What Helps With a Sore Throat? The Truth About Sore Throat Relief
When you have a sore throat, what helps the most? Is it eating spicy food? Drinking tea? Or taking medicine? There are many things that help cure a sore throat, but none of them work all the time.
Sometimes, when you have a sore throat, you just need some relief. Whether you have a cold, flu, or strep throat, there are several things that you can try to relieve your symptoms.
Here are some tips on how to treat a sore throat naturally.
Common Causes of a Sore Throat (And How to Avoid Them)
A sore throat is often caused by throat irritation, such as from a cold, flu, allergy, or infection. However, sometimes people get a sore throat with no obvious reason.
The chief causes of a sore throat include:
1. Cold and Flu Symptoms
Cold and flu symptoms are very common in children, but they are also quite common among adults as well. When you have these sore throat symptoms, you may notice that your throat becomes sore. This soreness usually lasts for a few days after the cold or flu has passed. If you have a fever, then your throat will be even more sore. You should see your doctor if you think you might have a cold or flu.
2. Sinus Infection
Sinus infections are one of the most common causes of a sore throat. Your sinuses are behind your nose. They are filled with air. When you breathe through your nose, you push out air from your sinuses. These sinuses contain mucous membranes which line the inside of your nasal passages. Mucus keeps everything clean by trapping bacteria and other germs.
Allergic reactions to pollen, dust mites, mold, cat dander, ragweed, etc., can cause a sore throat. Allergens irritate your body's immune system. It sends white blood cells to attack the allergens. Sometimes the white blood cells get stuck in your throat, causing irritation.
Allergy triggers include:
- Dust mites
- Airborne irritants like cigarette smoke and perfume
An allergy specialist can diagnose your allergies. He or she can tell you whether you're allergic to certain foods, animals, plants, or substances.
4. Symptoms of Strep Throat
Strep throat is actually an infection of the tonsils. Tonsils are two small glands at the back of your mouth. They're shaped like little tennis balls. The tonsils are part of your lymphatic system. Lymph fluid drains into the tonsils, where it filters out any foreign particles.
Strep bacteria live in the tonsil area. When you have a sore throat from strep, you probably feel pain in your neck and face. You may also have swollen glands under your jawbone.
Colds are very contagious. Most people who catch a cold get better within 2-7 days. However, sometimes the virus gets stuck in your lungs and stays there. That's why you may feel tired and weak for weeks!
Swollen neck glands are another symptom of a cold.
The best way to avoid bacterial throat infection is to wash hands frequently. Use hand sanitizer or antibacterial soap before touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Wash your hands before preparing meals. Also, cover your cough. Cover your cough with a tissue or your sleeve. Do not blow your nose without washing your hands first.
How Does It Feel To Have A Sore Throat From Allergies?
The most common symptoms of a sore throat include pain, swelling, and difficulty swallowing. If you feel you're having trouble breathing through your nose, it's likely because of congestion caused by a stuffy nose. Other symptoms may include fever, headache, chills, and body aches.
A cold virus or flu virus can make your throat worse. Your throat may become swollen, red, or irritated. You may experience a dry or scratchy feeling in your throat. You may also notice a thick yellowish discharge coming from your nose.
If you have a strep throat, you may experience a burning sensation when you swallow. You may also have an unpleasant taste in your mouth. You may also feel dizzy or lightheaded.
How to Get Rid of a Cold/Sore Throat
Sore throat treatment depends on how long you've had it and whether you have a fever. If you have a mild case of a sore throat, you can take sore throat medicine such as ibuprofen (Advil), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or aspirin. Try to limit yourself to no more than 4 tablets per day. Drink plenty of fluids.
Throat lozenges containing xylitol may help relieve the discomfort of a sore throat. Xylitol is found naturally in fruits such as apples and pears. Be careful if you use these products since they can be toxic if taken in large amounts.
Using numbing throat spray or gargling with salt water will temporarily numb the area and help ease the pain.
Get Rid of Pain Fast with Natural Remedies for Sore Throat
Using an all-natural sore throat remedy can help soothe your throat while relieving other symptoms associated with a sore throat. Here are some natural remedies for sore throats:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar – This is one of the oldest home remedies for sore throats. It’s easy to make and has been used for centuries. Simply mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and warm water. Apply directly to the affected areas and leave on for 15 minutes. Repeat every hour until the soreness subsides.
2. Honey – Honey is another great option for sore throats. Mix 1 tablespoon of honey with a little bit of lemon juice. Add enough hot water to make a paste. Then apply to the affected area. Leave on overnight and rinse off in the morning.
3. Hot Compress – Heat packs can be very effective at soothing a sore throat. Make sure you don't burn yourself! Place a towel over your head and place several ice cubes inside it. Wrap the towel around your neck and hold it there tightly. Keep repeating this process until the heat feels good.
4. Salt Water Gargle – Another simple way to get rid of a sore throat is to gargle with salt water. Fill a glass halfway full of room temperature water and add 2 teaspoons of table salt. Stir well and then drink immediately. Do not swallow the salt water.
5. Peppermint Tea – Peppermint tea is a popular choice among sore throat sufferers. Boil two cups of water and pour into a teapot. Allow the water to cool slightly before adding four bags of peppermint tea. Steep the tea for 10 minutes and strain out the leaves. Enjoy!
6. Warm Lemonade – For those who prefer something sweet, try drinking a cup of warm lemonade. It's a refreshing way to beat the winter blues.
7. Ginger Root -Ginger root is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It can be added to food or made into a tea. To prepare ginger tea, grate half a teaspoon of fresh ginger root. Pour boiling water over the grated ginger root and let steep for 5 minutes. Strain out the ginger root and enjoy.
Is Ice Cream Good For Sore Throat?
Having ice cream for a sore throat isn't necessarily a bad idea. However, it should only be done under certain circumstances. You should never eat ice cream when you're sick because it could actually make your condition worse.
Acidic foods like oranges, tomatoes, and pickles can also aggravate a sore throat. If you have a sore throat, avoid eating acidic foods. Instead, opt for soft drinks, broth, and chicken soup. These soft foods are less likely to irritate your throat.
If you decide to indulge in ice cream, make sure you buy dairy free varieties. Dairy products contain lactose which may worsen your sore throat.
Can a Sore Throat Be Prevented or Avoided?
A sore throat can be caused by many factors. It's important to know which ones are likely to cause it so that you can take steps to avoid them. For example, if you're prone to getting a cold, then staying away from people who already have one will reduce your chances of catching it. If you're allergic to something, avoiding it may prevent a reaction. And if you've got a sinus infection, taking antibiotics early on could prevent it from spreading to your tonsils.
Having warm beverages such as tea and soup can help relieve a sore throat. Drinking plenty of fluids is essential when your throat hurts. This includes water, but also juices and other healthy beverages. Avoid alcohol, which can dry up your mucous membranes.
Acidic beverages and sugar beverages can exacerbate a sore throat. Stick to plain water or juice. Avoid anything else that contains artificial flavors or preservatives.
While these remedies won't cure a sore throat, they can help ease symptoms and speed recovery. Try using them regularly to keep your throat feeling better.
When to See a Doctor for a Sore Throat?
A sore throat may show a viral infection like the common cold or influenza. If it's accompanied by fever, chills, headache, or body aches, see your doctor right away.
A shortness of breath may indicate a bacterial infection. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience difficulty breathing. Other signs include a cough that produces greenish or yellow phlegm, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
Besides seeing your doctor, you might want to visit your dentist. Your dentist may identify dental problems that contribute to a sore throat.
Sore throats are usually self-limiting. They typically go away within two weeks without treatment. However, if you don't get better after two weeks, contact your doctor. He or she may prescribe medications or recommend additional treatments.
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