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Throat Disorders

Also called: Pharyngeal disorders

Your throat is a tube that carries food to your esophagus and air to your windpipe and larynx. The technical name for your throat is the pharynx.

Throat problems are common. You've probably had a sore throat. The cause is usually a viral infection, but other causes include allergies, infection with strep bacteria or the leaking of stomach acids back up into the esophagus, called GERD.

Other problems that affect the throat include

  • Tonsillitis - an infection in the tonsils
  • Cancer
  • Croup - inflammation, usually in small children, which causes a barking cough
  • Laryngitis - swelling of the voice box, which can cause a hoarse voice or loss of voice

Most throat problems are minor and go away on their own. Treatments, when needed, depend on the problem.

Symptoms of Throat Disorders

The following features are indicative of Throat Disorders:
  • scratchy sensation in the throat
  • pain that worsens with swallowing or talking
  • difficulty swallowing
  • sore, swollen glands in your neck or jaw
  • swollen, red tonsils
  • pus on your tonsils
  • hoarse or muffled voice
  • fever
  • cough
  • runny nose
  • headache
  • sneezing
  • weight loss
  • ear pain
It is possible that Throat Disorders shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Throat Disorders

The following are the most common causes of Throat Disorders:
  • common cold
  • measles
  • chickenpox
  • childhood croup disease
  • bacterial infections
  • genetic mutations in throat

Other Causes of Throat Disorders

The following are the less common causes of Throat Disorders:
  • exposure to seasonal allergies
  • excessive dryness
  • muscle strains
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • HIV infections
  • cancerous tumors of the throat

Risk Factors for Throat Disorders

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Throat Disorders:
  • children and teenage age
  • seasonal allergies
  • exposure to chemical irritants
  • sinus infections
  • weakened immunity
  • exposure to tobacco smoke
  • alcohol consumption
  • human Papillomavirus
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • improper diet

Prevention of Throat Disorders

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Throat Disorders. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • practicing good hand hygiene
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • avoid smoking
  • follow healthy diet routine
  • avoid alcohol consumption
  • limit your number of sexual partners
  • use condom while having sex

Occurrence of Throat Disorders

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Throat Disorders cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Common between 1 - 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Throat Disorders can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Throat Disorders can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Throat Disorders

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Throat Disorders:
  • Physical exam: To look at the throat by using a lighted instrument
  • Throat swab: To diagnose streptococcal bacteria by rubbing sterile swab over the back of the throat
  • Endoscopy: To look for signs of abnormalities in your throat
  • Laryngoscopy: To examine your vocal cords
  • Biopsy: To diagnose throat cancer
  • Imaging tests: To determine the extent of your cancer

Doctor for Diagnosis of Throat Disorders

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Throat Disorders:
  • Otorhinolaryngologist
  • Allergist

Complications of Throat Disorders if untreated

Yes, Throat Disorders causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Throat Disorders is left untreated:
  • acute rheumatic fever
  • peritonsillar abscess
  • difficulty in swallowing
  • can be fatal
  • speech problems
  • eating difficulties

Procedures for Treatment of Throat Disorders

The following procedures are used to treat Throat Disorders:
  • Radiation therapy: To lower the signs and symptoms of throat cancer
  • Surgery: To treat throat cancer
  • Chemotherapy: To destroy the cancer cells
  • Rehabilitation therapy: To regain the ability to swallow, eat solid foods and talk

Self-care for Throat Disorders

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Throat Disorders:
  • Drink fluids: Keeps the throat moist and prevent dehydration
  • Gargle with saltwater: Helps in soothing sore throat
  • Avoid irritants: Keep your home free from cigarette smoke
  • Quit smoking: Lowers your risk of getting cancer
  • Avoid drinking alcohol: Reduces the risk of throat cancer

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Throat Disorders

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Throat Disorders:
  • Have licorice and Marshmallow root extract supplements: Helps in relieving sore throat
  • Acupuncture: Helpful in treating throat cancer
  • Massage therapy: Helps you in coping with the disease
  • Do meditation: Relieves your stress and makes you feel better

Patient Support for Treatment of Throat Disorders

The following actions may help Throat Disorders patients:
  • Learn enough about throat cancer to make treatment decisions: Makes you feel more comfortable
  • Find someone to talk with: Helps in dealing with the emotions you're feeling

Is Throat Disorders Infectious?

Yes, Throat Disorders is known to be infectious. It can spread across people via the following means:
  • saliva or nasal secretions from an infected person

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Throat Disorders.
Mouth Disorders
Sore Throat
Speech and Communication Disorders
Swallowing Disorders
Throat Cancer
Tonsils and Adenoids
Voice Disorders

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