Beginner-Friendly Guide to Chronic Pharyngitis

Feb 23, 2023

Flu and Viruses


A sore throat, otherwise called pharyngitis, commonly contains discomfort, itching, or irritation that frequently worsens when you swallow. A viral contagion, such as the flu or a cold, is the most frequent cause of pharyngitis, causing a painful throat. Numerous bacterial and viral agents can bring on chronic pharyngitis. This phenomenon is responsible for about 12 million outpatient visits. 

Pharyngitis is more common during the colder seasons of the year. It's crucial to determine the source of a sore throat to address it effectively. Here is a resource to help you understand chronic pharyngitis in-depth and respond appropriately without having to wait!

Early Signs and Symptoms of Pharyngitis

Symptoms of acute and chronic pharyngitis are interchangeable. In general, if chronic pharyngitis symptoms persist for more than ten days, the illness is considered chronic. Typical red flags include:

  • A scratchy or painful sensation in the throat
  • Pain that gets worse when speaking or swallowing
  • Having trouble swallowing
  • Aching, enlarged glands, in your jaw or neck
  • Red and swollen tonsils
  • Pus or white areas on the tonsils
  • A raspy or heavy voice

Pharyngitis may also be accompanied by: 

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Clogged nose
  • Sneezing
  • Body pains
  • Headache
  • Nausea or diarrhea
  • Promptly set up a consultation if symptoms appear severe and last more than a week.

Incubation Period of Pharyngitis

The incubation period for pharyngitis is 2 to 5 days. Pharyngitis is contagious, as long as symptoms persist. If pharyngitis occurs as a result of a bacterial infection, taking antibiotics can lessen the vulnerability of your bacterial pharyngitis becoming chronic. In most cases of bacterial origin, taking an effective antibiotic for 24 hours makes you no longer contagious. Medications are also available for microbial pharyngitis and typically result in a recovery period of 2 to 3 days. 

Causes of Pharyngitis

The most frequent cause of a sore throat involves viruses and pathogens. Viral infections like the common cold, and the flu, are the most frequent causes of pharyngitis. 

Causes of a persistent sore throat include:

Viral infections
  • Colds 
  • Influenza
  • Whooping cough
  • Chickenpox
Bacterial infections
  • Chronic sinus infections
  • Tonsillitis
  • Inflamed throat
  • Pneumonia 
  • Throat infection

Other underlying causes of chronic pharyngitis not due to viruses or bacteria include:

  • Allergie

    Common allergies include certain foods, particularly plants, pet hair, dust, and pollen. If you have sensitivities to things you breathe in, you are likely to experience a persistent sore throat or chronic pharyngitis.

  • Postnasal drip

    Weather changes, certain medications, hot foods, and other factors may cause postnasal drip. This experience results in a chronic raw, painful, or scratchy throat.

  • Mouth respiration

    Chronically breathing via your mouth, especially while sleeping, might cause recurring sore throats.

  • Throat cancer

    Chronic pharyngitis may result from mouth cancers. Cancer's form, stage, and density determine the exact treatment.

Risk Factors of Chronic Pharyngitis

The following are chronic pharyngitis risk factors:

  • Previous illness interactions
  • Excess habitation
  • Sinus infections that recur often
  • Smoking
  • Immunocompromised
  • Cold weather
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • A disease of the gastroesophageal reflux

Treatment Options Available

The underlying source of chronic pharyngitis determines the course of treatment. Your healthcare practitioner will make a suitable recommendation after determining the cause of your sore throat. Possible sources include:

  • Tonsillitis

    Antibiotics are typically used to treat tonsillitis. Your doctor could advise a tonsillectomy if the disease continues to occur.

  • Environment-related toxins

    Smoke, chemicals, or other environmental toxins may occasionally bring on chronic pharyngitis. In these circumstances, you must avoid any circumstances that expose you to these stressors. This should accelerate recovery and lessen symptoms.

  • Allergic responses

    Inhalers and other over-the-counter drugs frequently work to treat chronic pharyngitis brought on by allergies. Further evaluation by an ENT may be recommended.

  • Acid Reflux

    Some alterations in lifestyle, such as lowering stress, dropping weight, and changing diet intake, may be advantageous for those who experience laryngopharyngeal reflux. Certain medications can also aid with symptom relief and alleviate chronic pharyngitis.

Ease Your Soreness with 8-2-8 Urgent Care!

If you have a persistent sore throat, the first step toward recovery is seeing a reliable Urgent Care specialist. Visit us at 8-2-8 Urgent Care walk-in clinic in Oceanside, CA, and we aim to treat your ailments with cutting-edge techniques. Our board-certified Doctors and Physician Assistants can help you live a healthy, pain-free life by accurately identifying and treating a wide range of throat disorders.

Contact 8-2-8 Urgent Care, and our staff will walk you through our online check-in from the convenience of home! Call (760) 216-6253.

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