THROAT, SORE.-When sore-throat is spoken if it refers to the back part of the mouth (pharynx) leading into the gullet. When the larynx (the voice-box) which forms the “Adam’s apple,” is affected, the condition affection, though in diphtheria, the worst form of sore throat (see DIPHTHERIA), the larynx is apt to be affected as well as the pharynx. The throat is best seen by placing the patient on a chair before a good light and directing him to open his mouth wide and say “ah.” It may be necessary to depress the tongue with a tongue-depressor or a spoon-handle at the same time. This brings into view at the back a smooth piece of mucous membrane which lies in front of the spinal column and forms the back wall of the throat. In front of this, rising up from each side of the root of the tongue, and passing up to palate, are two folds of mucous membrane. Between these folds lie the tonsils, one on each side of the throat. The soft palate, with the uvula in the centre, completes the arch of mucous membrane leading into the cavity of the pharynx. From the back part of the throat, just above the palate, the “Eustachian tubes” lead into the cavity of the ear.
It is to swelling of the mucous membrane of these tubes that deafness is due in cases of sore-throat and cold.
When the throat is inflamed any part of the structures described may be affected. When it is the tonsils mainly or chiefly, the disease is called Tonsillitis or Quinsy (see QUINSY). Simple, acute sore-throat from cold consists of extensive inflammation of the mucous membrane. A chronic form of sore- throat, due to repeated attacks of acute inflammation, from overstraining in speaking or singing, or from constitutional weakness, goes by the various names of chronic, relaxed sore- throat, clergyman’s sore-throat, and granular sore-throat. Persons who suffer from this are constantly liable to acute attacks from very slight causes. There is generally a great deal of hoarseness in these cases.
General Treatment.-When sore-throat first comes on, a cold-water compress (two or three folds of linen wrung out of cold water applied across the throat and around the neck; this covered with a roll of flannel or a long worsted stocking) is an excellent remedy. Very often it will suffice of itself to cure. It should be applied on going to bed. Men who suffer from chronic sore-throat should let their beards grow. Speakers must be careful not to overstrain their throats; bad methods of producing the voice and breathing are responsible for many cases of sore-throat. It is well to bathe the throat and neck well with cold water every morning, and not wrap it up too warmly.
One of the best gargles is milk. The vapour of hot milk may also be inhaled, or of milk that has had figs boiled in it. This may be also drunk.
Medicines.-(Every hour to every four or six hours according to urgency.)
-Difficulty in swallowing or speaking; throat red; burning, pricking, contracting sensation, accompanied by fever, anxiety impatience and uneasiness.
-Dry, burning sensation in throat; a disposition to hawk up something; violent, pricking pains when swallowing or hawking; spasm on attempting to swallow fluids; pressing, shooting in tonsils; dry, furred tongue.
-After Belladonna, in cases similar to those described under that medicine; sensation of hot vapour rising in throat; tongue furred and flabby, bearing the impression of the teeth; painless ulcers.
-Pricking pains, violent when swallowing, extending to the ears, or glands of the throat; sensation as if a fish-bone were in the throat; disagreeable taste in the mouth; salivation; heat, chills, perspiration which does not relieve; uneasiness; symptoms worse at night, in cold air. After Mercurius
-Throat always worse after sleeping: continual desire to swallow; accumulation of mucus; ulcers; spasm of the throat very sensitive to touch. In Lachesis cases the left side is apt to be most or earliest affected. (See also below.)
-Sensation of swelling like a plug in the throat when swallowing; redness; sensation of scraping; dryness without thirst; shooting pains, worse when not swallowing; feeling of tension; throat bluish-red; chilliness in evening, followed by heat; fever without thirst.
-Throat painful on being touched, or on moving the head; swallowing difficult and painful, as if a hard substance in the throat; shooting pains and soreness, attended with dryness, or a feeling of dryness, which makes swallowing difficult; fever, dry mouth, with or without thirst, great irritability; after being over-heated, or after eating or drinking ice-water.
-When with the sore-throat there is extreme restlessness; bloody saliva runs from mouth.
-Patient always chilly, afraid of open air, cannot bear close room; fever without thirst; tongue and throat as if scalded; stinging when swallowing; swelling looking as if the throat had been stung by a bee.
-Sore-throat frequently recurring, or chronic sore- throat; swelling, difficult swallowing; peculiar pricking pains, sensation as if a lump in the throat, or as if the throat were too narrow, with soreness or dryness.
-Swelling and redness of the soft palate, difficult swallowing, pricking pains.
-Uvula chiefly or alone swollen, with the same symptoms as Sulph.
-“Clergyman’s sore-throat,” when due too overstraining the voice.
-Chronic, granular sore throat; much secretion of mucus, which drops from the back of the nose into the throat.