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MRSA In Throat
Jamie0999 posted:
I am 19 years old. I am going to start from the beginning, about 5 months ago, i had an extreme sore throat. I was at work and i hit the floor and felt like i could not breathe. The doctor told me that i had something called esophagitis?! But they never ran any tests, just sent me home. I went back to the hospital about 2 weeks ago because my throat and the back of my neck were hurting badly once again. They told me i was negative for strep throat and flu, and sent me home. 2 days later, i got a call from the doctors office and the nurse told me that i tested positive for MRSA in my throat. I do not have the money to go to the doctor. So my questions are, could MRSA be the cause of my problems for so many months? Is it dangerous to not be treated? How would i be treated if i could go to the doctor? And could i spread this to my family? Please tell me all the info. you know on this matter...I do not know what to do!
Jamie0999 responded:
I also forgot to mention that my jaw has been hurting this past month or so, it is not a bad pain, but when i try to eat, it gets tired and i feel like i cant move my mouth. I have also been very fatigued.
Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
If you truly have MRSA, it would be wise to be treated. Treatment is with oral antibiotics in most cases, and can be done by your doctor's office. MRSA can spread (that's how you got it). As far as MRSA being the cause of all of our problems in the last month, I have no way of knowing that based solely on your brief posting. Your doctor -- someone who has the ability to examine you and take a detailed medical history -- is really the only one that can make this determination.

Insurance or not, it would be important for you to get treatment, so ask your family for a little financial help, or find a free clinic.
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Jamie0999's response:
Regarding your jaw, Jamie....

This could be TMJ, but again, without the ability to examine you first hand, you cannot be adequately diagnosed.

Fatigue is an even more complex medical issue, with dozens of causes.
Jamie0999 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
I looked up the symptoms of TMJ, and was surprised to find that all of my symptoms, including my ear and throat problems, matched up. I am going to try to get into a doctor to have it checked out. Could you tell me how TMJ comes about?
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Jamie0999's response:
Temporomandibular joint pain and dysfunction affects some 10 million people in the U.S. and is a frequent concern of people posting on the WebMD ENT Board. One researcher estimated that 75% of the U.S. population will experience one or more symptoms associated with this common joint and connective tissue disorder sometime in their lives. Ninety percent of people who seek a diagnosis or treatment for TMJ are women, mostly of childbearing age. Although this condition is common, it is not well understood by many primary care clinicians and misdiagnosis is common. Furthermore, TMJ is often blamed for a variety of ear-related disorders without a valid medical investigation. Although an x-ray, CT scan, or MRI are often helpful, the diagnosis of this disorder is often made solely on the patient's report of symptoms. Consequently, this diagnosis is often wrong.

TMJ pain is triggered by movements in the jaw, such as chewing or speaking, or the psychogenic grinding of the teeth at night (bruxism). TMJ disorders can cause a plethora of symptoms in other anatomical areas, such as headaches and ear pain. Dizziness, neck pain, shoulder pain, tinnitus (ringing of the ears), swallowing difficulties, and sleep disturbances may also happen.

The first step for any person that believes that have a TMJ disorder is to be properly diagnosed. This usually requires the intervention of a specialist, either a dentist or oral surgeon that specializes in TMJ disorders, or a good ENT.

The next step involves management, with a goal to reduce pain and improve jaw function. A comprehensive approach that may include medications, physical therapy, and possibly intraoral appliances is optimum. Certain lifestyle modifications are often necessary, such as avoiding "chewy" foods, gum chewing, nail-biting, and excessive talking. People who are prone to teeth-clenching and grinding (bruxism) may need a custom mouth guard at night.

Pain and inflammation is often controlled by the use of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as ibuprofen. In severe cases, short-term steroids are used, as well as muscle relaxants and antianxiety medications. Physical therapy, such as hot/cold compresses, jaw exercises, muscle-stretching, and massage can be very helpful in all cases. If anxiety and stress are underlying issues, this must be addressed, either by relaxation therapy or psychological intervention.

TMJ disorders remain a frustrating problem for the patient and the treating clinician. The best hope appears to be a combination of therapies, coupled by a good attitude. Many things in medicine cannot be cured, but they can be effectively treated.

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