The most common throat disorder, pharyngitis is an acute or chronic inflammation of the pharynx. It’s widespread among adults who live or work in dusty or dry environments, use their voices excessively, habitually use tobacco or alcohol, or suffer from chronic sinusitis, persistent coughs, or allergies.
Pharyngitis is usually caused by a virus. The most common viral agents are rhinovirus, coronavirus, adenovirus, influenza, and parainfluenza. The most common bacterial cause is group A beta-hemolytic streptococci. Other common causes include Mycoplasma and Chlamydia.
Signs and symptoms
Pharyngitis produces a sore throat and slight difficulty in swallowing. Swallowing saliva is usually more painful than swallowing food. Pharyngitis may also cause the sensation of a lump in the throat as well as a constant, aggravating urge to swallow. Associated features include mild fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, coryza, and rhinorrhea. Uncomplicated pharyngitis usually subsides in 3 to 10 days. Some severe forms such as severe mononucleosis-pharyngitis may cause airway obstruction.