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Understanding Throat Infections

Throat infections are a common ailment among children and usually begin with a sore throat. Most sore throats are caused by viral or bacterial infections and can be triggered by irritants such as smoke, dust, fumes or a bad cough.

For the most part, sore throats are not serious and will go away by themselves. They are usually self-limiting and run their course in a few days to a week.

This article will help you identify the various types of infections and understand their potential complications.

Watch out for these symptoms

A throat infection can produce a range of symptoms from mild to severe, depending on the severity of the condition. Most of the mild symptoms observed in children are similar to those observed in adults, including:

  • Scratchiness in throat
  • Pain during swallowing
  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Throat may be extremely red or coated with white spots.

These symptoms can be treated at home by drinking tea with honey, gargling with salt water several times a day or using humidifiers to counter the dryness.

The many types of throat infections

There are several different types of throat infection that begin with a sore throat, which can be viral or bacterial. Septic throat is any sore throat or throat infection caused by a bacterial infection. Most bacterial throat infections are caused by bacteria from the Streptococcus family.

Strep Throat is an infection with Group A Streptococcus bacteria that causes throat inflammation. It can occur at any age, but is most common in school-age children and young adults. Symptoms of strep throat include sleeplessness, irritability and fever. Your child may also have a fine, red rash on his arms and legs.

Tonsillitis is a disorder involving inflammation of the tonsils, which are areas of lymphatic tissue on either side of the upper throat. They are part of the immune system and contain cells that trap and kill bacteria travelling across the body. Symptoms include swollen lymph nodes in the tonsil area, difficulties in swallowing and temporary loss of voice.

Treating sore throats the simple way

  • If your throat infection is caused by bacteria, antibiotics are prescribed to help kill the bacteria. Antibiotics are able to prevent the spread of the disease to others and lower the risk of the infection spreading to other parts of your body.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to keep the body hydrated.
  • If swallowing is difficult or painful, eat soft and tender food. Try homemade soups and drink warm liquids to subside the pain.

Most throat infections are mild and clear away without leaving any problems. However, if they progress into further complications, you should seek advice from your nearest physician.

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