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Nasopharyngitis is commonly known as a cold. Doctors use the term nasopharyngitis specifically to refer to swelling of the nasal passages and the back of the throat. Your doctor may also refer to this as an upper respiratory infection or rhinitis.
A virus or bacteria can cause nasopharyngitis. It can spread through tiny air droplets that are expelled when a person infected with the virus:
You can also catch the virus or bacteria by touching an object that’s contaminated with the virus, such as a doorknob, toy, or phone, and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. The virus or bacteria can rapidly spread in any group setting, such as an office, classroom, or daycare center.
Nasopharyngitis is extremely common. It commonly affects more females than males. It can affect patients at any age. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
Symptoms will usually appear within one to three days of getting infected. Symptoms may last from one week to 10 days, but they can last longer. Common symptoms of nasopharyngitis include:
The symptoms may be irritating or painful, but they do not typically cause you lasting harm. There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.
If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.
Rhinovirus is the most common cold-causing virus. It’s highly contagious. More than 100 other viruses can cause colds.
Babies and children have a higher risk for colds. School children are especially at risk because the virus is so easily spread. Being in close contact with someone who has a cold will put you at risk. Any group situation where one or more people have colds can also put you at risk. That includes:
People with a weakened immune system are at an increased risk for viral nasopharyngitis. If you have a weakened immune system, wash your hands more often and avoid rubbing your eyes after touching doorknobs or other surfaces that may be contaminated.
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
To diagnose your cold, your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms. They will also perform a physical examination. Your doctor may look at your nose, throat, and ears. They may swab them to collect a sample to test for possible bacterial infection or influenza. Your doctor may also feel your lymph nodes to see if they’re swollen and listen to your lungs while you breath to determine if they’re filled with fluid.
If your nasopharyngitis keeps coming back, your doctor may refer you to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist for more tests.
Viral nasopharyngitis can’t be cured with antibiotics. Instead, your doctor will focus on treating your symptoms. Your symptoms should gradually improve in a few days with rest and plenty of fluids. Your doctor may suggest some over-the-counter remedies to relieve pain and help lessen symptoms.
Treatment in children
Some treatments that are appropriate for an adult may not be used in children. If your child has a cold, your doctor may recommend any of the following:
Ask your child’s pediatrician about dosage.
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage nasopharyngitis?
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with nasopharyngitis:
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.