What is Pharyngitis and How Can I Treat It?

Across the Denver area, our local urgent care teams have noticed a spike in pharyngitis cases at our locations. Because of this spike we wanted to discuss what the condition is, how you can manage symptoms, and where you can find nearby urgent care centers or walk-in clinics!

Pharyngitis (lair-in-gi-tis) is the medical term for an inflamed or sore throat, which is caused by a viral infection or some other irritation. According to Harvard Medical School’s publishing division, the main causes of sore throat include a bacterial infection and can affect different parts of the throat.

Patients should understand other causes of pharyngitis, symptoms with at home remedies, and where you can find fast treatment!

What causes pharyngitis and sore throat?

Per Harvard Medical, the time of year, types of viral infection, and medical status can lead to sore throat:

“About 90 percent of throat infections are caused by a virus. Although people who have the flu (influenza), cold sores (oral herpes simplex) or infectious mononucleosis (“mono”) also commonly have a sore throat, these viral infections usually cause other telltale symptoms in addition to throat pain.

In regions that have warm summers and cool winters, viral pharyngitis typically peaks during the winter and early spring. This is a time when people are more likely to gather in poorly ventilated rooms. The viruses that cause pharyngitis spread easily.

The viruses can spread through the air by hanging on to droplets from coughs and sneezes. They stick to unwashed hands that have been exposed to fluids from a sick person’s nose or mouth.”

Harvard Medical School Publishing

Usually, most patients will experience some form of a viral infection that causes sore throat during the winter time. Only in extremely rare cases is when a case of strep throat may indicate a worsened medical condition.

What types of symptoms does sore throat cause?

Sore throat can lead to a variety of symptoms that cause irritability and require significant days of rest. The main symptoms of sore throat in most patients includes the following:

  • A red throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Dry cough
  • Hoarseness
  • Redness of the eye
  • Fever
  • Body ache and a general sick feeling generally sick feeling
  • Headache
  • Enlarged tonsils with a white spots
  • Swollen, tender lymph nodes (swollen glands) in the front of the neck.

Smaller children may also have advanced symptoms including diarrhea, upset stomach, and possibly difficulty swallowing. Patients to long-term health issues could experience kidney complications in extremely rare cases.

How can I manage sore throat and pharyngitis symptoms at home?

The good news for patients is that an nearby urgent care center can provide immediate sore throat relief! Until you decide on the day your urgent care appointment, there are a few at home. We recommend the following to help alleviate early onset pharyngitis symptoms:

Plenty of rest: Getting plenty of rest can help relax your throat and prevent further irritation. Rest is also key to ensure that your immune system can work to fight off an infection and other causes of sore throat.

Over-the-counter medications: Ibuprofen, cold and flu relievers, and other common medications at pharmacy stores can also help to prevent sore throat symptoms.

Use lozenges, salt water, and fluids to reduce inflammation: Pharyngitis can be managed by drinking plenty of soothing fluids such as water, throat sprays, and lozenges to help soothe the throat.

Visit AFC Urgent Care Leetsdale for sore throat treatment!

Any of our AFC Urgent Care Denver locations provides sore throat treatment that can help relieve and alleviate any sudden or new pharyngitis cases! Just simply visit any location to get started with treatment, or schedule an appointment online to get started!

Additionally, our urgent care center in Leetsdale, CO provides immediate sore throat relief to patients in communities such as Aurora, Glendale, and Washington Virginia Vale! Our newest location provides the same excellent care quality as our other AFC clinics at the same affordable rates!

Sore throat and pharyngitis is manageable, and treatable, if you understand the key symptoms and treatment methods. But delaying any necessary medical care could potentially worsen symptoms and make your day-to-day that much harder!

Let the urgent care experts at AFC take care of those pesky symptoms and improve those irritating sore throat symptoms!


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