So, you have a sore throat, cough, runny nose and congestion. Have you caught a common cold or do you have allergy symptoms? Sometimes, it is even difficult for doctors to distinguish between the two, because their symptoms can be so similar. If you have a persistent throat discomfort accompanied by other allergy symptoms, consider an allergy sore throat.
Also known as dysphagia, “difficulty swallowing” is generally a sign of problems with either your esophagus or your throat. Dysphagia is more common in babies, the elderly, and individuals with brain or nervous system disorders, but anyone can have difficulty swallowing at any time.
Hoarseness, an abnormal change in your voice, can be the result of a disorder in the vocal cords (sound producing parts) of the larynx (voice box). Your voice may sound strained and raspy when you are hoarse. There may also be changes in pitch and volume of your voice. There are many causes of hoarseness/dysphonia including viral laryngitis, vocal cord polyps or nodules, laryngeal cancer and functional voice disorders. You should see an otolaryngologist if you have hoarseness or voice changes that are present for more than 3 weeks.
Laryngitis is a common medical condition characterized by inflammation and swelling of the larynx (voice box). The majority of cases are caused by common viruses, infections or overuse of your voice. Laryngitis is not considered a serious health concern.
When the esophagus becomes inflamed and irritated, as a result of stomach acids and digestive enzymes backing up into it, the condition is known as gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). This condition adversely affects from 25% to 40% of American adults, to varying degrees of severity, at some time in their life. All ages can develop GERD, however.
Tonsils and Adenoids
Tonsils and adenoids consist of glands and tissue located in the back of the throat and nose. Tonsils are generally two large lymph nodes located in the back of the throat while the adenoids are located high in the throat and in the back of the nose. While these structures are the first line of defense of our body’s immune system in fighting infection, they can also become infected by viruses and bacteria. Enlarged tonsils and adenoids can also be the cause of snoring and sleep apnea.
Additional Readings: www.entnet.org/content/patient-health