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Pharyngitis | Respiratory system diseases | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy

September 7, 2019


– I guarantee all of you out there have had some sort of pharyngitis before. It’s a very common illness. In fact, it’s so common it can be referred to as the common cold, but the common cold includes more than just pharyngitis. The common cold can spread to rhinitis, laryngitis,
so on and so forth, and so there’s all these names. There’s the different names
for a part of the body that is infected by either
a virus or a bacteria. O.K., so let’s break this down. When we look at the word pharyngitis, we can break it down into
a prefix and a suffix. The suffix is itis, and itis means inflammation or swelling, and pharyng referes to the pharynx, which is an anatomical word for, essentially, just the back of your throat, so when I break it down it’s inflammation and swelling in the back of the throat. Pharyngitis is a location of where the infection has spread to. Now to fully understand
where the inflammation is at, where the pharynx is at, I want to take a side view of the head, so we can explore to
something that we can’t see just by opening the mouth, so here I’m drawing a human head, and I’ll exaggerate a couple
of anatomical landmarks, so, for example, this is the pallet, and up here we have the nasal passage, which you’ll notice connects
to the back of the throat, and we have the mouth right here, and that opens into the oral cavity and down into the throat. Now the pharynx is divided
up into three parts, which are, actually, very intuitive based off of the anatomical location, so, for example, right
here is the nasal passage, so the top part of the pharynx is known as the nasal pharynx, so this the connection between the nasal passage and the
pharynx, the nasal pharynx. Right here we have the oral cavity, so this is called the oropharynx, and finally the bottom
most portion of the pharynx is known as the laryngopharynx. Laringo refers to larynx, which is also the voice box, so this is the area of the
pharynx just above the voice box, so, now, we have a location
to where pharyngitis is, and, so, viruses or
bacteria that get back here and cause an infection cause irritation to the mucosa, or in other words, a wet surface that contacts the outside world, so this is the mucosa of
the back of the throat. During an infection the
virus or the bacteria can cause damage to the mucosa, which leads to a variety of symptoms, such as dry throat, a sore throat, which leads to difficulty swallowing, coughing, really anything
that you can think of that has to do with swelling and inflammation of
the back of the throat, and, of course, these bugs
can cause a fever too. Now notice I didn’t put a runny
nose or something like that, and that’s because a
runny nose is caused by inflammation of the nasal mucosa, but like I said, since these
are just anatomical boarders, the infection can spread
in either direction, and, so, you can have complications, such as rhinitis, swelling
of the nasal mucosa, or laryngitis, swelling of
the larynx or the voice box, so if a bacteria or a
virus is virulent enough, it can continue to spread
and cause more infection. Now if the infection
becomes severe enough, it can cause inflammation
of the lymph nodes, those are the glands in the neck. The lymph nodes are just
centers where the immune system houses a lot of white blood cells. What happens is white
blood cells in the throat, once they realize there’s an infection, they’ll travel to these lymph nodes and alert other white blood
cells to become active, and this recruits the immune system to help fight off this infection. Now who are the actors, the major culprits that cause pharyngitis? Well, most commonly, pharyngitis is viral. The viruses that usually cause pharyngitis are the viruses implicated
in the common cold, and also other virus that
can cause pharyngitis are viruses that cause mononucleosis. Mononucleosis, also known as mono, or in layman’s terms, the kissing disease, a lot of teenagers end up getting mono, and this primarily caused either by EBV, which is Epstein Bar Virus, or CMV, which stands for Cytomegalovirus. These two are very contagious viruses, and so it’s easily passed
in the saliva of teens. Now while we’re talking about it, teens and kids are the population that are most commonly
affected by pharyngitis. Adults get it less frequently, and that’s because, well, one, young adults and children are still developing their immune system and have not been exposed to
a lot of these bugs before, and, two, especially in kids, they’re notorious for grabbing things, and touching each other, and
then touching themselves, and, so, this easily passes on infected material to the child, so viruses are a common
cause of pharyngitis, but there is also bacteria. The most common bacteria in pharyngitis is known as streptococcus pyogenes. This is also commonly
referred to as group A strep. A being the specific
kind of streptococcus, so there’s group B, group C. Group A strep is specifically
streptococcus pyogenes, and even more commonly this
is called strep throat. Now the bacteria is dangerous because it causes more serious infections, but, also, if not treated with
a full course of antibiotics, patients may develop some
bizarre complications, and these complications may arise much later after the infection, maybe two weeks after the infection. Patients may have a fever. They may also experience joint pain in their elbows, knees,
or really any joint, and more seriously, patients
may develop heart problems, and this heart damage can cause issues for the rest of their life. Patients may also have some weird, strange shaking movements. They may do some weird dancing movements. They may develop a rash,
high blood pressure, and, very scary for a parent,
they may also urinate blood. Now these are different conditions. For example, the weird movements, the heart issues, and the joint problems are from rheumatic fever, and so this is why it’s
important to treat patients who have developed strep throat with a full course of antibiotics. It’s to make sure that they don’t develop some of these
bizarre complications. Now these complications can be very rare, but because it’s unpredictable as to who will develop
these complications, it’s important for patients to take a full course of antibiotics, if strep throat is suspected.

20 Comments

  • Reply Ralph Mejia February 12, 2015 at 1:51 am

    i was just told my pharyngitis was viral, this video was awesome, it helped alot

  • Reply Ameer Abomokh October 1, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Amazing really thank you

  • Reply shellyy March 1, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    I have pharyngitis right now UGHH

  • Reply Jenniffer Ponnce June 26, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Thank you so much, i've learn alot with you. I suffer a lot from Allergic Rhinitis and Pharyngitis when there is a weather change.

  • Reply Logan Spence September 13, 2016 at 1:24 am

    I have it now and my throat is killing me….. Oh well

  • Reply nykl mail1 September 15, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    I have pharyngitis and this man in the video has teached me more then my doctor lol….i learned almost everything except one: How do you cure this?

  • Reply Dr Strangelove October 25, 2016 at 1:26 am

    If you are here because you have this. Drink a lot of water! And I mean really a lot! Warm milk with honey is also really great. Stay away from dry air (radiator, air-conditioning). Don't talk, stay quite. If possible breath through your nose. But most important is to keep the infected area constantly wet.

  • Reply Pradip Giri September 4, 2017 at 4:51 am

    this video is wonderful.. I know something natural high antibiotic not medicine.. can help people to leave from it…9609293942 I am happy to help you.

  • Reply radolf p September 5, 2017 at 7:42 am

    i got it tgis week..drinking warm water

  • Reply Sorry Not Sorry January 22, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    I always get this if i dont brush my teeth 6 times a day (not always but most of the time)… i dont know whats the problem with me

  • Reply Nyagra June 7, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    I have pharyngitis and I have the impression that something blocks and tickle my neck

  • Reply DINESH KUMAR RAY LAWAPUR September 21, 2018 at 3:04 am

    I have phyrinzits problem since 2years cough khasi acidity

  • Reply Permian Based December 13, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    I went to colombia and kissed 2 girls. Came home with swollen glands and flu symptoms and definitely pharyngitis. I also developed a dry cough. I went to doc Schwartz and she told me I needed antibiotics and antivirals. During the course of taking the meds after 3 days my lip began to swell 😳. Top lip. Full disclosure she gave anti vitals because I get cold sores and I was so sick that I had an outbreak. To make things more confusing, I ate raw oysters in Colombia and the day my lip swole I had oysters in the US. Not raw but in a sauce. So I’m wondering what the hell got me sick? Kissing two women in a 3rd world country!!?? Eating oysters???!!! Or was it that I contracted Mononucleosis. I won’t be eating oysters again, they never have me that reaction before but I’m older now so…. as far as the women are concerned one of those women are now my girl friend lol. Before kissing her I went over a year without female contact so maybe I got streptococcus from her. And I will Definitely Be refocusing on loosing weight and eating right I’m too old for this shit and hopefully this is the last girl I kiss I’m terrified of sexual contact

  • Reply SenseNotoriouz March 14, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    Who else is dying bc of fkn pharyngitis?

  • Reply Akil Ahamed March 21, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    I have allergic pharyngitis over 2 years I took lots of antibiotics and medicine didn’t work actually now I’m taking homeopathy still not working don’t know what to do life become hell if anyone get out of this problem do text me suggest me 😞😞

  • Reply Rizwan Ansari April 27, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    Hello doctor! Since three months My upper soft palate has dot dot sign it looks like bruises . When tongue touches I feel have a scratchy. Before it was not painful but now have burning pain plz help how to cure it🙏

  • Reply Annette Melnychuk May 8, 2019 at 7:12 am

    I have it and was diagnosed yesterday. I thought I had a cold all week but when it didn't get better I went to see a doctor. I have a heavily runny nose that wakes me up at 4 am

  • Reply Jennifer Calvo June 1, 2019 at 1:42 am

    You guys are the BEST!! Seriously so thankful. Can you do a video on granular pharyngitis?

  • Reply Ashiesh Ali July 21, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    Yayayayyayayayyayyayaya

  • Reply Jyro August 28, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    is it possible for the rest of your life?

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