What You Should Know About Throat Infection Symptoms

It's important to be aware of some of the more common throat infection symptoms, since a throat infection can at times be quite serious, especially if it is a bacterial infection. Coughing isn't always a sign of throat infection, especially a dry cough, which can come about from causes unrelated to bacterial, yeast, or viral infections. Most throat infections we experience, and those children quite often experience, aren't particularly serious. Such infections either respond quickly to treatment or more often than not simply go away without there being a need for treatment.

A throat infection may not always be accompanied by a cough. Some infections are, while others are not. In most cases the throat is sore, or has a scratchy feeling. Eating or drinking, rather than soothing the throat, can often make the discomfort worse if an infection is present.

Many Different Symptoms

Throat infection symptoms aren't necessarily limited to just how the throat feels. Infections are usually accompanied by a fever, and there are times when a throat infection can be accompanied by a fever that's high enough to be dangerous. Headaches and general body aches can also accompany an infected throat, as can nausea, chills, and the all-too-familiar runny nose. Swelling is often one of the throat infection symptoms, and as such can sometimes give rise to an emergency situation if the person's air passages are in danger of becoming blocked.

Besides high fever and swelling, if one is having difficulty swallowing, has an earache, or is coughing up phlegm that contains blood, it's imperative to seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Even if the symptoms aren't particularly severe, a visit to the doctor is always advisable if the symptoms haven't significantly lessened in severity in a week's time.

Yeast Infections

Experiencing a yeast infection in the throat is not a terribly uncommon occurrence. Such infections, often accompanied by the presence of yeast cells or lesions in the mouth, can be somewhat scary, but are usually easily treated with anti fungal medications. The most common type of yeast infection in the throat is when a yeast that exists naturally in the body, Candida albicans, gets out of control, and spreads to the throat and the mouth. Symptoms often include a sore throat, a loss or lessening of the sensation of taste, and a feeling that something is clogging the throat. This type of infection often occurs in infants, where it is known as thrush. It occurs in adults as well, mostly among those who have weakened immune systems.

Viral Infections

Most throat infections are due to viruses rather than bacteria. Although a virus will not respond to medication, most viral throat infections are not as serious as bacterial throat infections sometimes can be, and usually go away on their own in a short time. The same viruses that are responsible for the common cold and the flu can cause an infection in the throat. The symptoms tend to be much the same for viral infections as they are for bacterial infections, although the symptoms can sometimes become much more severe in the case of a bacterial infection. The presence of a rash is sometimes taken to mean that the infection is bacterial, but some viral infections can also cause a rash. In the initial stages of infection it can be difficult to tell if the infection is due to a virus or due to bacteria unless an oral swab is taken and a culture of the sample studied.

Bacterial Infections

Where a bacterial throat infection often differs from a viral infection is when a multiplicity of symptoms are present. Both types of infection can result in a fever, but a severe bacterial infection can cause a dangerously high fever, sore muscles and joints, and at times severe body pain. If the fever persists despite fever reducing efforts, it is very likely a bacterial infection, and whenever a fever persists it's important to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Chicken Soup

There are fortunately some excellent home remedies to treat throat infections, and throat infection symptoms, including the age-old favorite, chicken soup. Whether chicken soup cures an infection or simply makes the patient feel better is subject to debate, but few will argue against its effectiveness. Drinking plenty of liquids can sometimes relieve symptoms as well, especially hot tea and ginger, although as noted earlier, when the throat is very sore, eating or drinking may at times make the symptoms even more uncomfortable. For whatever reason, hot chicken soup almost always provides at least temporary relief.

Prevention

Preventing throat infections is something like preventing the common cold. It's difficult, if not impossible, to prevent throat infections completely. The secret lies in keeping the immune system in excellent health, since a healthy immune system is an effective infection fighter, and a throat infection is less likely to gain traction to the point where the more uncomfortable symptoms are present. Should an infection take hold however, it's good to know what symptoms one might expect, and which symptoms indicate a situation that could be a serious one.