What is a sore throat?
When you have a sore throat, your throat hurts. It has an irritated or itchy feeling. You might have a dull pain or a burning ache. Swallowing might aggravate a sore throat. Ear infections and sinus infections are potential side effects of a sore throat. Another complication is an abscess (buildup of pus) near your tonsils.
Sore throat symptoms
Symptoms of a sore throat: A sore throat means that your throat hurts and is irritated, swollen, or scratchy. It usually hurts worse when you swallow. Depending on the cause of your sore throat, symptoms include:
- White spots on your throat or tonsils
- Red, swollen tonsils
- Swollen glands in your neck
- Skin rash
In some cases, additional symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain (usually in children)
- Vomiting (usually in children)
- Joint or muscle pain
What causes a sore throat?
Most sore throats are caused by viruses, such as the cold or flu virus. Some of the more serious causes of sore throat include tonsillitis, strep throat, and mononucleosis (mono). Other causes include smoking, mouth breathing at night while you sleep, pollution, and allergies to pets, pollens and molds. General anesthesia during surgery can cause a sore throat.
Sore throat diagnosis
How is a sore throat diagnosed? Your doctor will do a physical exam. They will look at the back of your throat. Your doctor may swab the back of your throat. This is called a throat culture. The goal is to gather a sample of bacteria. Additionally, a quick strep test uses this. To identify strep throat, use this fast test. The test won’t tell if your sore throat is caused by something other than strep. The results of a throat culture takes between 24 and 48 hours. If your doctor thinks you may have mono, they will probably do a blood test.
Sore throat prevention
Can a sore throat be prevented or avoided? Avoiding sickness is the greatest approach to avoid getting a sore throat. A sore throat is caused by viruses and bacteria, so try to avoid getting them or transmitting them. frequent hand washing. Don’t touch your mouth or eyes. When you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth.
Sore Throat Treatment
How to help a sore throat: If your sore throat is caused by the flu, your doctor may prescribe antiviral medicine. Antibiotics don’t work on viruses. Most sore throats caused by a cold or flu-type virus go away in a week to 10 days.
If your sore throat is caused by bacteria, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic. You will feel better in a few days. It is important to take all of your antibiotics. This reduces the risk that your sore throat will return. Symptoms caused by mono can last for 4 weeks or more. The treatment for mono is rest and reduced exercise.
If a sore throat is caused by allergies, your doctor may talk to you about allergy triggers. He or she may recommend medicine for the allergy.
If your sore throat is caused by tonsillitis, you may need an operation. This is called a tonsillectomy. The surgery removes your tonsils. Most people who have tonsillitis don’t need surgery. You might need surgery if you get severe tonsillitis often. You may need surgery if your tonsils are too big.
Sore Throat Remedies
What kills a sore throat fast overnight? Is there anything that can help? A sore throat makes it more difficult to eat, drink, sleep, talk and generally function — and who wants that? Try some of Dr. Mclee Tembo’s time-tested home remedies for sore throat relief in the interim.
1. Warm and cold fluids
Drink hot liquids like tea or chicken soup. (It’s not just good for the soul, you know!) Or try cold liquids, such as ice water or popsicles. Your preferences and what best relaxes your throat will determine what you do.
“Liquids help clear mucous membranes, keep things flowing and prevent sinus infections,” says Dr. Mclee Tembo. Warm temperatures may also reduce coughs by soothing the back of your throat. Try both warm and cold to see what works best for you.
Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of salt — or a similar amount of baking soda — in a glass of warm water. Gargle (but don’t swallow) the concoction every three hours for an all-natural sore throat remedy.
3. Antihistamines and pain relievers
An antihistamine may dull or relieve throat pain. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen also help with pain that’s located a little deeper in your glands and other parts of your neck.
“Histamines are chemicals that help your immune system fight foreign substances. But sometimes, they go overboard, triggering symptoms (such as congestion and post-nasal drip) that can make a sore throat feel worse,” explains Dr. Mclee Tembo. Antihistamines can counteract this overreaction.
4. Steam and humidity
Take a hot shower. When it gets really steamy, breathe in the throat-clearing magic. Dr. Mclee Tembo says steam loosens mucus and can moisturize and soothe a sore throat.
5. Hot toddy
A hot toddy is a drink combo made with water, whiskey, honey and lemon juice and served hot. Some people add spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger. Oh yeah — you should also be of legal drinking age to try this one. Sorry, kids.
Dr. Mclee Tembo shares why hot toddies can be very soothing:
- Honey coats your throat and soothes it by reducing irritation. Honey also has antibacterial properties, and the sweetness can calm your throat’s nerve endings and reduce coughing. See 6 Amazing Health Benefits of Raw Honey
- Whiskey (a small amount; too much can dehydrate you) breaks up and thins mucus. Whiskey also dilates your blood vessels on the surface of your throat, so immune cells in your blood can multiply and fight the infection.
- Spices stimulate saliva production, improving both hydration and mucus flow in your throat.
Put your head on your pillow at a decent hour and close your eyes. Repeat as necessary.
“Don’t underestimate physically resting your body and voice,” Dr. Mclee Tembo says. But beware: Lying flat can sometimes cause swelling due to an increase in pressure at the back of your throat. Instead, try elevating the bed or sitting propped up or in a chair to alleviate the pain and discomfort.
Home Remedies for Sore Throat to Avoid
Not all sore throat treatments are made equal, Dr. Mclee Tembo cautions. He advises avoiding these two:
- Apple cider vinegar. “It probably has some antibacterial properties, but that’s not going to do much for the sore throat itself.” See 7 Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits that will Blow your Mind
- Essential oils. “They haven’t been well-studied or clinically proven for safety or effectiveness.” See 7 Best Essential Oils to Treat Skin Rashes
And avoid things that can irritate your throat, including:
- Dry air.
- Acidic foods or spicy foods.
- Lying down immediately after you eat, especially if you have acid reflux.
How long does a sore throat last?
It really depends on what’s causing your sore throat. “Most sore throats will dissipate within three to 10 days if it’s caused by a viral infection like a cold,” says Dr. Mclee Tembo.
If a bacterial infection like strep or allergies is the culprit, your sore throat could last longer if not treated with appropriate antibiotics or medications.
Once you’re properly diagnosed and treated for a bacterial infection, your sore throat should clear up within a day or so.
What kills a sore throat fast at-home?
Some home remedies only mask pain—but these solutions can help you get rid of your sore throat completely.
- Gargle with salt water—but steer clear of apple cider vinegar.
- Drink extra-cold liquids.
- Suck on an ice pop
- Fight dry air with a humidifier
- Skip acidic foods
- Swallow antacids
- Sip herbal teas.
Best tea for sore throat
Tea for sore throat: According to research, green tea has anti-inflammatory qualities that may help reduce the swelling associated with sore throats. Dr. Mclee Tembo believes that the act of sipping and swallowing when consuming a beverage like tea may be even more significant. This minimizes bothersome coughing. Warm liquid can also help remove throat phlegm.
More best tea for sore throat include:
- Licorice Root Tea
- Chamomile Tea
- Turmeric Tea
- Green Tea
- Peppermint Tea
- Marshmallow Root Tea
- Lemon Tea
- Slippery Elm Tea
Can allergies cause sore throat?
Yes, among other symptoms, allergies can occasionally create a sore throat. All of this is a function of how your body defends itself against allergic responses. Your body produces histamines into your system after being exposed to an allergic trigger.
Is a sore throat a sign of covid
The common cold can also cause a sore throat. And, more recently, we’ve discovered that a sore throat is a sign of COVID-19. One of the early symptoms of COVID is a fever. However, as different strains of COVID spread, it’s possible to have a COVID sore throat and no fever or other symptoms. But, Dr. Mclee Tembo said, it’s more common to have other symptoms in addition to a sore throat if you have COVID.
“Only about 5-10% of COVID-19 patients will have an isolated sore throat. Usually, they will have a touch of fever, loss of taste and smell and difficulty breathing.”
What does COVID sore throat feel like?
According to Dr. Mclee Tembo, it might have the same symptoms as a cold. Because of this, it can be challenging to distinguish between a cold and a mild case of COVID. Knowing that a sore throat is a COVID symptom makes it much more difficult to distinguish between the two. Both the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and the common cold can produce symptoms that are similar to one other.
When to see a doctor about throat pain
Dr. Mclee Tembo advises using common sense when deciding whether to seek out medical care.
Call your doctor if you:
- Have throat pain that’s severe, prolonged or not improving, or stretches into your ear.
- Have trouble swallowing, breathing or opening your mouth.
- Are coughing up blood or have blood in your saliva.
- Feel enlarged lymph nodes, or lumps, in your neck.
- Have white patches on the back of your throat or a rash, possible signs of strep throat or scarlet fever.
- Have a high fever.
- Lose your voice for more than a week or two.
And remember, when it comes to illnesses, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Wash your hands often. And if you do get sick, Dr. Allan recommends immediately replacing your toothbrush with a fresh, germ-free one.
Living with a sore throat
Easing the pain of a sore throat is all you can do beyond treatment. The best remedies include:
- Take over-the-counter pain medicine. This includes brand names such as Tylenol, Motrin, and Aleve. Do not give children younger than 18 aspirin. Aspirin may cause Reye’s syndrome. This can be fatal.
- Gargle with warm salt water. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt with 1 cup of water and stir.
- Suck on an over-the-counter throat lozenge. Hard candy works too.
- Eat a popsicle.
- Use a humidifier in your bedroom. Move it to other rooms you spend time in.
- Drink liquids to keep your throat from getting dry. Also, this helps prevent dehydration. See 7 Best Times to Drink Water & Boost your Overall Health
COVID sore throat remedy
For symptom relief, use over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or Motrin for fever, body aches and pain. For sinus issues, congestion, ear or facial pain, try a decongestant or allergy medication. And for a persistent cough that produces mucus, Mucinex is a good option. And continue to rest and consume plenty of fluids, like water and herbal tea. See 11 Health Benefits of Replacing all Drinks with Water
This article above expounds all you need to know about how to get rid of sore throat.