth can cause sore throat because it can produce throat dryness and soreness. Infections such as the common cold, infectious mononucleosis, influenza, measles or chicken pox, strep throat and pharyngitis are the common causes of a persistent sore throat.

Once these agents are not treated immediately, the virus or bacteria is housed in the throat in a long period of time, making the host susceptible to a progressive state.

Some inflammatory processes are also involved in the development of a persistent sore throat. Conditions such these are highly influential to sore throat:

  • GERD – Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a disorder involving the digestive system that makes the undigested contents from the stomach to go back up the esophagus. The regurgitation of the contents can make the throat inflamed thus causing a sore throat.
  • Allergies – Allergens that cause an inflammatory reaction can cause sore throat. Complicated cases of postnasal drip can also affect the throat making it irritable and inflamed.
  • Cancer – The presence of tumor in the throat simply results to a sore one. Once the sore throat persists in a long period of time, the possibility is that cancer progression is at hand.
  • Croup – Laryngotracheobronchitis is a respiratory condition that is characterized by barking cough. As a person struggles with this condition will most likely have a sensitive throat.
  • Pertussis – characterized by a whooping cough, this bacterial infection involves the respiratory system.
  • Diphtheria – another respiratory problem that involves a pseudomembrane formation on the tonsil, pharynx or nasal cavity. Once this is not treated, its progression may lead to even serious problems.
  • HIV infection – In acute infection of HIV, sore throat is one of its manifestations.
  • Eating disorders – Bulimia can be a root for sore throat. Forcing oneself to vomit the food taken can be harsh to the membranes of the upper digestive system, which includes the throat.


Treatment

In treating a persistent sore throat, we should get rid of the simple causes of this condition.

Quit smoking and avoid smokers. This habit can dry out the tissue at the back of the throat. Clogged ventilation system can worsen the sore throat. Make sure that your air at home is clean and without irritants. Avoid too much heat. Should you have a heating system, it is recommended that you do not overly expose yourself to it. Do not overwork your throat by speaking too loudly and forcibly. Take the prescribed medications that the doctor has offered you. Do not make it worse, follow the doctor accordingly.

Avoid potential complications of persistent sore throat. We have to hydrate the patient accordingly to avoid dehydration. Treat the causative agent, so that it would not lead to rheumatic fever which is usually caused by infection of the tonsils and throat.

Home remedies can be of use when it comes to a sore throat. First, we have to relieve the pain. The use of salt water gargles is indicated to cleanse the mouth. It can also neutralize the acidity of the mouth which may trigger throat hoarseness and soreness. Drinking warm fluids can also soothe the pain that comes along sore throat. Eating foods rich in Vitamins A, C & E are very helpful in the healing process of persistent sore throat. Teas such as chamomile and honeysuckle are found to be great sore throat remedies. A humidifier is a helpful gadget in relieving the dryness of the mouth. Since it is painful, the doctor would advise you to take over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

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    • Prince Bethel profile image

      prince bethel 2 years ago from Africa

      Helpful.....