Sore throat is irritation or inflammation of the throat, caused by a bacterial infection, virus or wound. Many cases of strep throat are associated with colds, and will go away on their own after a day or two with adequate rest and fluid intake. Some cases of strep throat are difficult to treat, and can be a sign of a viral or bacterial infection, such as mononucleosis or strep throat. Check out the general tips below for home remedies, and the procedures your doctor recommends.
Home Therapy to Relieve Sore Throat
Make a mouthwash to help reduce swelling and discomfort. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt with about 250 ml of warm water. Put this liquid down the end of your throat, and gargle with your head slightly raised, and spit out the water. Gargle every hour or so.
Option: Put a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar in a mouthwash and gargle as usual. Don’t be swallowed!
Use lozenges that you can buy without a prescription to relieve sore throats. Many herbal lozenges you can buy contain analgesics such as lemon or honey.
Some lozenges, such as Sucrets Maximum Strength or Spec-T, are safe and effective and contain a drug (a local anesthetic) that numbs your throat to relieve pain.
Try not to take lozenges containing anesthetics for more than three days, as these can mask serious bacterial infections such as streptococcus (strep throat) that require medical treatment.
Use a throat spray for pain relief. Like lozenges, throat sprays, such as Cepacol, can help relieve pain by numbing the surface of the throat. Follow the instructions on the label for the correct dosage, and consult your doctor or pharmacist regarding its use with other medications or therapies.
Relieve your sore throat with a warm compress. You can relieve a sore throat with hot tea, lozenges and throat sprays, but how do you relieve pain from the outside? Place a warm compress on the outside around your neck. You can use a heating pad, a hot water bottle, or a warm towel.
Make a water bath from chamomile tea. Make one cup of chamomile tea (or soak 1 tablespoon of dried chamomile flowers in 1-2 cups of boiling water and let it sit). Once your tea is warm enough to touch, soak a clean towel in it, squeeze it, and place it around your neck, repeating as needed.
Make a plaster with salt and water. Mix 2 cups of salt with 5 to 6 teaspoons of lukewarm water to make a moist but not soggy mixture. Place the salt in the center of a clean, small towel. Roll up the towel to the long side, and wrap it around your neck. Cover this towel plate with another dry towel. Leave it on your neck as long as you want.
Use a humidifier or steam therapy to relieve pain. Warm or cold steam moving through the humidifier can help soothe your throat, though be careful not to make your room too cold or humid to be uncomfortable.
Use steam therapy with warm water and a small towel. Bring 2 – 3 cups of water to a boil for a while and turn off the heat. (Optional: boil chamomile, ginger or lemon tea in water.) Let it sit for 5 minutes. Place your hand over the steam coming out of the water to see if the steam is too hot. Pour the water into a large bowl, place a towel over your head, and rest your head over the steam escaping from the bowl. Breathe deeply through your mouth and nose for 5 – 10 minutes. Repeat as needed.
Take paracetamol or ibuprofen. For pain relief, it’s okay to take paracetamol and ibuprofen, but avoid giving aspirin to children under the age of 20, as the combination has been linked to a serious condition called Reye’s syndrome. Follow the dosing instructions listed on the label exactly.
General Health Therapy to Relieve Sore Throat
Plenty of rest. Try to sleep during the day, if possible, and stay asleep as usual at night. Try to sleep longer than your daily routine, which is about 11-13 hours while you still feel symptoms.
Wash or sanitize your hands more often. It’s no secret that our hands are vectors of bacteria: We touch our faces and other objects, increasing the chances of spreading bacteria. Washing your hands frequently while you have a sore throat, or fever, will prevent the transmission of bacteria.
Drink lots of fluids, especially water. Water can help thin secretions in the throat, and warm liquids can help relieve symptoms of throat irritation. Keeping your body well-hydrated will help it fight off the infection and get over a sore throat more quickly.
Try to drink 3 liters of water a day for men, and 2.2 liters a day for women.
If you have a fever or show signs of dehydration, avoid drinking too much coffee. Consumption of coffee more than 1.2 liters (6 cups) a day is a diuretic, meaning that coffee will dehydrate your body. However, recent research has found that normal coffee consumption does not hinder the body’s ability to retain fluids. , this means that drinking less than 6 cups of coffee a day is quite safe and there is no need to worry about dehydration.
Drinking sports drinks that contain electrolytes, such as Gatorade, will help your body replace the salt, sugar, and other essential minerals it needs to fight a sore throat.
Shower every morning and night. Frequent steamy showers. Bathing will help cleanse your body, and provide freshness, as well as provide an opportunity for the steam to soothe your sore throat.
Drink Vitamin C. Vitamin C functions as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds that are formed when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. The scientific evidence as to whether vitamin C specifically helps relieve sore throats on its own is controversial, but vitamin C certainly won’t make your sore throat worse. You might as well take it.
Other antioxidant-rich foods include: green tea, blueberries, and cranberries, nuts, artichokes, prunes, apples and pecans, and many others.
Make garlic tea. This drink is very beneficial because garlic is a natural antibiotic.
Chop fresh garlic (medium slices).
Put the pieces of garlic into the cup/mug. Fill with water.
Put the cup in the microwave . Simmer for 2 minutes.
Take out the cup. While still hot, discard the garlic pieces.
Add your favorite tea bag (preferably a tea with a certain flavor so it can reduce the garlic aroma), such as vanilla-flavoured tea.
Add a little honey or other sweetener (to taste, so that the taste of the drink becomes more delicious).
Drink some garlic tea (teabags and sweetener should make it taste good). You can drink this tea as much as you want.
Foods to Avoid During Sore Throat
Avoid dairy products such as milk, butter, or ice cream. For some people, dairy products cause an increase in phlegm production.
Avoid foods that contain too much sugar such as cupcakes or cakes while suffering from strep throat. Foods that contain sugar can irritate the throat. Popsicles, especially ones that don’t contain sugar, can still be consumed because they can help soothe a sore throat.
Avoid cold food and drinks. Don’t let the cold sensation fool you: you want to maintain your body temperature. Try drinking something warm, even if it doesn’t taste too good.
Try not to eat citrus fruits. Fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and tomatoes can actually make a sore throat worse. Therefore, you should choose grapes or apple cider which are also refreshing, but not too sour.
Sore Throat Signs Need Medical Attention
If your sore throat lasts more than three days, see a doctor. Better safe than sorry. Your doctor can look at your throat, describe your symptoms, and perform tests that will hopefully get you back on track.
Check for symptoms of strep throat. Your sore throat may be just that – inflammation. However, it is possible that what you thought was strep throat turned out to be a potentially dangerous infection. Watch for these signs when you have a sore throat:
Severe and sudden sore throat without flu symptoms (coughing, sneezing, runny nose, etc.).
Fever over 38.3° C. Fever with a lower temperature indicates a possible viral infection, not strep.
Swelling of the lymph nodes under the neck.
White or yellow spots or a coating on the throat and tonsils.
The throat is bright red or dark red spots on the roof of the mouth on the back near the throat.
Red spots on the neck or other body parts.
Check for signs of mononucleosis, or mono. Mono is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus and is usually associated with adolescents and young adults, as most adults have immunity to this virus. Symptoms of mono include:
High fever, between 38.3° – 40° C, with chills.
Sore throat, with white patches on the tonsils.
Swollen tonsils, and swollen lymph nodes all over the body.
Headaches, fatigue and lack of energy.
Pain in the left upper abdomen, near the spleen. If the spleen is painful, seek medical attention immediately, as this could mean that your spleen is ruptured.