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acute or chronic inflammation of the mucous membrane of the pharynx.
Acute pharyngitis in man is caused primarily by microbes (streptococcus, staphylococcus, and pneumococcus) and viruses (grippe and the adenoviruses); in the case of a severe cold or sinusitis, the inflammation frequently spreads to the pharynx from the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses. The symptoms of pharyngitis are dryness of the pharynx, painful swallowing—especially in the absence of food or drink—and a body temperature ranging from normal to 37.5°C. Treatment includes gargling with alkaline and disinfectant solutions, drinking warm liquids, and a bland diet.
Chronic pharyngitis may result from repeated acute infections of the pharynx, chronic infections in the nose and paranasal sinuses, chronic tonsillitis, and prolonged irritation of the mucous membrane of the pharynx caused by smoking, alcohol abuse, the inhalation of dust or noxious gases, and overexposure to cold. The symptoms are dryness of the pharynx, a burning or tickling sensation (a “scratchy” throat), painful swallowing, coughing, and the frequent need to expectorate. The condition is treated by removing the causative factors, gargling or rinsing the pharynx with alkaline solutions (inhalation), and applying a solution of Lugol’s caustic in glycerine to the posterior wall of the pharynx.