How to Cure a Sore Throat: Home Remedies, Over-the-Counter Options, Hydration, Food, Dos and Don’ts, When to See a Doctor, and Prevention
Dealing with a sore throat can be a real drag. It can make life uncomfortable and even painful. A sore throat is a symptom rather than a condition, and it can be caused by many things, such as colds, flu, allergies, tonsillitis, or strep throat. The good news is that you may be able to alleviate those symptoms or even cure your sore throat with some readily available remedies that range from home remedies to over-the-counter options. In this article, we will explore different ways of curing a sore throat so that the next time you experience the symptom, you will know exactly what to do.
Many people prefer to use home remedies to cure a sore throat. The following are some of the popular home remedies:
Gargling salt water
Gargling salt water is an affordable, simple, and effective way of curing a sore throat. Salt is a natural disinfectant that helps to flush out the bacteria and other irritants from the throat. To use this remedy, dissolve one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water, gargle the solution for about 30 seconds, and then spit it out. Repeat three times a day until your sore throat improves.
Drinking tea with honey
Drinking warm liquids such as tea with honey can help alleviate the discomfort caused by a sore throat. Honey is a natural demulcent, which means it coats the throat and provides a soothing effect. You can make an apple cider tea with honey by adding warm water, honey, and apple cider vinegar together. It is useful to sip on these types of warm liquids throughout the day.
Sucking on lozenges
Sucking on lozenges can help keep your throat moist and reduce pain and irritation. Lozenges containing cough suppressants or anesthetics such as benzocaine can help suppress coughing or numb your throat. Just be sure to follow the dosage instructions that come with the lozenges carefully and avoid overusing them.
Using humidifiers or steam rooms
Humidifiers and steam rooms can help add moisture to the air and relieve the dryness that is often associated with a sore throat. Steam helps to loosen the congestion in the chest and throat. This can be done by taking a steamy shower or a sitting next to a humidifier.
If home remedies do not work, there are over-the-counter options available. The following are some of the most common:
Throat sprays contain numbing agents, which can help to reduce the pain associated with a sore throat. They work by numbing the back of your throat, and may also contain antiseptic to kill germs. Some people find throat sprays to be unpleasant or difficult to use.
Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help to reduce inflammation and pain associated with a sore throat. However, it is important to follow the recommended dosage, and be careful not to take these medications if you have other health issues that prevent you from doing so.
Cough drops contain menthol or eucalyptus which can help to soothe an irritated throat. They also work by encouraging the production of saliva, which helps to soothe the throat. It’s important to keep the amount of cough drops you use within the recommended dosage. If used carelessly, they can sometimes cause dangerous side effects.
Role of Hydration
Importance of Staying Hydrated
Staying hydrated is crucial for curing a sore throat. Proper hydration helps to moisten the mucous membranes in your throat and reduce irritation. It can also help prevent dehydration, which can cause other health issues such as headache or dizziness. Water is the most beneficial drink for staying hydrated, and you should avoid drinks that dehydrate you such as coffee or soda.
Tips for Drinking Enough Fluids
If you find it difficult to drink enough fluids, try drinking small amounts of water or clear soup throughout the day. You can also suck on ice chips to help diminish irritation and stay hydrated at the same time. Herbal teas, such as ginger tea can also be soothing for a sore throat. Ginger is known to have an anti-inflammatory effect which can help to soothe your throat.
Foods to eat
Chicken soup is often touted as a cure for the common cold and a sore throat. It is a powerful tool for fighting fatigue and cold symptoms. It’s high in calories and rich in nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Smoothies containing soothing and nutrient-dense ingredients can not only provide hydration but also provide an extra boost of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help speed up recovery. It’s important to avoid ingredients that can irritate a sore throat, such as acidic fruits like oranges and lemons, or fibrous vegetables like celery.
Soft and easy-to-swallow foods such as oatmeal, pudding, bananas, and scrambled eggs are good choices when you have a sore throat. Eating soft and bland foods can reduce irritation in the throat and provide nutrition that your body requires.
Dos and Don’ts
Things to Avoid When You Have a Sore Throat
It’s important to avoid things that can cause irritation to the throat, such as smoking or drinking alcohol when you have a sore throat. These substances cause additional damage to the throat.
Things to Do to Help Speed-up Healing
Resting your vocal cords and drinking enough fluids are two things that can help to speed up the healing process of your sore throat. Resting your voice is important, try to speak minimally for a while. If you need to talk, speak softly and take breaks often. Gargling with saltwater can help remove mucus, bacteria, and irritants from your throat.
When to See a Doctor
Information on Symptoms
If your sore throat lasts for more than a few days, is accompanied by a fever or rash, or if it becomes increasingly painful despite your efforts, it may be time to see the doctor. Other symptoms to watch out for are breathing difficulties, severe earaches, or difficulty swallowing.
Guidance on When to See a Doctor
If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above or if you have additional health concerns, it’s important to seek medical help. Timely medical care is essential to prevent the condition from worsening.
Tips for Preventing a Sore Throat
One of the best ways to prevent a sore throat is to avoid exposure to germs as much as possible. Washing your hands frequently, not sharing food or utensils with others, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick can all help prevent infections. Additionally, keeping the air in your home humid with a humidifier can help prevent dryness and irritation in your throat.
Curing a sore throat is possible, with the use of home remedies, over-the-counter options, hydration, healthy foods, and rest. When these remedies are not enough, it’s important to seek medical help to prevent the condition from worsening. Overall, it is recommended that preventative measures that can be taken to avoid getting a sore throat, such as washing your hands and avoiding close contact with sick people. It’s important to take care of yourself and to know when to get help when needed.