‘Tis the season for colds, the flu, and a variety of other unpleasant illnesses. Along with those illnesses often comes something called pharyngitis. Before you can manage your pharyngitis symptoms, it’s important to understand what exactly it is and what may be causing it.
What is Pharyngitis?
Pharyngitis is a type of sore throat caused by the swelling of your mucus membranes along the back of your throat. In other words, when your body produces extra mucus and it drains down your throat, inflammation and pain occur. Pharyngitis can be caused by a variety of things including:
- The common cold
- The flu
- Dry air
- Strep throat
- And more
Treat your pharyngitis symptoms using throat lozenges, throat spray, hot tea or water with lemon and honey, and plenty of rest. Home remedies are often all you need to clear up pharyngitis symptoms, but if your symptoms don’t improve or if you suffer from chronic pharyngitis, seek treatment right away.
How Can You Prevent Pharyngitis?
The best way to prevent pharyngitis is to avoid illness and keep allergens or irritation to a minimum. Avoid illness by washing your hands regularly. Each hand washing session should include 20 seconds of lathering the entire hand, that means between fingers too! You can lower your risk of the flu by over 80% by getting your flu vaccine each year. It’s ideal to get your flu vaccine at the start of the winter season, but it’s still effective even if you get it later in the season. Allergies that cause pharyngitis may be managed with an over the counter or prescription antihistamine medication. If your pharyngitis is caused by irritating dry air, try running a humidifier in your home. This adds moisture to the air, making it easier to breathe.
When to Visit Urgent Care
Visit your local urgent care center if your pharyngitis symptoms persist or worsen after trying home remedies. If your pharyngitis is being caused by a bacterial infection, you may need prescription antibiotics before your symptoms will clear. Your local urgent care center can also assist you in preventing pharyngitis symptoms caused by the flu by providing you with a flu shot. Even though it’s already winter, it isn’t too late to get your flu shot! Look online to find your nearest urgent care center so you know where to get help if and when you need it.