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The pharynx is a conduit located towards the rear of the mouth above the larynx and the oesophageal inlet orifice. The pharynx has three main functions: it passes food from the mouth to the esophagus during swallowing, it directs the incoming air through the mouth and nose to the larynx located in the neck and the trachea, and lastly, it has a role in producing the language sounds made by the vocal cords in the larynx. Inflammation of the pharynx is called pharyngitis. It is a trivial condition, frequently in the context of another inflammation or local infection, often viral, and rarely bacterial, such as tonsillitis, laryngitis and rhinitis. Other factors may also cause pharyngitis, such as exposure to dust, tobacco poisoning, long exposure to air conditioning, chronic sinusitis ...


The symptoms of pharyngitis are:
  • sore throat;
  • pain when swallowing;
  • sometimes a difficulty in eating and a loss of appetite;
  • redness and inflammation of the pharynx;
  • sometimes, a painful cough;
  • a runny nose is often present and may be the cause of pharyngitis, via the irritation of the pharynx by secretions.


The diagnosis of pharyngitis is based on a physical examination of the back of the mouth and throat as well as the observation of other symptoms. The back of the throat appears red. No further review is required in the case of isolated pharyngitis or nasopharyngitis.


Treatment of pharyngitis is based on prescription drugs used against pain, such as paracetamol. Various medications are sometimes prescribed in order to reduce pain due to inflammation of the pharynx, but there is no real evidence of their effectiveness. The healing of pharyngitis is quick. In the case of nasopharyngitis, a very common case, nasal secretions must be combated by blowing your nose often, which can possibly be aided by the use of a nasal decongestant. In the case of an infant who is unable to blow his nose, saline can be used.

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