Duration of a pharyngitis

Duration of a pharyngitis


A pharyngitis (lat. pharyngitis) – colloquially also called sore throat – refers to an inflammation of the pharynx. In this case, both the beginning of the pharynx – ie the end of the oral cavity, where the palatine tonsils sit – or the more remote portions of the pharynx may be affected up to the larynx. It usually manifests itself as a sore throat that either occurs only when swallowing or when swallowing is even stronger than at rest. Because a throat infection is often accompanied by a cold, often hurts the cough or even talking. In addition, the pain can also radiate into the ear, often then be perceived in swallowing pain in the ear.

Read more in the main topic: Inflammation in the throat

That’s how long a pharynx takes

In principle one differentiates between an acute and a chronic pharyngitis. The acute pharyngitis is usually through virus and is therefore also called viral pharyngitis. Typical pathogens are those viruses that also trigger a cold: for example, so-called rhino, adeno, parainfluenza or coronaviruses. This is another reason why pharyngitis and a common cold often occur together, and throat infections, headaches and coughing, for example, can then occur. Rarely – in adults in about 10% of cases – it comes then due to the weakened immune system to a so-called superinfection with bacteria. Then one speaks of a bacterial pharyngitis. These are often recognized purulent (white-yellowish) coverings on the pharyngeal mucosa.

How long an acute pharyngitis lasts depends strongly on the pathogen – although in viral pharyngitis, no drug can fight the viruses as the cause of the disease, but it is in 9 out of 10 patients after at the latest one week disappeared again. In case of a bacterial infection antibiotics should be administered – then the symptoms usually disappear after a few days. It is important here that the duration of therapy prescribed by the doctor is nevertheless maintained, even if no symptoms are present anymore.

The chronic pharyngitis has to be at least three months Symptoms of pharyngitis cause it to be defined as chronic. The most common triggers here are cigarette smoke and dusty breathing air, as they occur, for example, in certain workplaces. But even allergies or problems with nasal breathing, which lead to a constantly congested nose, can cause a chronic pharyngitis by the constant breathing through the mouth. It is not possible to estimate how long a chronic pharyngitis lasts, since the healing process usually takes several weeks to years. Here must always be checked individually with a doctor by regular examinations of the progress of healing.

Read more on this topic at: Chronic pharyngitis

So you can shorten the duration of a pharyngitis

In acute pharyngitis, the symptoms may be different home remedies be alleviated. It is important that on adequate hydration is respected – ideally by warm drinks such as tea. This can also be prepared with antibacterial or antiviral effective plants or herbs – for example chamomile or mint. These can also be prepared in higher concentrations as a gargle solution. Furthermore, lollipops or lozenges can help against pain in the throat. Also warm or cold wraps can be applied. However, the effect of all these measures is controversial and no study has shown that these shorten the disease duration by several days. Nevertheless, a short-acting relief of the symptoms can be achieved – which home remedy helps best with whom, everyone has to try for themselves.

Even if many patients get involved drug wish for a sore throat: The duration of a pharynx is usually not shortened by the administration of antibiotics. Only an estimated 10% of pharyngitis is caused by bacteria. The doctor can usually quickly detect whether viruses or bacteria are the trigger – in case of doubt, a so-called throat swab made to get clarity about the pathogen.

Read more on this topic at: Home remedy for swallowing

Duration with antibiotics

If a bacterial pharyngitis and the doctor prescribes an antibiotic, the sore throat often disappears one to two days after taking the antibiotic. Then it is particularly important that the antibiotic is still taken as long as it has been prescribed by the doctor. Otherwise it can lead to a relapse with serious complications – for example, a heart muscle inflammation. In addition, the premature discontinuation of antibiotics promotes the development of resistant bacteria.

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Duration of the incubation period

The incubation period refers to the time between the entry of the pathogen and the onset of the disease symptoms. Between the actual infection and the onset of the sore throat is therefore some time – on average, this is three days. Depending on which pathogen causes the disease, it can be between 24 hours and 5 days. In humans with a weakened immune system, the incubation period is usually shorter than with immunocompetents.

Duration until all symptoms are gone

In case of pharyngitis, the time until the symptoms completely disappear is very different. For light gradients, the Sore throat already after one to three days be gone again. For more severe cases, such as having a cold, it can take several days for all the symptoms to disappear. Especially fatigue and fatigue associated with a pharyngitis can last for several days. In principle, the symptoms should improve overall. Normal is a duration of symptoms of approx. 7 days. In total, 9 out of 10 sufferers are completely regenerated after one week.

Duration of a sick leave

The duration of the sick leave depends essentially on two factors:

  • First is the Severity of the disease Of importance – a slight pharyngitis may only be needed 1-3 days On sick leave, while a severe, for example, bacterial inflammation may make it necessary to stay away from work for up to a week.
  • In addition, the must Type of professional activity Those who work physically should definitely wait until all the symptoms have disappeared and they will be on sick leave until then. During physical work or sports during a pharynx infection, the disease is always risked. If you work in the office, for example, you can return to work earlier.

Duration until I am no longer infectious

Nobody can say exactly how long one is infected with pharyngitis. When all symptoms disappear You can usually assume that you are no longer infected. In viral upper respiratory illness, the risk of infection is usually highest before the first symptoms appear. When symptoms appear, such as a sore throat, the so-called viral load has already dropped. Nevertheless, close contact with other people should be avoided for a few more days. Also other measures like regular hand washing and the general Avoid shaking hands help to reduce the risk of infection for others. These measures also help with bacterial infections – here they are particularly important because the risk of infection here is sometimes even higher than in viral infections.

Further information

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Christina Cherry
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