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Sore throat and Swollen glands - Causes and Treatment

Updated on December 31, 2013

Sore throat and Swollen glands

Sore throat is usually aggravated by an inflammatory process that involves the tissues of the larynx, pharynx, and tonsils. The condition usually is accompanied by the swelling of the glands/ lymph nodes. Minor sore throat would only last up to three days. Other symptoms include coughing and colds. On the other hand, severe sore throat would last for more than 3 days that is sometimes accompanied by tonsillitis. People would eventually experience these conditions in their lives but others are just unfortunate enough to have this annually. The swelling of the glands would indicate an infectious process is currently underway with the sore throat.

The affected person would experience discomfort or pain in course of the problem. Additional symptoms are redness in the throat area, swollen tonsils, fever, head ache, swollen lymph nodes, neck stiffness and the patient will have difficulty in swallowing food or drinks.


The cause of sore throat can be classified as either bacterial or viral. The transmission of these causative agents can be through sharing of drinks, kissing, coughing, and nose blowing in the public and sneezing. To sum them all up, the bacteria or virus can be transmitted through a droplet form. The spreading of these agents is so easy especially when a person is immuno-compromised.

Viral sore throats are the majority type of sore throat infection that is accompanied by colds and flu-like symptoms. This presents danger to the infected. But viral infections are known to last for a few days as our body’s defenses do its roles. However, a weak immune system worsens the condition and causes the virus to linger longer in the body. Bacterial sore throat can cause inflammations that results to a deeper problem compared to viral sore throat. Streptococcal bacteria are a common cause for sore throat. This can complicate to tonsillitis or ear infections. The inflammation can then proceed to our glands causing it to be inflamed. The nodes would feel tender upon palpation. A grave complication that can arise from a bacterial sore throat is rheumatic fever. This is a form of cardiac problem that is common to the young.

A sore throat can also be acquired through our lifestyle practices. People who are chain smokers are very familiar with this malady. Triggering factors such as pollutants and changes of the weather (abrupt changes) are just some of the culprits for sore throat. Allergic reactions can irritate the throat. Others reported that singers are common victims for a sore throat swollen gland. Since there is overuse of the vocal cords that can precipitate the development of the condition.


Determining the cause and presenting symptoms of sore throat is essential in order to provide the appropriate treatment for the patient. It is treated medically with pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Those patients who experience flu-like symptoms are provided with nasal decongestants such as Sudafed. Clogged nose is treated with nasal sprays. Cough syrups are to be provided to patients who develops cough. In short, the presenting symptoms should be treated and given attention. To relieve the inflammation, especially the swelling of the lymph nodes, the use of NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) is needed. The use of aspirin should be with precautions, particularly to children. Viral sore throats are not necessarily treated for they can only last for a few days. A virus is self-limiting but can be transmitted very fast. Bacterial sore throat is to be treated with prescribed antibiotics. Strict adherence to the treatment regimen should be followed by the patient to avoid drug resistance.

Home management is done in order to lessen the worsening of the condition sore throat swollen glands. Gargling solution of a pinch of salt and an antiseptic liquid in a large glass of warm water is a helpful home remedy. This can be done 3 to 4 times a day to help reduce the swelling and provide comfort to the patient. A humidifier or steam inhalation can be good tools in relieving a clogged nose, doing this twice or thrice a day can save you the money and effort. Throat lozenges are famous sore throat relievers for years now. This can reduce the soreness and the discomfort the patient experiences during the problem. Hydration is very helpful in the treatment process. This can reduce fever if ever one is experiencing it. The use of antipyretic drugs along drinking lots of water can really help in reducing increasing body temperature of the affected.

The need to avoid triggering factors can assist in the recovery process. Avoid smoking is a must-do. Avoid overuse of the vocal cords as much as possible. When you know that someone close by has a viral or bacterial sore throat, defend oneself and be vigilant at all times. Avoid irritants for it can trigger an inflammatory process thus making one susceptible for sore throat.


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    • profile image

      Jacob Zona 

      14 months ago

      I don’t know if I have swollen glands been smoking Cigarettes for years since 14 I’m now 21 and I don’t have insurance and my throat hurts everyday for the past couple of weeks I have horrible thoughts that it is going to kill I don’t know how to quit.

    • profile image


      6 years ago


    • profile image

      Soumya Banerjee 

      6 years ago

      I have been experiencing enlargement of gland of neck since last one month accompanied by sore tongue .what is the cause behind it?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      It hurts when I try to eat & when I swallow . :(

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      It really does :( its awful

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      It hurts sooo bad :(

    • profile image

      Timmy Bash 

      6 years ago

      Yeah it does it hurts soooo much man

    • profile image

      Julia Garcia 

      6 years ago

      It hurts!!!!


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