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The Doctors Lounge - Primary Care Answers

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Forum Name: Ear Nose and Throat

Question: Frequent Sore Throats


jjorgens - Thu Apr 14, 2005 3:15 pm

I frequently get severe sore throats. My glands sometimes swell and oftentimes, I have white spots in my throat. A Fever usually accompanies it along with a loss in energy. 9 years ago, my primary physician noticed growth in my throat and sent me to a ENT to have it checked out. The ENT reccomended removal. Because of a car accident the night before I was scheduled to have it removed, I didn't make it to my appointment. I never got around to scheduling the removal again and no other doctor has ever commented on it when I go in for the many strep tests that come out negative. They all say the sore throat is just a virus and to get some rest and drink plenty of fluids. Could this be a bigger problem? Could it be allergies? (As far as I know, I'm not allergic to anything.)
Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Sun Jun 25, 2006 2:00 am

You said that when you got the infection you have had white patches on the tonsils, this is most probably due to either an infection with a bacteria named group A streptococci or a virus Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).
•These conditions are usually associated with Fever, and in the case of the bacterial infection, obviously a coarse of Antibiotic would help in treating the condition. In the case of streptococcal infection, a simple throat swab and culture would define the causative agent and your results were negative as you said. Exudative pharyngitis due to EBV is usually confusing with group A streptococcal pharyngitis, to add more difficulty in the diagnosis concomitant infection of both agents occurs in 30% of people. Sore throat, that doesn't get better with Antibiotics is usually due to viral infection like EBV.
However other physical and clinical signs are characteristic to EBV infection would help the physician to differentiate between these two causes. Moreover, specific serological tests,(detection of antigens and or antibodies to a specific antigen from the infecting agent like as the monospot and heterophile antibody tests can help in the diagnosis of EBV infections.
The reason of why it is repeated is that fact that your tonsils are one of the first defenses (BARRIER) that try to eliminate the spread of the infection that is transmitted though the upper aerodigestive tract.
Other common causes of pharyngitis include, a cold or flu virus. If you suffer from recurring sore throats, it's possible also that your toothbrush might be a source of infection and should be changed regulary especially after an attack of throat infection. Repeated pharyngitis can also happen seasonally or all year long most commonly due to allergies, and in this case usually the allergic indi
vidual wake up early in the morning with sore throat .
Recurrent pharyngitis is the most frequent indication for tonsillectomy. The goals of surgery include amelioration of symptoms, avoidance of sick days and reduction of complications such as peritonsillar abscess.
if the condition is frequent you can discuss with your doctor the possibility of surgical removal, and it is possible advantages and disadvantages.
Best regards,

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