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The throat includes the esophagus, windpipe or trachea, epiglottis, voice box, and tonsils. It is an important part of our anatomy, helping us to eat, breathe, and speak. The throat may be referred to as the pharynx by medical professionals. Pharyngeal disorders and infections are common, so it is extremely important to know when to seek medical treatment to avoid long-term complications

At Acadian Ear, Nose, Throat, & Facial Aesthetics, we have board-certified otolaryngologists that have specialized in throat disorders to bring the most comprehensive care to patients in Acadiana! Below are just a few of the conditions that we have experience in diagnosing and treating. If you have additional questions or need more information, please call our office at (337) 237-0650 to schedule a consultation with our throat specialists.

The tonsils are two large lymph nodes, located in the back of the mouth at the top of your throat. These lymph nodes help to filter bacteria and other foreign invaders to protect us from infection. Sometimes, viruses and bacteria can bypass them and cause infection of the tonsils – known as tonsilitis. Symptoms of tonsilitis can include inflammation of the tonsils, fever, fatigue, sore throat that may be severe, swollen lymph nodes in the neck or jaw, white or gray patches on the tonsils, and painful swallowing.

Both bacterial infections and viruses can trigger tonsilitis, so take precautions to avoid spreading germs to others. Avoid going out in public when sick, wash your hands frequently, cover your coughs and sneezes, and don’t share food or drink with others. Antibiotics are prescribed to treat tonsilitis caused by bacteria, and antiviral medication is used to treat tonsilitis caused by viruses. If you experience recurring infections, your doctor may recommend a tonsillectomy – surgical removal of the tonsils. If periodontal abscesses form, treatment may be required immediately to prevent them from blocking your airway.

 Adenoid Enlargement
The adenoids are another set of lymph nodes, located behind the nose where the upper airway connects to the back of the throat, which assists the immune system in preventing infection. Frequent infections or hereditary conditions can cause both the adenoids and tonsils to become larger than they should be, which may cause issues with breathing, swallowing, and sleeping. Symptoms of enlarged adenoids include nasal congestion, snoring and/or sleep apnea, sore throat, difficulty breathing through the nose, swollen lymph nodes in the neck or jaw, and painful swallowing.

To diagnose enlarged adenoids, your physician will examine them with an endoscope that is inserted through the nasal cavity. If the enlarged adenoids are not infected, they may be hereditary and not cause problems. If symptoms are present, your doctor may recommend an adenoidectomy to excise the inflamed glands. Often, the tonsils and the adenoids are removed at the same time.

Swallowing Disorders
Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, can severely affect your overall health and quality of life. Patients with this condition have difficulty eating and drinking, which can make maintaining proper nutrition difficult. Dysphagia can be caused by several things, including structural abnormalities within the esophagus, neurologic disorders, throat conditions like acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease, stroke, certain kinds of cancer, or traumatic injury.

Symptoms of a swallowing disorder can include painful or complete inability to swallow, regurgitation, acid reflux or heartburn, weight loss, the sensation of food being “stuck” in your throat, hoarseness, coughing or gagging while swallowing, and others. Swallowing is a complex process that involves many different muscles, tissues, and nerves. Damage to these tissues from external trauma or as a result of other diseases can lead to dysphagia and may require medical intervention.

Viral & Bacterial Infections
Throat infections are common, and can take many different forms depending on the virus or bacteria that causes them. Some of the most common viral causes of a throat infection are the common cold, influenza, and mononucleosis. The main causes of bacterial throat infections are the group A streptococcus bacteria that cause strep throat.

The signs of both kinds of infection are generally the same, with different testing methods to help to distinguish them. Symptoms generally include sore throat, fever, painful swallowing, fatigue, headaches, and inflamed lymph nodes in the neck or jaw. For patients with the common cold, nasal congestion, runny nose, and cough may also occur. People with strep throat may notice white or gray patches on the soft palate in the back of the throat.

Treatment of a viral throat infection varies. Most viral throat infections are treated with over-the-counter pain medication like Tylenol and Motrin, or OTC cough & cold medicine like Robitussin and Mucinex. Other infections may require antiviral medication, like Tamiflu for influenza. Antibiotics are prescribed to treat bacterial throat infections like strep throat, and patients must take the full course of treatment even if they feel better after just a few days. Taking the full course of antibiotics ensures that all bacteria are eliminated so that they cannot mutate to become antibiotic-resistant.

What to Expect on Your First Visit

Our resource center provides support to our patients and offers helpful information to make your experience as pleasant as possible. We have a number of patient information forms available for download, as well as pre- and post-operative surgery instructions, insurance providers and a list of frequently asked questions. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Give us a call and we’ll help you out.


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