For most of us, life gets so busy that we hardly notice several things that may be wrong with our body.
Sometimes these small symptoms are signs of our overall health and they may even point to a bigger and more sinister issue on hand.
In this article, we will discuss the causes and treatments for white spots on the throat. This article will also give you an overview of what these white spots may be and how to get rid of them.
What Are White Spots On The Throat?
Our throat reflects our health. For example, a sore throat indicates that we are down with the flu. Similarly, a long-lasting infection may cause white spots on the tonsils and throat. Your doctor can diagnose the exact cause of the white spots and suggest an apt treatment.
Causes And Treatments For White Spots On The Throat:
One of the most common reasons why you may notice the white spots on your throat is because of an infection. The infection may be caused due to virus, bacteria or even fungi.
The white spots may look like these:
- They may be located in and around your tonsils
- They may also be spread across your throat
Though the doctor will be able to tell you the actual diagnosis of why you got these white spots in the first place and to determine this he may make you go through blood tests or physical examination, here are four common reasons you may have them:
1. Strep Throat:
A strep throat is a sore throat and is mostly caused by bacteria. This throat problem is often contagious and you should look out for the signs and symptoms so that you do not pass it on to your colleagues or your family members.
The white spots will be visible on the tonsils and along with the pain, you will also notice these symptoms – nausea, vomiting, and fever, pain while eating, headache, rashes on the body and a swollen neck. Strep throat is easily curable with the right medicines.
If you see any of the above symptoms, you should definitely visit an ENT specialist and get checked for strep throat. An important thing to keep in mind is that you should always treat strep because ignoring it may lead to serious complications like a peritonsillar abscess or acute rheumatic fever.
Treating Strep Throat: Your doctor will take a throat culture and will ask you to have antibiotic medication.
Since you will also have throat pain, the doctor may prescribe you an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and/or ibuprofen (Advil). This will also be helpful to manage the other symptoms like fever and swelling.
2. Infectious Mononucleosis:
Just as the name suggests, infectious mononucleosis is a highly contagious viral infection that will also lead to white spots on your throat and tonsils.
It is commonly known as mono and you may also suffer from enlarged tonsils and swollen lymph glands due to it.
You might feel feverish and drained out all the time if you are suffering from this condition. You should almost certainly visit a doctor if you have any of the above symptoms.
Treating Mono: When we talk about the treatment of mono, since it is a viral infection the main focus is to provide relief from its painful symptoms.
If you have secondary infections, you may need to resort to antibiotics. Mono gets okay on its own so you will have to give your body plenty of rest and also have over-the-counter pain reliever like those mentioned for the treatment of strep throat.
In case of very severe symptoms, your doctor may also prescribe oral steroids.
3. Oropharyngeal Candidiasis:
Oropharyngeal candidiasis is also known as oral thrush. It is a yeast or fungal infection affecting the mouth and the throat. One of the first symptoms is obviously the white spots but these will also be accompanied by redness and soreness in the throat as well as pain while eating.
Treating Candidiasis: For the treatment of oral thrush, you will be prescribed an antifungal medicine. You will need to gargle it in and then swallow it. Nystatin is the medicine that is most commonly prescribed in case of an oral thrush infection.
There are other oral medications too like fluconazole (Diflucan) or itraconazole (Sporanox) and your doctor may suggest them too for treatment.
Last, but not the least, one of the most dangerous reasons why you might be getting these white spots may be due to a rare form of herpes in the throat:
4. Oral And Genital Herpes:
Oral herpes (HSV-1) is a very common viral infection. The infection may spread due to kissing, oral sex, or sharing the utensils or even food with a patient. Genital herpes (HSV-2) on the other hand is an infection that spreads through intimacy.
The above infections may cause sores on your lip and your genitals. And also, both the types of herpes will cause sores and white spots to appear on your throat as well as the tonsils.
In addition, you will also have an itching sensation in the affected area, accompanied by fever and flu. In the worst cases, urinary tract infection too may occur.
Treating Oral Herpes: The worst part about herpes is that it has no actual cure. There are plenty of anti-viral medications available and these include valacyclovir, (Valtrex), acyclovir (Zovirax), or famciclovir (Famvir) and will be prescribed to you only by a doctor.
Your physician may also resort to topical anaesthetics to help you tackle the throat pain. Common medicine for throat pain includes Lidocaine (LMX 4, LMX 5, AneCream, RectiCare, RectaSmoothe).
So here are some of the common reasons why you might get white spots. Always remember that the white spots on your throat are there due to an underlying infection and the sooner you get it treated, the better.
The first warning signs are when the white spots refuse to go away after a day or two. Book an appointment and visit a doctor. These white spots are not difficult to treat if you give them proper medical attention at the right time.