Sore throat – Introduction
A sore throat is an inflammation of the pharynx, the region behind the throat. This symptom is predominantly the first indication that an individual is developing a cold or the flu. Common sore throat sensations include itchiness, swelling and discomfort arising from inflammation.
Taking quick action as soon as one experiences the first twinge of pain makes it easy to minimise the severity of the sore throat symptoms.
There are many over-the-counter remedies available for sore throats. But preferring home solutions which may already be in our kitchen or medicine cabinet, assists in reducing the pain and itchiness.
Remedies for Sore throat
Warm and cold fluids
Consuming warm liquids like tea or soup helps relieve a sore throat. One can also try iced water as a cool beverage option. The ideal option for a person will solely rely on their personal preferences.
Liquids assists in clearing mucous membranes and prevent sinus infections. By relieving throat discomfort, warm temperatures might help reduce coughing. Though cold fluids only provide temporary relief, they have a soothing effect on the throat.
Over-the-counter medications come with ingredients that reduce pain, clear up congestion, and stop the coughs that frequently comes with sore throats. Multiple symptoms are often treated with over-the-counter cold and flu medications.
On experiencing other symptoms besides a sore throat, be sure to list them to a pharmacist for quick relief.
Common over-the-counter painkillers include acetaminophen and ibuprofen. These medications are also helpful when both fever and sore throat are present. Sprays containing lidocaine are also available and can be used to numb the throat and offer momentary relief.
Honey possesses natural antibacterial characteristics that enable it to serve as a wound healer, providing rapid pain relief while reducing inflammation, making it one of the finest treatments for a sore throat. Honey can also destroy bacteria and aid in the defense against viral diseases.
Honey may work well as a cough suppressant during a persistent cough in addition to relieving a sore throat.
Adding two tablespoons of honey to a warm glass of water or tea and thoroughly stirring it makes an excellent remedy. Sipping this throughout the day is beneficial.
It’s crucial to remember that infants younger than one should not be given honey.
Salt water gargling
Warm salt water gargling is a regularly preferred home cure.
Warm liquids might assist in reducing the discomfort arising due to a sore throat. Saltwater is particularly beneficial for symptom relief because it can help in destroying bacteria, minimise pain and release mucus.
Only two simple ingredients—salt and warm water—are required to make a saltwater solution. Warm 8 ounces of water and add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of table salt. Warm water is essential since it aids in the dissolution of the salt.
Gargling with salt water is a commonly known home remedy. The technique to perform it is as follows.
- Prepare a saltwater solution
- Gargle the warm saltwater
- Instead of swallowing, spit the solution out.
- For sore throat relief, repeat as often as necessary.
Steaming and Humidifier
Dry weather can make sore throat sensations worse. Using a cool-air humidifier in the bedroom can prevent this irritation. A warm bath or shower might also help steam the upper respiratory system.
It may be therapeutic to sit in the steamy hot tub. Take a deep inhale of the throat-clearing magic (steam) to ease the symptoms. Steam helps humidify and calm a sore throat, as well as clear mucus.
Sometimes, a person only needs a pillow for resting the head and just closing the eyes to get adequate sleep.
One should never undervalue the benefits of physical relaxation for the body. A rise in pressure at the back of the throat while lying flat might occasionally result in throat swelling. Therefore, consider sitting up straight or reclining in a chair or an elevated bed to relieve the pain and suffering.
Remedies to avoid sore throat
Not all treatments for sore throats can provide sufficient relief. Avoiding the following two remedies can be helpful.
Apple cider vinegar
Although apple cider vinegar certainly has some antibacterial characteristics, it won’t help much with sore throat relief.
Neither their safety nor efficacy have been thoroughly investigated in clinical trials.
Apart from that, stay away from things like,
- Dry air
- Foods that are acidic or spicy
- Lying down immediately after eating, particularly if a person has acid reflux.
When to see a doctor for sore throat?
A visit to a doctor becomes mandatory when the patient has
- Severe, persistent throat pain that extends into the ear
- Throat ache that persists for more than a week
- Difficulty breathing, opening the mouth or swallowing
- Blood cough or blood in the saliva
- Lumps or swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Ear pain
- A rash or white patches on the back of the throat could imply fever or strep throat.
- Fever sensation
- Persistent hoarseness for more than a few weeks
- White spots are clearly seen on the throat’s back
- Bruising on the face or neck
Sore throat prevention
It is wise to keep in mind that when it comes to illnesses, prevention is always preferable to treatment.
- Stay away from smoking and passive smoking. Numerous hazardous compounds can irritate the lining of the throat in tobacco smoke, whether it is primary or secondary.
- An individual with a certain allergy is more likely to get a sore throat than people who don’t have allergies. This risk can be reduced with treatment for environmental or seasonal allergies.
- Stay away from irritating chemicals. Common home chemicals and airborne particles from the burning of fossil fuels can irritate the throat. In some circumstances, wearing a mask may assist reduce exposure.
- If a person frequently gets sinus infections or suffers from chronic postnasal drip, discharge from the nose or sinuses might also irritate the throat.
- As bacterial and viral diseases spread quickly in areas where individuals are close to one another, a person residing in such areas is more likely to develop a sore throat.
- Reducing contact with sick people and washing hands regularly help stop the spread of sore throat.
- Keep up good hygiene. Avoid using shared towels, cutlery or napkins with an infected individual. Regularly wash hands for at least 10 to 15 seconds with soap or a sanitising gel.
- Reduced immunity may make a person more vulnerable to infections in general. This may include HIV or Diabetes, steroid or chemotherapy treatment, a poor diet or excessive exhaustion.
A sore throat is often painful. A typical sore throat is set by a viral illness and will ultimately go away, but there are things an individual can do to ease the discomfort.
Having a supply of over-the-counter painkillers in the medicine cabinet is not the only solution. Additionally, there are simple, inexpensive at-home treatments for sore throats that benefit individuals of all ages, and one would probably already have the items in their cupboard.
Common sore throats typically disappear without treatment. An extended sore throat may require medical treatment.
How long will a sore throat last?
It depends on the cause of the sore throat. If a sore throat is brought on by a viral infection, such as a cold, it usually goes away in three to ten days.
If the cause of the sore throat is a bacterial illness like strep or allergies, it could stay longer if the right antibiotics or treatments are not given.
A sore throat should go away in a day or two after receiving the appropriate diagnosis and treatment for a bacterial infection.
Is cold water good for sore throat?
Cold beverages, ice chips and popsicles can soothe the throat, as may warm salt water and hot tea. Popsicles are particularly useful for young children because the ice acts as a short-term numbing agent to reduce pain.
What drink helps a sore throat?
Water, herbal or decaffeinated tea, broth, soup and non-caffeinated drinks can be consumed. Soothing beverages include hot tea with lemon and honey.
What should I avoid eating with a sore throat?
Avoiding the following foods is advisable for a sore throat.
8. Snack foods, such as potato chips or popcorn.