Sore Throat Overview
Sore throats are usually named for the anatomical site affected.
Pharyngitis: The pharynx, the area of the throat directly behind the mouth and soft palate, is a common passageway for food, liquids, and air. Swallowing safely delivers solids and liquids to the stomach through the esophagus. Pharyngitis is pain and inflammation of the pharynx.
Tonsillitis: Tonsillitis typically involves inflammation of the tonsils (tonsils are located on either side of the base of the tongue).
Laryngitis: The larynx, the top portion of your windpipe (trachea), has an important gatekeeper function. It allows passage of air in and out of the lungs (through the trachea), but inhibits the entry of solids and liquids. Sound production at the vocal cords is an important side job of the larynx. Laryngitis is pain and inflammation of the larynx (often associated with a hoarse voice). Croup is a form of laryngitis in children (it tends to be associated with a seal barking-like cough and difficulty inhaling air).
Epiglottitis: Epiglottitis is a rare type of sore throat is inflammation of the epiglottis (a tall semitubular structure at the opening to the larynx separating it from the base of the tongue). This type of sore throat problem is most common in younger individuals, and is an emergency because the airway may quickly become blocked.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/13/2014
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