6 Throat Illnesses to Learn About

6 Throat Illnesses to Learn About

They say that knowledge is power, and when it comes to your health, that’s definitely the case. The more you know about various health conditions, the easier they’ll be to spot if you develop them, and that means you’ll get treatment faster and the entire outcome will be a lot more effective. With that in mind, here are some throat illnesses to learn about so you can get the help you need should you need it. Read on to find out more.

Strep Throat

Strep throat is a common condition that’s caused by the streptococcus bacteria. Symptoms include a sore throat, swollen tonsils, and a fever, so it’s easy to confuse for other illnesses, including tonsilitis, for example. No matter what, however, it’s wise to speak to a doctor if you have a bad sore throat, as this can be a symptom of many different things. The good news about strep throat is that it can be treated easily with antibiotics.

Pharyngitis

Speaking of conditions that have similar symptoms, something that can get confused for strep throat is pharyngitis. Although the symptoms are certainly similar, this is actually an infection or inflammation of the pharynx, and it can be either viral or bacterial. The best thing to treat this condition is rest, plenty of water, and over-the-counter pain relief to make you feel more comfortable.

Laryngitis

You’ll end up with laryngitis when your vocal cords become inflamed, which is why the biggest symptom is a hoarse voice (and many people lose their voices altogether for a while). The good thing about laryngitis is that it usually goes away on its own, as long as you rest and drink lots of water.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

GERD occurs when stomach acid flows the wrong way and goes back into the esophagus, which causes heartburn and a chronic cough. The biggest problem with this illness, apart from the discomfort you’ll feel, is that it can cause permanent damage to the throat’s lining if it’s not dealt with promptly. There are medications that can help, but a lot of the time, lifestyle and diet changes work best.

Throat Cancer

If you get a cancerous growth in the cells of the throat, voice box, or tonsils, this is all referred to as throat cancer, and it can be fatal if not treated as soon as possible. Signs of throat cancer include difficulty swallowing, hoarseness that doesn’t go away, and sometimes a lump in the neck. The earlier this problem is detected, the sooner surgery can take place, or radiation therapy or chemotherapy can start, so if you have been hoarse for a long time or you can feel – or perhaps even see – a lump in your throat, making an appointment with your doctor is the best course of action.

Epiglottitis

The epiglottis is the flap that covers your windpipe, and if this gets inflamed, it can obstruct your airflow and breathing – this is known as epiglottitis. Luckily, this is a relatively rare condition, but if you are experiencing a severe sore throat, difficulty breathing, and excess drooling, you might have developed the condition and you’ll need to see a doctor for help.

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