Sore Throat: Is it a Strep Throat, Tonsillitis or Just Cold? Part I
It is usually difficult for a person suffering from sore throat to clearly know the cause of the pain and soreness in the throat. Cold, strep throat, or tonsillitis can be the cause as they all produce sore throat. This means, the diagnosis can be difficult.
The sore throat due to cold appears as the first complaint but the pain and discomfort get better in a couple of days. Nasal congestion and runny nose are the other common symptoms of cold and they are noticed after sore throat has already appeared.
The sore throat associated with strep throat is more severe and prolonged. This condition is an infection with symptoms of sore throat and inflammation of the tonsils; and is caused by bacteria known as streptococci.
Sore throat in tonsillitis is due to painful infection of the tonsil glands, which are present at the back portion of throat.
The Causes of Sore Throat with Cold
Many microorganisms like bacteria and viruses can produce the condition of sore throat; among them viruses are most commonly responsible for producing the disease.
Smoking, air pollution, dust, allergies, irritants in the air, and dryness of the air can also cause sore throat. The symptoms of cold beside sore throat are sneezing, runny nose, cough, and watery eyes.
Symptoms and Signs of Sore Throat with Cold
Sore throat is the initial symptom, other symptoms and signs are sneezing, runny nose, cough, fever, headache and body ache.
Treatment of Sore Throat with Cold
There is no specific treatment for sore throat with cold. But, some measures can be followed that help in relieving the symptoms like gargles with salt and warm water, lots of warm drinks, over the counter medicines for fever and pain, proper rest, a healthy diet, etc.
Medicines for relieving Symptoms of Sore Throat with Cold
Over-the-counter medicines may provide some relief from cold and sore throat symptoms. These drug groups include:
Analgesics or pain relievers
Medicines of this group like acetaminophen, naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin can help relieve headaches and body aches associated with cold.
For children, aspirin should not be used because of some dangerous side effects.
Lozenges and sprays for sore throat provide temporary relief but lozenges should not be used for younger children.
Nasal decongestant sprays reduce nasal congestion. They should not be used for more than three days.
Antibiotics have no role in the treatment of sore throat with cold, as they are effective only against infections caused by bacteria.
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