Treating Throat Infections

Sore-Throat

When medical experts talked about sore throats and pharyngitis, it used to be very simple.  They would begin treatment with an antibiotic because doctors felt that was the most effective way to treat the throat infection.  But what researchers are learning, in many cases, is it’s not necessary to prescribe an antibiotic.  In fact, in many cases, a throat infection might be due to a viral origin and an antibiotic really isn’t that helpful at all. It’s one of those things doctors started to learn over time and are realizing that they have to take their time figuring out what treatments there are before they aggressively go at it.  

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Treating Pharyngitis (A Sore Throat)

Treating Pharyngitis (A Sore Throat)

Pharyngitis is often treated with antibiotics and, in those cases, it should because we’re dealing with strep or other bacteria that can cause long-term problems. But sometimes we have a viral cause of pharyngitis and in those cases, we don’t necessarily need to have an antibiotic; we actually need to counsel the patient. In other words, when you go see the doctor, you may not always get an antibiotic for your sore throat, or your child may not. We know that’s difficult to understand because we used to give it reflexively, but now we understand that we don’t want to overuse those antibiotics and in some cases, we don’t have to.

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Sore Throats and Gargling

Sore Throats and Gargling

Does gargling work with sore throat? Does gargling work with pharyngitis? Absolutely. If you gargle with salt water, it can make a big difference. The thing about gargling is that in and of itself, it won’t cure a bacterial infection; but if you have a viral infection or you’re talking about a sinus issue, gargling can make a big difference. Gargling can be effective and it’s important that you look at that as a potential simple weapon that can be used in the battle against these things, but, again, it’s not the only weapon.

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