What to do for a sore throat

Everyone has a sore throat sometimes, it is common. Most people with a sore throat suffer from a viral infection and sometimes an abterial infection. There is also a portion of people who have a sore throat as a result of smoking, coughing or frequent sore throats.

Sore throat (both bacterial and viral)

With a sore throat you mainly experience pain when swallowing. The glands in the neck are often also swollen. The throat looks red and some white dots may sometimes be seen. The complaints usually come on slowly and are at their worst on the second, third and fourth day, after which the complaints normally slowly subside. Usually nothing needs to be done about this, it usually goes away on its own within seven days. The chance of complications is therefore small. The cause is usually a virus, there are no medications for this. Nowadays, antibiotics are no longer required for mild bacterial infections. It is best to ensure that your throat remains lubricated, so drink small amounts often, suck on an ice cube or candy. You can use paracetamol to reduce the symptoms.

Severe throat infection

This does not happen very often, and when it does happen, people often feel very ill, have a fever and are hampered in their daily activities. There is a severe sore throat and difficulty swallowing. A GP will look in the throat and determine whether antibiotics are necessary, because sometimes antibiotics are not useful in this case.

Peritonsillar abscess (abscess formation at the back of the throat)

A peritonsillar abscess is an abscess in the back of your throat around your tonsils. Usually it starts as just a sore throat. However, this is much more severe than a harmless sore throat. If the abscess becomes larger, you will have more sore throat and swallowing will eventually become very difficult and painful. It may get to the point where you can no longer swallow the saliva and you have to spit it out. Opening the mouth also requires effort and pain. The doctor will examine your throat and determine whether antibiotics should be started first. Sometimes it is necessary to cut open the abscess so that the pus can be removed.

The course of sore throat

A sore throat usually goes away on its own within 4 to 7 days, even if it is a bacterial infection. If the complaints last longer than a week or become worse after 4 days instead of less, it is better to go to the doctor.
For people who have reduced resistance, for example in the case of chronic illness or chemotherapy, the sore throat can sometimes be complicated and it is useful to consult the doctor earlier.

Pfeiffer’s disease

This is an infectious disease and is common in young people. The complaints are often fever, severe sore throat and swollen and painful glands in the neck. Pfeiffer can also manifest itself as being generally ill and very tired. There is no treatment for this and you will just have to wait it out.

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