Acute Pharyngitis

What is Acute Pharyngitis?

It is common for the pharynx to become inflamed and infected. Indeed, in practically any upper respiratory tract infection, some degree of sore throat will take place. It is almost impossible for the pharynx to escape, for it forms a basic part of the respiratory tract. Also, in the many invasive infections, the throat will become sore. This is true of many of the childhood fevers: measles, mumps, possibly chickenpox, infectious mononucleosis (glandular fever) and all the other simple infections that are common. Usually it is a simple process, and healing occurs with time and straightforward measures.

Acute Pharyngitis Symptoms

The throat becomes progressively more painful. The back part becomes red, and small raised areas of lymphoid tissue often become prominent. The mucus becomes thick. Talking may be difficult, and often there is some intercurrent laryngitis as well. The lymph glands in the neck may swell and become painful. The tonsils may become involved to some extent. Often pharyngitis is part of a generalised tonsillitis, and often the two conditions will be treated simultaneously.

The complications of simple pharyngitis are similar to those of tonsillitis.

Acute Pharyngitis Treatment

Treatment of pharyngitis is usually similar (often identical) to that for acute tonsillitis. Generally the condition is not so severe, and as a rule systemic side effects are less marked.

However, many respond well to antibiotics from the doctor. Incidentally, no antibiotic should be taken unless doctor prescribed for a specific illness, and then the full prescribed course should be taken. This helps to ensure that the germs are totally killed and not merely “stunned,” so giving rise to the possible development of resistant strains that in future might not respond to antibiotics at all. (This is fast becoming a major worldwide problem with indiscriminate use of antibiotics.) Do not take antibiotics prescribed for others unless given specific medical instructions.