Some people live with a sore throat and clearing the throat throughout their lives. Their ailments appear and disappear in periods of weeks, sometimes they become persistent, but they consider these symptoms of little importance and hope that they will heal without more or they end up getting used to them.
What is pharyngitis
The chronic pharyngitis is a persistent inflammation of the pharynx without there being an infectious apparent cause, encompasses disease symptoms in common, slight but very annoying: patients can have feeling both dry recurring and accumulation of mucus, irritating cough, throat itching, need for constant throat clearing and sensation of foreign bodies in the throat.
The hoarse voice is common, and as a result of the throat clearing, small bleeds appear with the saliva. In any case, there are no clear symptoms of illness or fever.
How to get pharyngitis
There are several factors that should be considered as motivators for chronic pharyngitis, such as climatic conditions, sudden variations in temperature, or environmental dryness, but certain personal habits, such as tobacco or alcohol consumption, prolonged use of antidepressants that limit the mucus discharge or hormonal causes, such as hypothyroidism or menopause.
Chronic pharyngitis is also frequent in people with vitamin deficiencies, especially vitamin A, diabetes, allergies, or in whom the mucosa atrophied after having their tonsils removed. If to all this we add other types of problems, such as a possible weakness of the immune system, it is much more difficult for the body to fight these types of infections.
How to detect it
The diagnosis is carried out by exclusion, that is, the specialist must study the medical history and carry out a complete otolaryngological examination that rules out more serious diseases. It is also very possible that the doctor complements the review with laboratory tests, which help determine the origin and degree of pharyngitis. The results of these tests should shed light on the types of pharyngitis that can be simple, hyperplastic and dry, each with different origins and treatments.
In chronic hyperplastic pharyngitis, the back wall of the throat is swollen, rough, and has a reddish color. The discharge is profuse and the foreign body sensation is almost permanent, instinctively leading to swallowing or clearing for relief. However, the foreign body sensation does not go away, it makes swallowing difficult and leads to nausea and vomiting.
In chronic dry or atrophic pharyngitis, the back wall of the throat appears dry and shiny, and scabs often appear. It is related to climatic variations, and in fact, symptomatic improvement is observed in regions close to the sea and with humidity. Breathing difficulties can induce choking and sleep disturbances. This kind of chronic pharyngitis, which mainly affects adults and the elderly, often appears together with laryngitis or rhinitis.
Treatment of chronic pharyngitis
The treatment depends on the condition of each person and the evolution may take months to give positive signs, in any case, any treatment will be effective only if the agents and factors that are triggers of pharyngitis are avoided, and which will be determined by the ENT during the phase of study of the causes.
In cases that do not have an infectious component, treatments are usually, in addition to vitamins and painkillers, oropharyngeal medications, which are presented in lozenges to suck or spray, with antiseptic and anesthetic effect. The goal is to strengthen the immune system, weakened by repeated bouts of infection. Complementary treatments that keep the pharynx and airways free are also usually helpful, such as the use of humidifiers to increase the level of ambient humidity (in the bedroom at night, for example), or inhalations of saline solutions or infusions with sage or chamomile.
Smoking worsens and chronifies the condition, so its consumption should be avoided. Other factors to avoid are conditions of extreme temperature or dryness, as well as environments in which a lot of dust, suspended particles or smoke is observed. To all this, hydration is also important. They should drink plenty of fluids, and never share beverages, since the weakness of the patient's pharynx exposes it to external infections.
Given the need, whatever the origin of the sore throat and its persistence, it is best to treat yourself with a specialist and not self-medicate. The discretionary use of antibiotics can backfire and strengthen some types of infection-causing bacteria, which will be even more difficult to eradicate.
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