Why does strep throat cause phlegm

Pharyngitis - signs and course

Acute sore throat

The first sign of a sore throat is often the typical "scratchy throat". As a result, sore throats develop, which sometimes radiate into the ears and lead to painful swallowing difficulties. The throat feels rough and dry, and those affected often have the feeling When you look into the throat, the mucous membrane in the throat appears clearly reddened and inflamed.

A sore throat caused by the typical viruses of the respiratory tract can also be accompanied by a fever. Most of the time, other typical cold symptoms also develop, such as inflamed nasal mucous membrane (runny nose / rhinitis), hoarseness if the inflammation also spreads to the larynx or vocal folds, or cough if the bronchi are involved. An acute sore throat caused by a flu-like infection usually heals on its own within days without complications.

Strong flu-like symptoms with a high fever, sore throat and headache indicate an additional bacterial infection (superinfection). When looking into the throat, one can see crimson, swollen tonsils with whitish-yellowish coatings (angina tonsillaris) or - mostly in patients without tonsils - crimson, thickened side cords (angina lateralis). In addition, the lymph nodes on the neck are swollen.

If the sore throat starts very suddenly and severely, is accompanied by a high fever and poor general well-being, you should think of a real flu, especially in winter, and contact your doctor by phone as soon as possible and request a home visit if you have very severe symptoms.

If you suspect tonsillitis or lateral cord angina, the ENT doctor should be consulted to clarify whether you have tonsillitis requiring antibiotics or a Pfeiffer's glandular fever.

Chronic inflammation of the throat

Chronic pharyngitis does not occur suddenly, but makes itself felt over a period of weeks through mild discomfort. Those affected feel a general feeling of dryness in the throat, have to constantly clear their throat and cough up tough mucus. Often they also have the feeling that they have a foreign body stuck in their throat (Globus syndrome). Depending on the particular symptoms, the ENT doctor differentiates between an atrophic form, in which the lymphatic tissue in the throat recedes, and a hypertrophic or hyperplastic form, in which tissue proliferation occurs.

The first variant, the so-called pharyngitis atrophicans et sicca, is characterized by a particularly delicate, pale, dried-out (sicca) pharyngeal mucous membrane, which appears as if painted, but is covered with tough, greasy coatings. Often, crusts are also visible in the throat.

The hypertrophic form can occur in connection with enlarged lymph follicles on the pharyngeal wall (pharyngitis hyperplastica granulosa). Those affected then often feel a foreign body sensation in the throat, which leads to gagging and frequent clearing of the throat. However, it can also affect the lymphatics that run down the wall of the pharynx and lead to lateral pharyngitis with severely swollen side cords.

The course of chronic pharyngitis depends primarily on whether and how quickly the triggering factors (e.g. dry air, cigarette abuse, chemical exposure) can be eliminated.