What is the definition of Viral Pharyngitis?

Pharyngitis, or sore throat, is swelling, discomfort, pain, or scratchiness in the throat at, and just below the tonsils.

What are the causes for Viral Pharyngitis?

Pharyngitis may occur as part of a viral infection that also involves other organs, such as the lungs or bowel.

Most sore throats are caused by viruses.

What are the symptoms for Viral Pharyngitis?

Symptoms of pharyngitis may include:

  • Discomfort when swallowing
  • Fever
  • Joint pain or muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • Tender swollen lymph nodes in the neck

What are the current treatments for Viral Pharyngitis?

There is no specific treatment for viral pharyngitis. You can relieve symptoms by gargling with warm salt water several times a day (use one half teaspoon or 3 grams of salt in a glass of warm water). Taking anti-inflammatory medicine, such as acetaminophen, can control fever. Excessive use of anti-inflammatory lozenges or sprays may make a sore throat worse.

It is important NOT to take antibiotics when a sore throat is due to a viral infection. The antibiotics will not help. Using them to treat viral infections helps bacteria become resistant to antibiotics.

With some sore throats (such as those caused by infectious mononucleosis), the lymph nodes in the neck may become very swollen. Your provider may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, such as prednisone, to treat them.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Viral Pharyngitis?

Symptoms usually go away within a week to 10 days.

What are the possible complications for Viral Pharyngitis?

Complications of viral pharyngitis are extremely uncommon.

When should I contact a medical professional for Viral Pharyngitis?

Make an appointment with your provider if symptoms last longer than expected, or do not improve with self-care. Always seek medical care if you have a sore throat and have extreme discomfort or difficulty swallowing or breathing.

How do I prevent Viral Pharyngitis?

Most sore throats cannot be prevented because the germs that cause them are in our environment. However, always wash your hands after contact with a person who has a sore throat. Also avoid kissing or sharing cups and eating utensils with people who are sick.

Oropharynx

REFERENCES

Flores AR, Caserta MT. Pharyngitis. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 595.

Melio FR. Upper respiratory tract infections. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 65.

Nussenbaum B, Bradford CR. Pharyngitis in adults. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund V, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 9.

Tanz RR. Acute pharyngitis. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 409.

  • Condition: Acute viral pharyngitis
  • Journal: European archives of oto-rhino-laryngology : official journal of the European Federation of Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Societies (EUFOS) : affiliated with the German Society for Oto-Rhino-Laryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
  • Treatment Used: Ectoine lozenges versus hyaluronic acid versus hypertonic saline gargle
  • Number of Patients: 90
  • Published —
This study compared lozenges containing ectoine versus hyaluronic acid versus hypertonic saline gargle for the treatment of acute viral pharyngitis.

There are no recent clinical trials available for this condition. Please check back because new trials are being conducted frequently.