A sore throat is a common condition, and usually not a very serious one. But that doesn’t mean a sore throat isn’t painful. A sore throat can make doing the most common things-like eating, talking, laughing, or swallowing-excruciating.
A sore throat can be caused by a lot of things, including a cold or the ‘flu, smoking, extremely dry air, viral or bacterial infection, dust, allergies, or even exposure to harsh household cleaners.
Most of the time, a sore throat will go away in a few days, a week at the most. But, until then, here are some ways to find relief from sore throat pain.
Try an Over-the-Counter Pain Reliever
An over-the-counter pain reliever, like aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen, will often relieve sore throat pain. Remember, due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome, no one under 21 should take aspirin.
Use Lozenges to Soothe a Sore Throat
Search the drug store for lozenges that will numb the pain of a sore throat, like those that contain benzocaine or phenol. But, remember, lozenges are not candy. Don’t ignore the usage directions.
Drink a Hot Beverage
Any hot beverage will soothe a sore throat, although you should avoid those that contain caffeine. A popular remedy for sore throat is tea with lemon or honey. Chamomile and ginger tea are also commonly used. If you don’t like tea, sip a mixture of water, lemon and honey.
Gargle With Salt Water
Salt water has proven healing qualities, and gargling with salt water can temporarily ease sore throat pain. In a glass, combine one teaspoon of table salt and one pint of warm water. Gargle with this mixture about once every hour, as needed.
Indulge Your Love of Garlic
Garlic is a natural antibiotic and antiseptic. If your sore throat is being caused by a viral infection, garlic in any form-fresh, dried, or powdered-can help your sore throat heal more quickly. So, add some garlic to your breakfast omelet, to the salad you’re having for lunch, and the spaghetti your having at dinner.
See a Doctor
Most of the time, a sore throat isn’t serious. However, you should consult a doctor if
• The sore throat lasts for more than a week.
• The pain is severe, more than you’d expect from a sore throat.
• You have trouble breathing.
• There’s blood in your saliva or phlegm.
• You are hoarse for more than two weeks.
• The sore throat is accompanied by a rash, a fever or more than 101° F, or an earache.
• There are white or yellow patches at the back of your throat.
• There’s a lump in your throat that won’t go away, or keeps coming back.
Get a New Toothbrush
If your sore throat just won’t go away, or you have frequently recurring sore throats, your toothbrush might be to blame. The bristles of a toothbrush can hold on to the bacteria that caused your sore throat or other illness, like a cold. If you use that toothbrush after you’re well, you run the risk of reinfecting yourself.
It’s suggested that you get a new toothbrush as soon as you start to feel sick. Then, you should get a new toothbrush as soon as you start to feel well. And, once you’re all better, you should get another new toothbrush. While this might sound a little extreme, and expensive, it will help reduce the risk of your sore throat making a return appearance.
A sore throat can be excruciating. But, with these simple remedies, you’ll soon find relief. And, in some cases, you’ll be able to eliminate the pain of a sore throat altogether.