Sore throat is a frequently reported medical condition characterized by pain, tightness, and burning sensation in the throat area. Pain caused due to it may be associated with other symptoms like irritation, headache, swelling of the lymph nodes, and pain during swallowing. While common cold and strep throat are the probable reasons leading to throat pain, they may also indicate severe diseases like swine flu.
The prime causes of sore throat are infections by bacteria and viruses. Other causal factors include breathing through the mouth, inhaling polluted air, excessive smoking, and adverse reactions to allergens (pollens, pet dander, black mold). An individual having a sore throat pain has the mucous membrane lining of the lower pharyngeal portion inflamed. The soft plate and tonsils adjacent to it may also be affected causing swelling and inflammation.
Though sore throat pain is not a serious medical condition, treatment is imperative to soothe the pain and quicken the recovery. Therapeutic intervention for the same involves identifying the causal factor and advocating appropriate medications. If it is caused due to strep throat, it is treated with a complete antibiotic course; whereas, for patients with common cold, antiviral medicine is recommended. For allergy related throat pain, avoiding exposure to allergens is suggested. The following tips can help in relieving the associated pain and symptoms.
- Gargling with warm water with salt in it is considered the most effectual alternative. Dissolve one teaspoon of common salt in a glass of warm water. Use it for gargling, and repeat the same several times a day.
- Other curative solutions used for gargling are dilute aloe vera juice, cayenne pepper and water mixture (½ teaspoon cayenne pepper in 1 cup boiling water), grapefruit seed extract (5 drops extract in 1 cup water), and dilute apple cider vinegar (1 tablespoon vinegar in 1 cup water).
- It also includes taking lozenges which are available in different flavors, and are sold in pharmaceutical centers.
- Another home remedy is sipping hot beverages, preferably herbal tea made with curative herbs. The best hot drinks are ginger root tea, chamomile tea, thyme tea, licorice tea, and goldenseal tea.
- For people who do not like having herbal tea, drinking healthy fluids that contain lemon and honey is a good option. Also, one can simply mix lemon juice and honey to make a concentrated mixture, and have it several times a day. Likewise, combine equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and honey, and have it several times a day.
- Do not forget to drink lots of fluids. They lubricate the throat and keep the body hydrated. However, care should be taken while having juices prepared with citrus fruits, as increased acidity may aggravate the symptoms.
- Installing a dehumidifier can work well. It keeps the room humidity within the preferable range. Also, breathing becomes easy for those with congestion in the nasal passages.
In a nutshell, the effective remedies and suggested self care tips are similar to that of natural cold cures. For patients with viral infections and allergies, home remedies are useful to treat throat soreness. If symptoms persist even after adopting the above methods, one should consult the doctor.