Fungus in the throat is an inflammatory disease, which is called pharyngomycosis in medicine. The mucous membrane of the pharynx is affected as a result of its colonization by mycotic organisms. The disease can occur in a pseudomembranous, erythematous, erosive-ulcerative and hyperplastic type.
According to the available statistics, a fungus in the throat is diagnosed among the common diseases of the pharynx in 30 - 40% of cases. Moreover, otolaryngologists unequivocally state a tendency towards an increase in the number of patients with mycotic lesions of the throat in recent years. Throat fungus affects both adults and children alike. However, in childhood, fungal diseases of the oral cavity are more common. Pharyngomycosis is often associated with gingivitis, glossitis, stomatitis, and cheilitis in adulthood.
Fungal lesions of the pharynx are quite difficult compared to other inflammatory processes in the pharynx. The likelihood of developing fungal sepsis, or mycosis of internal organs, increases. The main causative agents of the disease are fungi of the genus Candida, they provoke farningomycosis in 93% of cases. Only in 5% of cases the disease is caused by mycotic mold organisms. Almost all of these types of fungi are saprophytes, belong to conditionally pathogenic microflora and are activated when the body's reactivity fails.
- Throat fungus symptoms
- Causes of the fungus in the throat
- Diagnostics of the fungus in the throat
- Throat fungus treatment
- Prevention of throat fungus
Throat fungus symptoms
Symptoms of the throat fungus are quite pronounced. Patients experience the following symptoms:
- There is marked discomfort in the throat. Patients may experience sensations of dryness, burning, and scratching in the affected area.
- Pain can range from mild to severe. They tend to build up during meals. Painful sensations are especially pronounced after taking salty, spicy, peppery and pickled foods. Sometimes pain can be given to the lower jaw, the front of the neck, or the ear.
- Perhaps the development of cervical lymphadenitis, that is, an increase in regional lymph nodes in size, their soreness.
- Often a fungus in the throat is accompanied by the formation of a jam - damage to the corners of the mouth. Glossitis and candidal cheilitis may also occur. At the same time, the border of the lips is clearly delineated, infiltrated and covered with a grayish bloom. Cracks in the corners of the mouth become covered with cheesy crusts; when trying to open his mouth wide, the patient experiences painful sensations.
- The general condition of the patient is disturbed, the body temperature rises, headaches and general malaise appear. As a rule, the body temperature does not gain high values and rises to subfebrile levels.
- The mucous membrane of the throat swells, plaque forms on it.
It is possible to independently visualize the focus of mycotic inflammation on the tonsils. There is also plaque on the arches and on the back of the pharynx.
- Sometimes fungi spread to the tongue and the inner surface of the cheeks, involving the esophagus and larynx.
When the disease is provoked by yeast-like fungi of the genus Candida, the plaque is white and has a texture similar to cottage cheese. The plaque can be easily removed, under it the inflamed, red and swollen mucous membrane of the throat is visualized. Sometimes you can find areas of ulceration that do not bleed much.
When the fungus in the throat is the result of a mold attack, the plaque has a yellowish tint and it is quite problematic to remove it. There is some similarity with diphtheria plaque.
The fungus in the throat is prone to frequent relapses. Exacerbations in patients occur up to 10 times a year. Most often, it is the acute form of the disease that transforms into a chronic one. This happens due to incorrect diagnosis, as well as as a result of an illiterately selected treatment regimen. In this regard, independent prescription of drugs or complete ignorance of the pathological process is no less dangerous.
Fungal chronic throat lesions differ from acute processes. The main difference lies in the localization of the mycotic lesion. With the chronitization of the process, the posterior wall of the oropharynx is hyperemic and prone to infiltration, without the inclusion of tonsils in the pathological process. They can form deposits, but they are insignificant outside the exacerbation phase.
Causes of the fungus in the throat
The cause of the fungus in the throat is most often mycotic yeast-like organisms of the genus Candida, which are conditionally pathogenic flora of humans and normally exist in the mucous membranes, without leading to inflammation. With a decrease in immune forces, fungi begin to multiply actively and are able to provoke a disease such as pharyngomycosis.
The provoking factors are:
- The presence of the immunodeficiency virus in the human body. It is known that up to 10% of AIDS patients die due to fungal infections.
- Frequent viral infections.
- Any endocrine pathology, including diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism and obesity.
- Systemic blood diseases.
- The presence of malignant formations in the body. With such tumors, the balance of vitamins is disturbed, disruptions in protein and carbohydrate metabolism occur, as a result, the general and antimycotic resistance of the body falls and mycosis of the larynx develops.
- Irrational intake of antibacterial drugs for a long time.
- Traumatic injuries of the pharyngeal mucosa are additional risk factors for the development of the disease.
- Undergoing treatment with glucocorticosteroid drugs, undergoing chemotherapy.
- Using removable dentures.
- Diseases of the digestive system.
Diagnostics of the fungus in the throat
Competent diagnosis is of no small importance in prescribing the correct treatment and in preventing the transition of the disease from an acute form to a chronic one.
After a detailed questioning of the patient for any existing complaints, the otolaryngologist examines the pharynx and identifies existing plaques, swelling and infiltration. However, visual methods are not enough to make a definitive diagnosis. Therefore, the patient is referred to a pharyngeal smear.
Microscopic examination of a native or stained smear from the surface of the tonsils and pharynx reveals mycotic cells, spores and pseudomycelium. It is better to perform the method in a screening way, since the culture study is much longer in time. However, the latter method allows you to identify the type of mycotic organism and determine its sensitivity to antibacterial drugs.
To establish the cause that provoked the disease, the patient is sent to an appointment with an immunologist and endocrinologist. It is necessary to take tests for syphilis, diabetes mellitus, HIV infection, hepatitis.
It is important to distinguish a fungal infection of the throat from a bacterial one, from sore throat, throat cancer, from pharyngitis and other similar conditions.
Throat fungus treatment
Disease therapy is built on three basic principles:
- For the treatment of throat fungus, the use of both local and systemic antimycotic drugs will be required. All previously used antibiotics should be canceled.
- It is necessary to restore disturbances in the intestinal microbiocenosis. This is realized with the help of dietary nutrition, thanks to the intake of antibacterial drugs (Mexaform, Intestopan) and agents containing live bacteria (Bifidumbacterin, Lactobacterin, etc.).
- Correction of interferon status is carried out, for which patients are prescribed Viferon for a period of 30 days.
Therapy of uncomplicated mycosis of the throat begins with the use of local antimycotics, only if they are ineffective, the patient is transferred to oral administration.
For this, funds from three medicinal groups are used:
- Group of polyenes, drugs: Nystatin, Amphotericin, Levorin.
- Azole group: Ketoconazole, Fluconazole, Itraconazole, Diflucan, Mikoflucan.
- Allylamine group: Terbinafine.
If a fungus in the throat is diagnosed in the acute stage, then the course of treatment most often lasts from 1 to 2 weeks. When it is possible to achieve a relapse, it is possible to use drugs in a prophylactic dosage. With a complicated course of the throat fungus, the patient is hospitalized and treated in a hospital setting.
Most doctors give preference to Fluconazole when treating a fungus of the throat (if it is confirmed that the disease is provoked by a yeast of the genus Candida). Most often, this drug is well tolerated by patients and rarely causes side effects. It is enough to take it once a day for 7-14 days. The dosage is individually selected by the doctor. It can vary from 50 to 200 mg per dose. If there is no effect, then the drug is replaced with another.
When standard antifungal therapy is ineffective and the fungus has developed resistance to it, intravenous administration of amphotericin is indicated. When administered intravenously, control of liver and kidney function is mandatory, since the drug has pronounced toxic properties. Molds are treated with Terbinafine or Intraconazole.
As for local treatment, it is carried out using local antiseptic agents, it can be: Miramistin, Oxyquinoline, Clotrimazole, Natamycin suspension, Chlorhexidine. The posterior pharyngeal wall is treated, endopharyngeal installations and lavage of the inflamed tonsils are performed. It is important to alternate antiseptics every week.
In parallel, it is necessary to carry out the treatment of concomitant diseases that provoked mycosis of the throat. After performing the immunogram, the patient, if necessary, is prescribed therapy using immunomodulators.
If a patient seeks medical help in a timely manner, the disease is correctly diagnosed and appropriate treatment is carried out, then most often the fungus in the throat can be successfully treated. The prognosis for complete recovery with chronic disease is less favorable.
Prevention of throat fungus
For the prevention of the disease, doctors have developed the following recommendations:
- Antibiotic therapy should not be unnecessarily long. The course should last exactly as long as necessary to eliminate the bacterial infection and no more. You can not use antibacterial drugs to prevent ARVI. If a repeated antibacterial course is required, then antifungal therapy should be carried out in parallel.
- If treatment with corticosteroids, both local and systemic, is carried out, the condition of the oropharyngeal mucosa should be especially carefully monitored.
- After each meal, rinse your mouth with boiled water.
- The pastes used to clean the mouth must contain antimicrobial ingredients.
- Treatment of caries, tonsillitis, periodontitis, as well as other diseases of the oral cavity and pharynx should be timely.
Article author: Mochalov Pavel Alexandrovich | d. m. n. therapist
Education: Moscow Medical Institute. IM Sechenov, specialty - "General Medicine" in 1991, in 1993 "Occupational Diseases", in 1996 "Therapy".