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Pharyngitis in children: forms, symptoms and treatment

Acute pharyngitis is often observed in inflammations of the upper respiratory tract. It can accompany rhinitis, tracheitis, laryngitis and other pathologies, and in the absence of adequate therapy it becomes chronic. Read more about the features of pharyngitis in children, symptoms and treatment (with photo) of the disease in this publication.

Introduction: Pharyngitis Brief

Pharyngitis is an acute or chronic inflammation of the lymphoid tissue and pharyngeal mucosa. In children, in most cases, the disease is caused by adenovirus, rhinovirus, cytomegalovirus, influenza pathogens.

Pharyngitis in children

Bacterial infections affect the pharynx with pharyngitis less often, among them pneumococci, staphylococci, streptococci, chlamydia. In this case, the pathology often develops as a complication of rhinitis or sinusitis . Fungal pharyngitis develops on the background of long-term antibiotic treatment.

Streptococci or other bacteria are often the cause of the transition of pharyngitis to the chronic form. Chronization of the disease contribute to such factors:

  • hypothermia;
  • weakened immunity;
  • adverse living conditions of the child;
  • chronic rhinitis, tonsillitis, sinusitis and other diseases of the upper respiratory tract;
  • overwork, high physical and emotional stress;
  • passive smoking;
  • severe systemic diseases;
  • reflux esophagitis;
  • contaminated air.

Viral pharyngitis is more difficult to treat, while it is more dangerous than the bacterial risk of developing complications. In rare cases, the disease can be caused by an allergic reaction to drugs, food, pollen.


Types and forms of pharyngitis in children

Depending on the localization of pharyngitis is:

  1. Catarrhal (superficial), when only the mucous membrane of the pharynx is affected;
  2. Granular - lymphoid follicles that are located deeper under the mucous membrane are involved in the inflammatory process.

There are also limited and common types of pharyngitis. In the first case, only the side ridges are affected, and in the second, the entire surface and the posterior pharyngeal wall.

The nature of the flow distinguish acute, subacute and chronic pharyngitis. In acute inflammation lasts no more than two weeks, and symptoms, the main of which are dry cough, sore throat, sore throat, are pronounced. Such pharyngitis often occurs in combination with infectious and inflammatory diseases of the trachea, nasopharynx and other respiratory tract.

Untimely or inadequate treatment of acute pharyngitis in children contributes to the pathology in the chronic form, in which inflammation lasts a long time.

In most cases, it is caused by bacteria against the background of a decrease in local immunity due to adenoviral infection. In addition to the pharynx, the nasopharyngeal mucosa, the paranasal sinuses, and the auditory tube are often involved in the pathological process.

Subacute pharyngitis often acts as a precursor or symptom of scarlet fever and measles rubella.

Symptoms of pharyngitis in children, photos

photo throat in a child with pharyngitis

photo throat in a child with pharyngitis

The younger the age, the more difficult it is to recognize the symptoms of pharyngitis in a child. The main symptom is the reddened and dry mucous membrane of the pharynx with a swollen posterior wall, the tonsils are not enlarged.

Symptoms of pharyngitis in children, photos

Symptoms of pharyngitis in children, photos

The child complains of pain, itching and sore throat, pain when swallowing food and saliva, the baby may become restless, crying, does not sleep well, refuses to feed. Such symptoms as runny nose, conjunctivitis, fever and cough during pharyngitis in children are often confused with symptoms of acute respiratory infections.

Manifestations of acute pharyngitis:

  • tickling and dry throat;
  • pain when swallowing, often extending to the ears;
  • redness of the pharyngeal mucosa, the appearance of purulent plaque or red follicles;
  • slight increase in temperature;
  • general weakness.

Symptoms of chronic pharyngitis in children are less pronounced:

  • dry and itchy throat;
  • cough without sputum (the so-called false);
  • congestion of mucus on the back of the pharynx and its constant reflex swallowing.

Diagnosis of pharyngitis is carried out by examining the throat of a child - the mucous is reddened, purulent formations are rarely present and indicate the bacterial origin of the disease, the granularity of the posterior wall is characteristic.

Laboratory tests (a pharyngeal swab) are prescribed for suspected more serious pathologies, such as measles, diphtheria or scarlet fever. If you self-diagnose at home, you can confuse pharyngitis with tonsillitis, so always contact a specialist if a child has any symptoms.

Tactics of treatment of pharyngitis in a child, drugs

treatment of pharyngitis in a child, drugs

Treatment of pharyngitis in children provides for compliance with some rules:

  1. In the diet of the child should not be food, irritating the pharyngeal mucosa - salty, spicy, sour, cold, hot;
  2. It is important to drink plenty of liquids, including alkaline drinks - mineral water, milk with a pinch of baking soda;
  3. Indoor air must be clean, fresh and humidified.

For the treatment of pharyngitis in children, Dr. Komarovsky categorically does not recommend the use of cooling compresses at a temperature and rub the baby’s skin, for example, applying ointment on the neck.

Depending on the type of pharyngitis, antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal or antihistamine drugs are used in its therapy, or a combination of several of them. The selection of methods of treatment depends on age, so only a doctor should prescribe drugs.

In the acute form of the disease or exacerbation of chronic pharyngitis, the therapy is symptomatic and includes:

  • Warm compresses on the neck;
  • If necessary, antiviral drugs - Viferon, Acyclovir;
  • At temperatures above 38 ° antipyretic - Paracetamol, Cefekol;
  • Mucolytics for liquefaction of sputum - Mukaltin, Ambrobene, licorice syrup, Sinekod;
  • Gargling with broths of herbs (sage, calendula, oak bark, chamomile) and special solutions (Miramistin, Furatsilin, Rotokan);
  • Nasal washing and instillation of immunomodulators - Derinat, Grippferon;
  • Inhalation;
  • Hot foot baths (in the absence of temperature);
  • Warm drinking, such as milk with soda or honey.

For viral pharyngitis, Komarovsky recommends using ordinary warm water for rinsing, which washes away accumulated mucus and plaque from the throat surface. You can also add to the glass of water 1 tsp. salt or soda.

The antibacterial drugs show local remedies in the form of tablets or lozenges for sucking, sprays - Grammidin, Bioparox, Orasept. The composition of drugs for irrigation of the pharynx can include not only antibiotics, but also antiseptics, essential oils, anesthetics.

Systemic antimicrobials are prescribed for complicated pharyngitis of a bacterial nature, the choice of drugs is carried out by the doctor, most often these are from the group of macrolides or penicillins (Sumamed, Amoxicillin).

In the treatment of chronic pharyngitis used similar means, but also requires the elimination of the factor that causes persistent inflammation of the pharynx. For example, treatment of carious teeth, sinusitis, removal of adenoids or tonsils.

For the treatment of pharyngitis effective inhalation nebulizer, held from 1 to 4 times a day. To do this, you can use:

  • Borjomi mineral water;
  • saline with the addition of propolis tincture or calendula drug in a ratio of 20: 1;
  • Furatsilina solution.

To treat pharyngitis in a child using a nebulizer should be after consulting the attending physician, he will recommend a suitable solution that will not cause allergies or other undesirable consequences.

Complications of pharyngitis

With improper treatment, children often develop complications of pharyngitis, mainly an extensive lesion of the respiratory tract infection:

  • otitis media - inflammation of the middle ear;
  • tonsillitis and sore throat - inflammation of the larynx and pharynx;
  • sinusitis and rhinitis - the defeat of the nasopharynx;
  • conjunctivitis - inflammation of the eyes;
  • encephalitis, meningitis, in which the infection penetrates into the lining of the brain.

Prognosis and prevention

Prevention of pharyngitis in children includes:

  1. Good nutrition and vitamins;
  2. Compliance with the rules of personal hygiene, especially the frequent and thorough washing of hands;
  3. Routine vaccination;
  4. Regular exposure to fresh air and hardening;
  5. Airing the rooms of the house and regular wet cleaning with the use of disinfectants;
  6. Limiting contact with infected people;
  7. Use of local prophylactic agents, for example, Oxolinic Nasal Ointment;
  8. Strengthening immunity.

The prognosis for pharyngitis is favorable, with the exception of the chronic atrophic form, at which the risk of serious complications is high.


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