White Spots In Throat:Causes, Diagnosis, Treatments and Preventions
The discomfort in the throat is a very common problem in the general population, are often associated with various viral or bacterial infections, those that cause white spots in throat are bacterial infections, the main one being pharyngitis or streptococcal tonsillitis caused by a bacterium called group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus or in its scientific name Streptococcus pyogenes.
Streptococcus is a bacteria that can be easily spread among people who share small spaces, such as offices or classrooms, this bacteria dies when it dries, for example if you sneeze into a tissue and it dries, but can stay alive for up to two weeks in damp places like toothbrushes. Do you want to know why I get white spots in throat throat? In the following article we explain it to you.
Pharyngitis: Causing white pellets
The appearance of pharyngitis symptoms can occur quickly after infection, between one and three days after contact with someone sick. In general, the affected person will have the following symptoms:
- Sensation of general malaise.
- Sore throat.
- Pain when swallowing water or food.
- High fever, greater than 38ºC.
- It may also have swollen cervical ganglia, which are the organs of our body responsible for producing the first line of defense to prevent the infection from progressing.
- Appearance of pellets or white spots in the throat or on the tonsils themselves.
Diagnosis of white spots on throat:
The diagnosis of streptococcal pharyngitis is usually made in the doctor’s office. There, the doctor will question you about the signs and symptoms you may have experienced. Then he will review you, in the physical examination he will look at your throat and identify the balls or white spots, he will also palpate your neck looking for the cervical ganglia and thus notice if they are inflamed.
With all this information, the doctor can make the diagnosis of streptococcal pharyngitis, although the diagnosis with 100% certainty can only be achieved by a test called pharyngeal exudate, in this test
- A small sample of the white pellets from the throat is taken with a swab and sent to study in a laboratory,
- In the laboratory they place this small sample in a container that contains a type of gelatin called agar, which helps the bacteria grow,
- This sample is left in an incubator for two days and then analyzed if bacteria grew
- In a microscope it is observed which bacterium was the one that grew
This method of diagnosis has a variant that is used in most cases and is to add to the agar something called antibiogram, which is a kind of plastic star in each tip has a different antibiotic, this star is placed on top of the Gelatin with “seeded” bacteria and how to interpret it is simple: if the bacteria grew above the tip, that antibiotic does not work for this infection, instead if the bacteria did not grow near the tip of the star, that antibiotic It is useful to fight against this bacteria.
The laboratory reports these results to the doctor and a treatment known to be 100% effective against the infection can be given.
Treatment of pharyngitis and white spots in the throat
The treatment is usually started immediately, the doctor will prescribe an antibiotic that will cover most infections that are usually seen in the throat, in case the treatment does not work, or the infection comes back after a short time, the pharyngeal exudate can be done with antibiogram.
The first line of antibiotics to be prescribed in this case are penicillins, they have a very good spectrum of action (that is, they act against many bacteria) and cause few side effects, specifically they are used
- Penicillin G benzathine.
- Penicillin V.
In the case of people allergic to penicillins, erythromycin can be used, and if the first line of treatment has already been tried and a good result has not been obtained, the treatment can be scaled to:
- Cephalosporins, such as cephalexin.
- The lininoside, such as clindamycin and lincomycin.
The doses will be indicated by the doctor according to the severity of the infection and the age of the patient, although the treatments usually last between 5 and 10 days and there are usually doses of medication every 6 or 8 hours.
Part of the treatment includes analgesics and antipyretics to soothe body discomfort, sore throat and remove fever, it is recommended
- NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as:
- Aspirin (only in adults, in children should not be administered)
- Paracetamol, which has very few harmful side effects and is easily accessible
You should drink plenty of fluids, rest if possible and use handkerchiefs to sneeze or cough, as well as avoid attending crowded places or kissing, thus reducing infections.
Possible complications of pharyngitis
Complications of streptococcal pharyngitis are found when the infection is not treated promptly or the treatment is not completed, the bacteria travel to other parts of the body such as the paranasal sinuses, middle ear, blood or skin and infect them. .
Other complications independent of the treatment are inflammatory reactions such as:
- Scarlet fever: which is a generalized infection caused by beta hemolytic streptococcus.
- Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis: an infection of the kidneys caused by the same bacteria.
- Rheumatic fever: which can involve the heart, joints, nervous system and skin and is caused by an immune system response against beta hemolytic streptococcus.
Prevention of white balls on throat:
The best way to prevent infections is that if we have contracted the disease, try to stay at home, if this is not possible, we should:
- Wash our hands frequently, especially if we have sneezed, coughed or wiped our noses with a tissue
- Covering our mouth when sneezing or coughing should be done with the internal angle of the elbow, not with our hands, since when we cover ourselves with our hands and then touch something, we leave the things we touch full of bacteria,
- Do not share glasses, cutlery or toothbrushes
- Ventilate rooms well, so bacteria can dry out and stop being infectious
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