Causes of chronic pharyngitis, or sore throat, include allergies, irritation from dry or polluted air, strained throat muscles from yelling or excessive speaking, or gastroesophageal reflux disorder. More serious causes include HIV infection, cancerous tumors of the throat, and abscesses or swelling in the windpipe, states Mayo Clinic. Patients with chronic pharyngitis may require care from an ENT doctor or other specialist.Continue Reading
To determine the cause of the sore throat, a doctor can perform a physical exam, which involves looking in the throat, ears and nasal passages; feeling the neck for swollen glands; and listening to lung sounds through a stethoscope. The doctor may order a throat swab, blood test or allergy testing, explains Mayo Clinic.
The most noticeable sore throat symptom is pain, but other common symptoms are difficulty swallowing, a scratchy sensation in the throat, swelling, a dry throat and a hoarse voice. Symptoms that indicate the need to see a doctor include difficulty swallowing or breathing, joint pain, blood in the saliva or phlegm, a lump in the neck and hoarseness that lasts longer than two weeks. Some useful strategies for relieving a sore throat are resting the voice, staying well hydrated, using a cool-air humidifier, avoiding airborne irritants, drinking warm liquids and gargling saltwater, suggests Mayo Clinic. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help alleviate pain and discomfort.Learn more about Conditions & Diseases