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Sore Throat Complications

February 18, 2014

Bad handling of sore throat or a rather severe sore throat can lead to unwanted complications that may warrant a visit to the doctor. Some of the complications of a sore throat can involve:


  • Ear Infection – A sore throat can affect the ear in certain ways. Sore throat often is accompanied by ear pain. The doctor may recommend medications for the sore throat and the ear pain. Usually children and even some adults may develop infection of the middle ear when they suffer from sore throat.


  • Acute Sinusitis – Sinusitis can cause a sore throat and the sore throat in turn can worsen your sinusitis condition. A severe sinusitis can cause malaise, tenderness in the face and a greenish fluid coming out of the nose.


  • Tonsillitis – Tonsillitis and sore throat often go hand in hand and both manifestations together usually indicate throat infection. Sometimes tonsillitis can become so severe that the suffering person may require quick medical attention. The doctor often addresses this condition by antibiotics or by surgically removing the person’s tonsil.


Strep Throat Complications


This type of sore throat can take much longer to heal than the more common type of sore throat. A strep throat can cause a person to lose his appetite and to have fever. Strep throat can be treated by antibiotics and by drinking large amounts of liquids. Strep infections can consist of:


  • Sinusitis
  • Middle ear infection


Some lesser known complications of strep throat include:


  • Toxic shock syndrome
  • Peritonsillar abscess
  • Neck lymph node infection
  • Pharyngitis or retropharyngeal abscess


When the body reacts to strep throat infection, some complications may develop. For one, a slew of conditions like glomerulonephritis or kidney inflammation or rheumatic fever can occur when the immune system causes the body to attack healthy cells causing these aforementioned conditions. Another condition that affects children called PANDAS or pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections can develop with an unresolved strep throat infection.


  • PANDAS – This is a term caused by scarlet fever or strep throat that can lead to problems like Tourette’s syndrome (a tic disorder) or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Glomerulonephritis – This can develop from step infection of the throat and skin. It often resolves by itself. There are no medications to remedy the inflammation of the kidneys although this problem gets better in time.
  • Rheumatic fever – This is a rarity in strep throat infection although it does happen. Antibiotic therapy that starts a week after the start of the infection is needed to treat rheumatic fever


Scott Paglia is a licensed and board certified acupuncturist in Bellingham, WA and provides master level pulse diagnosis, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture in Whatcom County, WA.