Throat Infections and Changes in the Weather

Extreme temperature changes can lead to the onset of multiple illnesses, the most common of which are viral infections. Infections of the throat or pharynx are, without a doubt, one of the illnesses that most frequently come about as a result of colds, allergies, bacterial infections or acid reflux.

The doctors at Medline Plus identify various internal and external causes, placing special emphasis on the abrupt climate changes that are almost always experienced during the rainy season. However, it should be kept in mind that dry environments or those with heating, as well as breathing through the mouth due to nasal congestion, can also lead to throat infection and pain.

According to Family Doctor, throat irritation is the motive behind up to 12% of all doctor visits, and can be caused by various ailments, such as pharyngitis, laryngitis and tonsillitis, all of which are related to the pharynx, as well as other more serious conditions that occur in different parts of the respiratory system, such as acute bronchitis. Likewise, some illnesses, such as scarlet fever, measles, diphtheria or flu, present with a sore throat as the only initial symptom.

There are preventive measures we can take, especially during the winter months. The most important ones are to wear a coat when going outdoors and to keep your throat warm and protected at all times with a scarf. If we cover our nose and mouth, there is much less likelihood of becoming infected by contagious diseases.

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, whenever a sore throat is severe, is accompanied by a fever, lasts longer than usual (five to seven days from a cold or flu) and is not associated with an allergy or irritation, the patient should seek medical attention, as this could be an indication of an infection caused by a bacteria known as Streptococcus pyognes, which is highly aggressive and dangerous.

The following symptoms may indicate the need to see your doctor:
§  Severe or prolonged pain
§  Difficulty breathing
§  Difficulty swallowing
§  Joint pain
§  Earache
§  Rashes
§  High fever
§  Blood in the saliva or mucus
§  Hoarseness lasting more than two weeks

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