‘Pus pockets in throat’ is not a condition in itself but rather a symptom of some other underlying illness like pharyngitis or tonsillitis.
Pus pockets in throat may be caused due to inflammation of the pharynx or the tonsils which in turn can occur due to varied illnesses like common cold, flu, and bacterial infections like strep throat, etc. Other uncommon causes of inflamed throat with pus pockets include excessive intake of sugar and other refined foods, fried foods, white flour, white flour products, coffee, tea, and condiments, etc., as well as living in unhygienic conditions.
Pus pockets in throat is usually treated with different medications like antibiotics, etc., throat/voice rest, drinking warm beverages, and avoiding irritants like cigarette smoke, etc.
Symptoms of pus pockets in throat
Pus pockets in throat may be accompanied by various other signs and symptoms as listed below:
- Throat pain
- Scratchy or irritating sensation in throat
- Swallowing problems; discomfort or pain when swallowing; worsening of pain when talking or swallowing
- White patches on throat and/or tonsils
- Running nose
- Vomiting or nausea
- Muffled voice; hoarseness
- Bad breath
- Body aches, ear ache, and muscle aches
- Increased irritability
- Lethargy, weakness, tiredness
- Swollen and sore glands in the jaw or neck
- Swollen, inflamed, and reddish tonsils
Causes of pus pockets in throat
The different causes of pus pockets in throat are listed below:
- Infections by different types of bacteria, with the most common being group A streptococcus or Streptococcus pyogenes.
- Viral infections like influenza, common cold, measles, mononucleosis, croup, and chickenpox, etc.
- Dryness of air is another cause of throat/tonsil problems marked by pus pockets in throat. Dry air in heated buildings and other places can cause scratchiness and roughness in the throat, especially after waking up in the morning. Dry throat can also occur due to respiration via mouth, which is often caused by prolonged nasal congestion.
- Allergic reactions to molds, pet dander, pollen, dust, etc. can also cause throat problems. Allergies may aggravate if accompanied by postnasal drip which may cause throat inflammation and irritation.
- Air pollution and/or exposure to irritants like chemicals or tobacco smoke may result in chronic case of sore throat and other issues like pus pockets in throat. Alcohol abuse, chewing tobacco, and intake of spicy and hot foods can also trigger throat irritation.
- GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease is a disorder of the digestive system marked by upward flow of stomach acids and other stomach contents back into the esophagus or food pipe. In addition to sore throat and other problems, patients may experience lumpy feeling in throat, heartburn, etc.
- Continuous yelling or shouting, talking for a long time without taking rest, or talking loudly can strain and stress the throat muscles. This can increase the risk to sore throat, throat infections, and pus pockets in throat.
- Malignant tumors in larynx, throat, or tongue can increase risk to pus pockets in throat.
- A weakened immune system increases the risk to developing throat infections. People with diabetes, HIV, etc.; increased fatigue and stress; bad diet; and those undergoing chemotherapy or steroid treatment may have weak immune systems. Cytomegalovirus infection and oral thrush are two kinds of throat infections that are common in patients with lowered immunity.
Treatment of pus pockets in throat
Treatment of pus pockets in throat is dependent on the underlying causative condition. A few treatment options are listed below:
- Pain killers may be given to ease fever and pain
- Most cases of bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics
- Viral infections may be treated with anti-viral medicines and other drugs
Home remedies and self-care measures to find relief are mentioned below:
- Gargling with salt water can help alleviate soreness in the throat
- Dry air can be eliminated by using a cool-air humidifier. You may also remain seated in a steamy bathroom for some time.
- Give sufficient rest to the throat and voice
- Drinking warm water mixed with honey or eating ice pops or other cold treats can help find relief from pain in throat
- Do not drink alcohol, coffee, or caffeine-containing beverages. It can cause dehydration and aggravate throat problems like pus pockets in throat, soreness, etc.
- Avoid exposure to cleaning products, cigarette smoke, or other irritants that can aggravate the throat
- Bacterial and viral infections tend to spread easily in places where people gather in close quarter. Hence, extra precautions must be taken when in classrooms, child care centers, airports, or work places.
- Slippery elm, marshmallow root, licorice root, honeysuckle flower, and other kinds of herbal products available as lozenges, sprays, or teas may also be taken to ease adverse throat symptoms. Consult a doctor first to check if these do not cause bad interactions with the prescription medications.