A swollen sore throat is characteristic for, many illnesses of the upper respiratory tract, such as common cold, flu etc. The problem can also affect people who are suffering from more serious conditions such as HIV infection or tuberculosis. Swollen sore throat generally represents two symptoms associated with infection of any kind (bacterial, viral or fungal). Furthermore, breathing in certain environmental irritants having an allergy may also be trigger factors for swollen sore throat. Swelling of the throat may refer to swelling of the mucous membrane of the throat and it can also imply swelling of the regional lymph nodes.
Swollen Sore Throat: Causes
In majority of cases a swollen sore throat develops as a consequence of infection of the upper respiratory tract. The infection of the upper respiratory tracts can be viral, which is the case in a common cold, mononucleosis, influenza etc. Even measles and chicken pox in the initial stage lead to particular symptoms. Furthermore, swollen sore throat may develop as a consequence of bacterial infection. In this case the most frequent infective agent responsible for the symptoms is Streptococcus bacteria. And finally, in some cases fungal infection may lead to problems with throat such as swelling and sore sensation. Fungal infections which cause swelling and sore throat are common for immunocompromised patients such as those suffering from HIV infection, AIDS, cancers etc.
Apart from infections a swollen sore throat may occur due to an allergy to a variety of allergens such as pollen, dust, mold and pets. Exposure to smoke and environmental pollutants also contributes to the symptoms.
Swollen Sore Throat: Treatment
A person should consult his doctor, prior to self prescribing any treatment. The doctor will perform a full physical exam as well as otorhinolaryngeal exam in order to find the cause of the swollen sore throat.
Infective agents such as bacteria or fungi are eradicated with suitable antibiotics and antifungal medications. Viral infections of the upper respiratory tract are treated with plenty of bed rest, lots of fluids and symptomatic treatments (nasal decongestants, antipyretics, lozenges etc). Allergy to pollen, dust, pets etc is treated with suitable medications and the best to avoid swollen sore throat in allergic people is to stay away from the potential allergens.
And finally, there are also many herbs which, if taken in a form of tea, that may sooth the pain and accelerate healing.