By Medically reviewed by Panel Perubatan Hello Doktor

Know the basics

What is pharyngomycosis?

Pharyngomycosis is caused by fungi development in the mouth. It is a combination of pharyngitis and tonsillitis.

Pharyngitis is an inflammation of the inner membrane of the middle part of the pharynx – the part of the throat that is behind the mouth and nasal cavity.

Tonsillitis is inflammation of one or more part of the tonsils.

In most cases this disease is caused by yeast type fungi, and rarely by mold type fungi. Long-term use of drugs and certain medical conditions can also contribute to the development of the disease:

  • Antibiotics
  • Corticosteroids
  • Cytotoxic drugs
  • Trauma and chronic inflammatory in the throat
  • Diabetes
  • Tuberculosis


How common is pharyngomycosis?

This condition can occur at any age, but it is considered as more popular in children.

However, it can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.


What are the symptoms of pharyngomycosis?

In If you have this condition, you might experience:

  • Discomfort in the throat
  • Burning sensation
  • Dryness
  • Soreness
  • Tickling feeling in the throat
  • Red, swollen tonsils
  • White or yellow coating or patches on the tonsils
  • Sore throat
  • Difficult or painful swallowing
  • Enlarged, tender glands (lymph nodes) in the neck
  • A scratchy, muffled or throaty voice
  • Bad breath
  • Fever
  • Stomachache, particularly in younger children
  • Stiff neck
  • Headache

The most common symptom is pain. The pain is often moderate and increases when you swallow, spreading from the part beneath the floor of the mouth to the front of the neck and ear.

The pain is also accompanied by feeling of itchiness or burning sensation in the throat and tongue. These symptoms are caused by the fungi infections and can be followed by fever, headache.

In some cases, the infection can have episodes where the symptoms are worse (exacerbations) which often occur about 2-10 times/year. At these times, you might find patches of yellow on the throat and bleeding ulcers in the inner membrane.

Spread of fungi to the larynx, esophagus, formation of peritonsillar abscesses is possible.

When should I see my doctor?

Early diagnosis and treatment can stop this condition from worsening and prevent any other medical emergency, so talk to your doctor as soon as possible to prevent this serious condition.

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consulting with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.


What causes pharyngomycosis?

According to research, different types of yeast-like fungi of the genus Candida cause 93% of all cases.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for pharyngomycosis?

You may have higher risks for this condition if you are:

  • At a young age: This condition most often occurs in children, but rarely in those younger than age 2.
  • Frequent exposed to germs: School-age children are in close contact with their peers and frequently exposed to germs that can cause pharyngomycosis.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.


How is pharyngomycosis diagnosed?

If your doctor suspects that you may experience pharyngomycosis, a physical examination will be performed and some tests will be recommended.

Your doctor will ask you when you noticed the symptoms, how the symptoms progress, if you have any history with fungi infections, as well as any treatment you are or was under, especially treatments that involve antibiotics, corticosteroids, cytotoxic drugs.

How is pharyngomycosis treated?        

In treatment of pharyngomycosis, the following medications are often prescribed:

  • Nystan chewable tablets
  • Levorinum, dequalinium chloride
  • 1% gentian violet, 10% solution of sodium tetraborate in glycerol and Lugol iodine solution
  • Itraconazole by 100 mg daily
  • Ketoconazole 200 mg daily
  • Antimycotic agents amphotericin B in dose of 0.3 mg per kg a day during 3-7 days

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage pharyngomycosis?

To reduce the risks of pharyngomycosis, you should teach your children follow these steps:

  • Wash their hands thoroughly and frequently, especially after using the toilet and before eating.
  • Avoid sharing food, drinking glasses, water bottles or utensils.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

msBahasa Malaysia

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Review Date: February 10, 2017 | Last Modified: December 4, 2019

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