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Throat Problems

The common throat problems !

Throat Pain

Throat pain most commonly arise from inflammation of tonsils (tonsillitis) or pharynx (pharyngitis). Inchildrentonsillitis is the most common cause of pain in throat.It is generally associated with fever and body ache. Oral examination is needed to diagnose tonsillitis or pharyngitis. Treatment is medical line of management in the form of antibiotics and pain killers. If tonsillitis is recurrent removal of tonsils (tonsillectomy) is advisable.

Other causes of throat pain include ulcers, swelling, abscess (localised collection of pus), etc in the throat. Detail examination of the throat is needed to know the exact cause of pain and to start the appropriate line of management.

Difficulty in Swallowing

Difficulty in swallowing can be to solid food or even to semisolids and fluids. The most common cause is tonsillar enlargement. In acute tonsillitis, difficulty in swallowing will be associated with pain while swallowing. Swallowing difficulty can also arise when there is swelling, abscess or any growth in the food passage, anywhere from oral cavity to stomach. Thorough medical history and examination of oral cavity & throat is needed to diagnose the cause of difficulty in swallowing. Endoscopy and radiological investigations may be needed. Early diagnosis and treatment is advisable.

Change in Voice

Change in voice can be due to multiple causes. The causes can be an inflammation or swelling in oral cavity or throat, weakness of muscle of larynx (voice box), paralysis of nerve or any growth/mass in the larynx. Excessive straining of voice like screaming or shouting can cause trauma to the vocal cords which leads to oedema, swelling or nodule formation on the vocal cords and subsequently change in voice. Acidity and reflux is also known to cause congestion of posterior part of throat and larynx resulting in throat irritation and mild change in voice. Examination of larynx is needed by laryngoscopy to know the exact cause of change in voice.

Oral Ulcers

Oral ulcers are very commonly seen in general population. There are many different causes of ulcers. It can be inflammatory or infective in origin. Recurrent oral ulcers also known as aphthous ulcers are of unknown etiology, and usually self-limiting. It can be multiple in number and may last for 7-10 days. Iron, folic acid or Bcomplex vitamin deficiency can cause mucosal ulcers. Local physical or chemical trauma can initiate ulcer, ingestion of antibiotic for longer period of time can also cause oral ulcers. It can be a part of some syndromes where ulcers are present in other parts of body or can be associated with some systemic disease/illness.Some-times biopsy is needed to rule out the cause of a non-healing ulcer. Treatment of small ulcers is in the form of topical gel, ointments, lotions or rinses and oral multivitamin supplements. Dietary advice is to avoid hot, spicy, hard and sharp food.

Bleeding from Oral Cavity and Throat

Most common cause of bleeding from oral cavity is gums infection (Gingivitis) or dental caries. Where the sufferer complaints of bleeding while brushing teeth. Other rare causes can be after tooth extraction, trauma, post tonsillectomy, biopsy form tongue or buccal mucosa, bleeding disorders etc.If the bleeding is persistent, detail examination is needed to rule out any growth in the oral cavity or throat. Detailed clinical history and examination of oral cavity will diagnose the cause of bleeding and appropriate management can be initiated.