Colds occur mainly in the autumn and winter months. However, if there are additional symptoms, such as pain radiating into the ear with pressure-sensitive lymph nodes in the upper neck area, this can indicate a lateral strand angina.
What is a lateral angina?
Lateral angina is a special form of pharyngitis (inflammation of the throat). It occurs much less frequently than acute pharyngitis and mainly causes problems in the lymphatic vessels that run along the side of the pharyngeal wall. See ablogtophone for CBD which stands for Corticobasal Degeneration.
These are also referred to as side strands and are reddened and swollen in the event of inflammation and are populated with white specks. A lateral strand angina can also be associated with ear pain due to the spatial proximity of the lateral strands to the Eustachian tube. This forms the connection between the ear and the nose and throat. The patient also has difficulty swallowing and a sore throat, as well as general malaise with fatigue and possibly fever.
There is also a cough that is caused by irritation in the throat area. However, painful, swollen lymph nodes in the neck area are characteristic of a side strand angina. Pain, especially when swallowing, can radiate into the ears.
A side strand angina occurs more frequently in patients whose pharyngeal tonsils have been surgically removed, since the automatic protective function of the tonsils is no longer given and pathogens can thus penetrate the pharynx unhindered.
It usually occurs as a result of a cold caused by viruses, which first affects the nasal mucosa and triggers a cold. The inflammation then spreads in the throat area and leads to a sore throat and coughing. The lateral cords of the patients weakened by the previous cold are now colonized by bacteria. The causative agents of the side strand angina are primarily pneumococci or staphylococci.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
The first signs of side strand angina are a very reddened throat that is swollen on the sides. Sometimes yellowish dots or specks and coatings can be seen in the throat and on the tongue.
Compared to classic angina, the pain in the neck and pharynx is more pronounced in side-string angina. Frequently, there is a compulsion to clear the throat and swallow, which is perceived as very unpleasant. The pain in the neck area usually affects one side in particular.
Throat feels dry and raw, swallowing is painful. In addition to a general feeling of illness, accompanied by classic symptoms such as a runny nose and exhaustion, there is fever, which is lower than in classic angina. In addition, earache radiating from the neck and headaches as side effects can complement the clinical picture.
The doctor can determine whether the side strand angina has caused a middle ear infection. The lymph nodes under the ears are sensitive to pressure and swollen due to the acute inflammation. In severe cases, the lymph nodes are already visible from the outside. As the disease progresses, coughing is usually added, which can develop into a strong dry cough.
Diagnosis & History
The diagnosis of a side strand angina is characterized by the symptoms that occur. Above all, the pain radiating into the ears and an existing cold are trend-setting.
When inspecting the pharynx, the doctor can see the inflamed side cords. The exact pathogen can be determined by taking a swab from the affected area. If there is additional ear pain, the doctor can use the otoscope to see the ear and assess whether the inflammation has spread to the inner ear or the eardrum.
A possible complication of side strand angina is otitis media, which manifests itself with severe ear pain. The causative agents of the collateral angina can also cause an abscess in one of the tonsils or in the pharynx. However, the course of the disease depends on the individual immune system of the patient.
In most cases, a lateral strand angina proceeds without major complications. However, it should not be viewed as a harmless infection that can be ignored even if the patient is only suffering from a mild form. There is a risk of unpleasant consequences if the disease is treated insufficiently or not at all.
There is a risk of complications primarily in the case of a severe side strand angina, in the course of which the bacteria multiply rapidly. Whether there are sequelae also depends on the general state of health of the patient. If, for example, there are previous illnesses or weaknesses in the immune system, the risk of subsequent problems increases. The main symptoms are intense pain and an abrupt rise in fever.
Sometimes the lateral strand angina also occurs repeatedly. Otitis media (inflammation of the middle ear) or tympanic effusion are also among the effects of a lateral angina. There is also a risk of developing abscesses (collections of pus) in the throat or palate region.
Other conceivable complications of lateral angina are secondary diseases such as inflammation of the kidneys, rheumatic fever, inflammation of the pericardium (pericarditis), inflammation of the inner lining of the heart (endocarditis) or inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis).
In rare cases, the triggering germs penetrate into the bloodstream, which in turn causes dangerous blood poisoning (sepsis). The treatment of the patient must then take place in a hospital.
When should you go to the doctor?
Since side strand angina does not usually heal itself, this disease must always be treated by a doctor. Only proper medical treatment can prevent and limit further complications. The sooner the doctor is consulted, the better the course of the side strand angina.
A doctor should be consulted if the patient suffers from severe pain in the throat. These are permanent and will not go away on their own. Difficulty swallowing is also a sign of this disease. A doctor should also be consulted for lateral angina if the affected person suffers from severe pain in the ears or from exhaustion and fever. The lymph nodes also swell and the ears are very sensitive to sounds.
The side strand angina can usually be treated by a family doctor or an ENT doctor. Complications usually do not occur and the disease can be treated well.
Treatment & Therapy
A side strand angina does not require antibiotic treatment if it is mild. The patient should take it easy and stay in bed if possible. Nose drops and regular gargling are usually sufficient as therapy. A warm neck wrap can also provide relief.
A cloth dampened with warm water is tied around the neck and covered with a dry scarf. The wrap should be worn for at least an hour. If there is no improvement within three to six days and the fever does not go down, an antibiotic must be taken.
Taking a painkiller, which also has an antipyretic effect, can also help against the sore throat. It is important for the patient to drink a lot. However, milk and milk products should be avoided, as these increase the formation of mucus and thus the difficulty in swallowing.
Prevention of lateral angina is extremely difficult, especially for patients without tonsils, since possible pathogens can penetrate the pharynx unhindered. When a sore throat occurs, it is important to drink a lot and take it easy if possible to enable the body’s immune system to fight the pathogens.
A balanced diet and sufficient exercise generally contribute to strengthening the immune system. In addition, it is important to always wash your hands thoroughly in order to counteract the additional spread of pathogenic germs and thus possibly avoid side strand angina.
A side strand angina usually does not heal satisfactorily without medical treatment. For this reason, follow-up care by the family doctor is important in the case of a lateral angina in order to monitor the healing process. A control is advisable, especially when antibiotics are administered, since this treatment method may only be used for a limited period of up to two weeks.
Otherwise the effectiveness would decrease and the healing process would be delayed. If the prescribed medication does not work as expected and the healing process is prolonged as a result, the patient will be given more adequate medication for the symptoms as part of the aftercare. In this way, chronic angina is prevented and healing is accelerated. The options for aftercare for a side strand angina are very limited. The primary goal is to relieve and ultimately eliminate the symptoms.
If the patient’s condition deteriorates unexpectedly, if there is an additional high fever in addition to the inflammatory process in the side cords, or if the symptoms return after the treatment has been completed, a specialist doctor is also consulted. In this case, the previous treatment procedure is resumed or therapeutic alternatives are discussed together with the person concerned. A chronic side strand angina can heal completely with regular medical check-ups.
You can do that yourself
The side strand angina can often be significantly alleviated with self-help methods. The scratchy throat can often be easily controlled by drinking enough liquid. This starts with drinking enough water, which also stabilizes the circulation of weakened patients. In this context, we recommend still water and herbal teas, hot lemon or milk with honey. Sage is particularly helpful for its anti-inflammatory effects and can be gargled as a solution, brewed as a tea, or sucked on as a candy. Also inhalations, for example with freshly scalded chamomile blossoms from the pharmacyor health food store are a valuable aid in recovery. Rest supports the immune system in fighting the infection efficiently.
The classic neck wrap can also be used very well for side strand angina as part of self-help. A special form is the potato wrap: For this, potatoes are boiled until they are soft and then mashed with a fork. Wrapped in a soft kitchen towel, they are placed around the patient’s neck. A dry towel is wrapped over this again. The potatoes can stay on the neck until their heat fades.
A damp cloth in the room can make breathing much easier for those affected. A bowl of water in the bedroom of the affected person, which is simply placed on a radiator, has the same effect.