Sore throat is a painful inflammation of the pharynx, a part of throat that lies between the mouth and voice box, and is a common disorder in humans. It is closely associated with the common cold or influenza and is quite widespread in winters as well as changing weather. It is clearly recognized with the infection of the upper breathing tract, leading to difficult speaking and discomfort in swallowing, especially solid food materials. It can further lead to cough, with blisters in mouth and ENT complications, along with discomfort, pain, itching and scratchiness in the throat. Though sore throat heals easily with antibiotics, some cases might take time, depending on the severity of the disease. With the information given below, explore the different types of sore throat.
Different Kinds Of Sore Throat
Sore throat can be classified into different types, depending on the severity and causes of the problem.
On The Basis Of Severity
Sore throat can be of two types on the basis of severity.
Acute Sore Throat
Acute sore throat comes on suddenly and is usually caused by a virus or a bacterium. Acute, in general terms, indicates that the problem usually lasts for less than two or three weeks. Acute sore throat is accompanied with burning and dryness in the throat, which can be followed by chills, fever and some hoarseness or laryngitis.
Chronic Sore Throat
Chronic sore throat lasts for a longer period of time and represents an advanced stage of chronic inflammation of the throat surface. It can also result from repeated attacks of the acute sore throat or continued irritation from smoking, drinking very hot drinks or eating highly spicy food. Jobs that demand strain of voice, especially in the open air like street plays, campaigning and singing can also cause chronic pharyngitis. In this disease, a person experiences a sense of stuffing up in the upper part of the throat, resulting in a petite, parched, hacking cough that reveals laryngeal complications.
On the Basis Of Causes
Infectious Sore Throat
Infectious sore throat, as the very names suggests, is contagious in nature and occurs due to bacterial or viral infections in the body. Let us explore the two infections in detail.
Bacterial Sore Throat- The sore throat caused by a bacterium called group A Streptococcus accounts for 10% of the cases. Commonly known as strep throat, it leads to coating and swelling of the tonsils, along with high fever. If untreated, it can lead to rheumatic fever, hence damaging the valves of the heart. An infection called epiglottitis is the most dangerous bacterial throat infection that demands prompt medical attention.
Viral Sore Throat- Viral sore throat is very contagious and spreads instantly, causing coughing and sneezing. It accounts for 90% of the sore throats with cold. The sore throat is accompanied by stuffy-runny nose, sneezing, and generalized aches and pains and runs for almost a week.Viral sore throat is caused by three kinds of viruses, as mentioned below.
- Adenoviruses- It generally causes infection of lungs and ears, with vomiting and diarrhea. It lasts for a week and may cause white bumps on the tonsils and throat.
- Coxsackie Virus- This virus causes a disease known as herpangina and is often known as summer sore throat. There can be tiny white grayish blisters on the throat, with high fever.
- Mononucleosis- The infection is caused by a member of the herpesvirus group, Epstein-Barr virus, leading to massive enlargement of the tonsils and swollen glands in the neck, armpits and groin. The sore throat in this disease can last up to four weeks, leading to jaundice.
Non- Infectious Sore Throat
Sore throat can also be caused by allergies and environmental situations and in this case, it is not contagious in nature. Let us explore its two basic causes in detail.
Sore throat can be triggered by anallergic reaction as well, in people allergic to dust, pollen, pet dander, molds etc. It leads to swollen eyes, runny nose and sore throat.
Pollutants like cigarette smoke, chemical fumes, and dry and polluted air can also lead to sore throat in people.