What are the Different Types of Pharyngitis Treatment?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2019
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There are various methods of effective pharyngitis treatment, depending upon the cause of the pharynx inflammation. For a sore throat caused by a viral infection, simple hydration by drinking plenty of water and gargling with warm salt water may bring some relief. Bacterial pharyngitis will require antibiotic treatment. A simple way to relieve pharyngitis caused by an environmental factor is to reduce chemical exposure or exposure to other irritants.

Pharyngitis basically refers to any sore throat. This happens when the pharynx becomes inflamed. Occasionally, the patient may also experience hoarseness or temporary loss of speech, difficulty in swallowing, and fever. One of the most common causes of pharyngitis is a cold or other upper respiratory infection, usually viral.

Antibiotics are ineffective against viral infections, therefore the basic treatment for viral pharyngitis would be drinking plenty of fluids and attempting to soothe the inflamed throat. This may be done by gargling with warm salt water or drinking hot tea with lemon. Other herbal teas may soothe the throat as well. Acetaminophen may be taken to reduce fever.


A physician can determine if the sore throat is due to a bacterial infection by performing a simple throat culture with a swab in the back of the throat. In a child with significant fever, it is important to get a physician's diagnosis, because, left untreated, bacterial throat infections such as strep throat may cause serious complications. If diagnosed as bacterial, the physician will prescribe a course of antibiotic treatment, generally a 10-day dosage. Pain relievers and fever reducers may also be recommended, as well as increased fluid intake and gargling.

Some individuals suffer from occasional bouts of pharyngitis due to seasonal allergies, sinusitis, or other irritants to which they are sensitive. This type of pharyngitis treatment may include the use of antihistamines or decongestants to help with allergy symptoms, as well as soothing throat gargling. Eliminating exposure to chemicals that cause a negative reaction is a typical form of pharyngitis treatment as well.

If a doctor has determined the cause of sore throat is not bacterial in nature, the patient should refrain from using antibiotics. This may make matters worse by actually creating a resistant type of bacteria. If antibiotics are overused unnecessarily, these drugs may become ineffective against that particular strain of bacteria in the future. Taking antibiotics when not needed may also produce other unnecessary side effects such as digestive upset. Therefore, it is crucial to use antibiotics only for bacterial infections and as prescribed.

Another type of pharyngitis treatment that may help ease discomfort is using a cool mist humidifier. This is especially soothing at bedtime. The cool moisture will help prevent dry airways and keep passages hydrated. For those who do not have a humidifier, keeping a semi-flat bowl of cool water in the room will help retain moisture in the air.


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Post 2

@Grivusangel -- I feel you. Hope it's not strep. Everyone in my office has been sick with something, and last week, it sounded like a TB ward in here, with everyone coughing and hacking.

Offices are the worst for catching something. I keep hand sanitizer on my desk, and I use it, but I know someone has probably answered my phone or touched my keyboard and they are now contaminated. I'm not a germophobe or anything, but when everyone in the office sounds like they're about to cough up a lung, I get antsy and a little paranoid.

Post 1

I'm fighting this right now, since I probably have sinusitis. My throat is sore and I'm really hoping I don't have to go to the doctor. I feel like I need a round of antibiotics. My ear is starting to hurt, too. I really wish I could just call a doctor and get something for my throat. I hate going to the doctor. I hate the waiting involved. It's a pain in the neck.

I think a Z-pack would probably take care of what ails me, but I'll have to see a doctor if I want to get the meds. I'm not one to take medication indiscriminately, but I know plenty of people who do, so I guess I'll see the doc.

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