A throat infection usually refers to an infection that affects the throat and its surrounding areas. More commonly, it is known as a sore throat, and is caused by infectious agents like, viruses and bacteria. It is usually characterized by a scratchy feeling in the throat and pain, especially while swallowing.
It is more commonly caused by viruses, like the common cold virus, adenovirus, measles, flu virus, parainfluenza virus, and herpes simplex virus. It has been observed that children are more susceptible to get a viral infection of the throat, while adults are more likely to get bacterial throat infections.
A bacterial infection of the throat is usually caused by the streptococcus or the staphylococcus bacteria. An infection caused by the streptococcus bacteria is commonly known as strep throat. Sometimes, conditions like mononucleosis, whooping cough, and an infection of the upper respiratory tract can also cause a sore throat. Occasionally, it can be caused by a fungal infection, especially an infection caused by the fungus, Candida albicans.
Signs and Symptoms
Some of the most common signs and symptoms that are produced by this condition are, soreness of the throat or pain, swelling (especially of the tonsils), redness of the throat and the tonsils, pain while swallowing, cough, headache, and white or yellowish spots on the tonsils. Apart from these, swollen glands in the neck, and white or yellowish coating on the tonsils can be some other possible signs. Sometimes, this condition can be accompanied by a runny nose, a mild or low-grade fever, redness of the eyes, and bad breath as well.
Treatment and Home Remedies
The treatment of a throat infection depends mainly on the causative agent, as well as the severity of the infection. A viral infection of the throat usually runs its own course. However, it is possible to speed up the recovery process by drinking plenty of fluid and taking adequate rest. In the meantime, one can use medications like analgesics, in order to get relief from the pain and discomfort. On the other hand, antibiotics are used for treating this condition, if it is caused by bacteria. But if the infection is caused by the fungus, then its treatment can require the appropriate antifungal medications.
Along with medications, several simple home remedies can also provide a significant relief in this condition. One such simple remedy is water. So, be sure to drink plenty of water to clear up the infection. Another effective remedy for a sore throat is saline water. You can use slightly warm saline water to gargle several times a day. You can also drink a mixture of lukewarm water, honey, and lemon juice. Ginger tea, chamomile tea, sage tea, basil leaves, and garlic are some other effective remedies for a sore throat.
It is better to eat food that does not irritate the throat and can be swallowed easily, if you are suffering from a throat infection. Soups, broths, mashed potatoes, cooked cereals, yogurt, soft fruits, porridge, and applesauce are some foods that can be consumed easily while suffering from a sore throat. On the other hand, it is advisable to avoid spicy or acidic food during this period until the infection clears up.
For the prompt treatment of this condition, it is very important to find out the causative agent and this can be done by visiting a certified physician. So, if you develop an infection of the throat, and it seems a bit serious in nature, then consider to get the condition properly evaluated with the help of your physician. In the meantime, be sure to avoid smoking, and stay away from irritants like smoke and fumes.
Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only, and should not be replaced for the advice of a medical professional.