Definition of sore throat

Definition of sore throat

What is inflammation of the throat (pharyngitis)?
Inflammation of the throat or pharyngitis is a condition when the back of the throat (pharynx) experiences inflammation. In Indonesia, sore throat is often referred to as heat.

Pharyngitis will make the throat feel uncomfortable. Usually, this condition causes a sensation of pain or heat, which makes it difficult for you to eat and swallow.

Usually, sore throat is one of the common symptoms of several different diseases. It could also, this condition occurs due to other diseases, such as flu, fever, and mononucleosis (glandular fever). This condition will usually subside without medication in less than a week.

How common is sore throat (pharyngitis)?

This condition can affect anyone regardless of age and sex. Everyone can experience strep throat both children, adults, or the elderly. But children between the ages of 5 and 15 tend to have the most problems with this one.

In adults, 10% of their sore throats are caused by infection with streptococcal bacteria. This condition can be overcome by reducing the risk factors. For more information, discuss it with the doctor.

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of a sore throat (pharyngitis)

When you experience pharyngitis, you will usually feel an uncomfortable sensation in your throat. Other symptoms that appear usually depend on the cause. As for various common symptoms that most often appear when attacked by sore throat, namely:

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Joint pain and muscle pain
  • Skin rash
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck

Because the cause can be different, the symptoms that can be caused can also vary. Generally, symptoms of pharyngitis caused by fever, namely:

  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • Fever with a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius
  • Mild headache

Meanwhile, the symptoms of sore throat caused by flu are:

  • Fatigue
  • Aches
  • Chills
  • Fever with a temperature of more than 38 degrees Celsius


The symptoms of sore throat caused by mononucleosis or glandular fever are:

  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck and armpits
  • The tonsils swell
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swelling of the spleen
  • Inflammation of the liver

If you feel that the symptoms of strep throat that are experienced interfere with daily activities, immediately consult a doctor. Usually, the doctor will treat your complaint according to the cause.

When should I see a doctor?

Usually, sore throat will heal within one week without the need to take medication. However, if the pain and fever do not heal even after taking medication, consult a doctor immediately.

Immediately bring your child to the doctor to get the right sore throat medication. Especially if the child has a variety of severe symptoms such as:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • There is blood in saliva

For adults, see a doctor immediately if you experience a sore throat with the following symptoms:

  • Severe pain and lasts more than 7 days
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Breathless
  • It’s hard to open your mouth
  • Joint pain
  • Earache
  • Fever is higher than 38 degrees Celsius
  • Blood in saliva
  • A recurring sore throat
  • Lump on the neck
  • Hoarseness that lasts more than 2 weeks

Also, fever that accompanies inflammation should be immediately examined. Because this can be a symptom for more serious conditions, such as:

Peritonsillar abscess

Peritonsillar abscess is swelling accompanied by pus between the palate of the throat and the back of the tonsils (tonsils).


Epiglottitis is inflammation of the epiglottis, which is a leaf-shaped valve located behind the base of the tongue. This condition can inhibit breathing if not handled properly.

Mononucleosis infection

Epstein Barr virus infection is characterized by enlarged lymph nodes, fever, and sore throat.


What causes sore throat (pharyngitis)?

The most common causes of strep throat are viruses and bacteria. Viruses and bacteria that cause colds and influenza usually make a person experience pharyngitis. Also, various viruses usually cause inflammation in the throat, namely:

  • Mononucleosis (glandular fever)
  • Measles
  • Chickenpox
  • Croup-causing viruses such as RSV parainfluenza, measles, adenovirus, and influenza.

Meanwhile, bacterial infections that can cause sore throats are Streptococcus pyogenes and group A Streptococcus.

In addition to viruses and bacteria, sore throat can also be caused by several things such as:


Allergies in pet dander, mold, dust, and flower pollen can cause you a sore throat. Postnasal drip is the main cause in cases of allergies caused by sore throat.


The stuffy air and heat in a room can make your throat feel rough and itchy, especially in the morning when you wake up. Also, breathing too often through the mouth because of a blocked nose can cause inflammation.

Irritant (chemicals)

Outside air pollution can cause constant throat irritation. Also, indoor air pollution because cigarettes or chemicals can also cause sore throat. Chewing tobacco, drinking alcohol, and eating spicy foods can also make your throat hurt.

Tense muscles in the throat

The muscles in the throat can tighten. This condition usually arises because you often shout, such as at sports, talking loudly, or talking for a long time without pausing.

Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)

GERD is a condition characterized by heartburn or a burning sensation in the chest due to increased stomach acid to the esophagus.

An esophagus also is known as the esophagus is a part of the digestive tract that connects the mouth and stomach. When you experience GERD, the throat usually feels uncomfortable. This condition can trigger pharyngitis.

HIV infection

Pharyngitis and other flu symptoms sometimes appear earlier in someone infected with HIV. Someone who is HIV positive may experience chronic or recurrent sore throats due to infection. This infection is more common because people with HIV have a weak immune system.


Cancer of the throat, tongue, and larynx are often characterized by a sore throat. Other accompanying signs or symptoms are hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, lumps in the neck, and blood in saliva.

Who is at risk for sore throat (pharyngitis)?
Everyone has the possibility of getting a sore throat. But several things make you more vulnerable to this one health problem, namely:


Children and adolescents are more likely to experience pharyngitis. Pharyngitis or sore throat in children is usually caused by bacterial infections.

Cigarette smoke

Smoking and cigarette smoke can irritate your throat to make it inflamed. Not only that, but the use of tobacco products can also increase the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, and larynx (a ballot box).


If you have allergies to dust, mold or pet hair, your risk of getting pharyngitis is much greater. Because allergies can trigger and make the sore throat more severe than people who do not have allergies.

Chemical irritant exposure

Air pollution produced by burning fossil fuels and household chemicals can irritate the throat. If you live or work in an environment exposed to chemicals, the risk of getting pharyngitis is quite high.

Severe sinus infection

Mucus or mucus produced by the sinuses helps control the temperature and humidity of the air entering the lungs.

This mucus flows into the nose through small channels. However, this can be blocked if the sinus is infected or has inflammation to cause pharyngitis.

Being in a crowded and closed room

Viral and bacterial infections can spread easily in crowded and closed places. For those of you who are often in childcare centers, classrooms, or often travel by airplane, keep your body healthy so you don’t get infected with viruses and bacteria easily.

Weak immune system

You will be more susceptible to infection if your immune system is weak. This weak immune system is usually caused by various diseases such as HIV / AIDS, diabetes, steroid treatment, chemotherapy, lupus, and other serious health problems.

If you are not one of those at risk, it does not mean that you cannot be affected. Always consult the health condition with your doctor if you feel any abnormal changes in your body.