Do you feel uncomfortable while swallowing? Or is it painful? Or does your throat feel scratchy? It could be a sore throat. While that’s not the only symptom you might come across, it could be mild discomfort or a burning pain sometimes. Although it is not something serious and usually goes away quickly, sometimes you have no idea how bad it is.
Also, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, people are living on freight that they might be suffering from the infection. You often end up worrying about what could be the best treatment for sore throat. Also, things like “How to get rid of a sore throat?” or “Will it get fine after using antibiotics” or “will you need a doctor?”
Admit it. We all have been there. So, let’s get down to it and learn about symptoms, treatment options, and more.
What Causes a Sore Throat?
A lot of reasons could be possible for causing sore throat, starting from infections to inevitable injuries. So, before getting onto the part where you will be learning about “How to get rid of a sore throat?” you need to have an idea of different possibilities that could be causing you a sore throat. Let me walk you through the whole section of causes and help you find how you got one in the first place.
Cold, Flu, or Other Viral Infections
More than 90 percent of the sore throat cases could be because of a viral infection. For instance, the reason behind your sore throat could be a common cold, influenza (flu), or mononucleosis. Surprisingly enough, it could also be a result of measles, chickenpox, or mumps.
Strep or Other Bacterial Infections
While some might be under the impression that sore throat could only develop when attacked by some virus, it could also be a result of certain bacterial infections. One of the most common types includes Strep throat (an infection caused by Streptococcus bacteria that attacks throat and tonsils). It is the common cause of sore throat in more than 40 percent of children. Other than that, tonsillitis or sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea might also result in a sore throat.
When your immune responses go wary upon reacting to specific triggers such as pollen, grass, pet dander, or others, the chemicals released might cause symptoms like nasal congestion, sneezing, and throat irritation. Also, if you have excess mucus in the nose, it could drip down back to your throat and can irritate your throat a lot.
Dry air sometimes sucks the moisture from your mouth or throat. And that could make you feel dry and scratchy. This could be possible mostly during winter months, especially when the heater is running.
Smoke or Other Irritants
A lot of chemicals and other substances are present in the environment that might irritate the throat. These include cigarette and tobacco smoke, air pollution, or specific cleaning products.
Any injury that resulted in a hit or cut on your neck might cause a sore throat. Sometimes even when a portion of food sticks in your throat, it could also irritate your throat. Moreover, repeated use strains your vocal cord or muscles in your throat. For example, you will feel soreness in your throat after yelling, talking loudly, or singing for a long time.
It is a condition where the acid comes back from the stomach to the esophagus. And this acid might burn the throat, causing regurgitation into your throat.
What Are The Symptoms of Sore Throat?
The symptoms of a sore throat might vary based on what caused it, in the first place. A sore throat might be scratchy, burning, raw, dry, or tender. One could also feel irritation in the throat. Sometimes it might when you talk or try to swallow things. There are cases when the throat and tonsils start looking red or when white patches or areas of pus start forming on the tonsils.
But wait, there’s more…
You can also have symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny nose, cough, fever, chills, or hoarse voice. Some might even feel headaches and body aches.
To make things less bad, you might have started looking for “How to get rid of a sore throat?” or “How to soothe a sore throat?” So here we are explaining to you the different options as the best treatment for sore throat that might help you to cure a sore throat fast.
How to Cure a Sore Throat?
The first thing to do is “See a doctor online.” But, before that, you must have an idea about “How long does a sore throat last?”That way, you will be able to sense if you need to talk to a doctor. Upon evaluations or diagnosis, the doctor will ask about your symptoms and will try to see the redness and swelling. If the doctor suspects you have strep throat, you will be asked to get a throat culture. This will help the healthcare provider to get the results of the test within a couple of days. Sometimes, the doctor might even ask you for different tests to figure out the cause of your sore throat. Once the doctor determines the reason, he/she will proceed to find the best treatment for sore throat.
How to Help a Sore Throat?
A sore throat caused by any viral infection might take five to seven days to get fine without any need for medical intervention. However, to ease your pain or fever symptoms, you might use acetaminophen (Tylenol) or other mild pain relievers. If your child has similar issues, consider going for OTC products meant for infants or children. Never give them aspirin since it could result in a rare, life-threatening condition, Reye’s syndrome.
If you or your child has a sore throat caused by a bacterial infection, the doctor might prescribe antibiotics. Make sure that you take a full course of antibiotics even if the symptoms are gone. It is because chances are if you opt-out of full prescription, the infection might spread to other parts of the body. So, in case you forget any dose, talk to your doctor, or pharmacist regarding the same.
How to Soothe a Sore Throat Using Lifestyle And Home Remedies?
Regardless of the cause of your sore throat, you can use any of the remedies at home to ease your symptoms effectively. Start by taking plenty of rest, and that includes your voice too. Drink fluids to keep your body and throat away from any dehydration. Make sure to avoid caffeine or alcohol. Instead, you can go for warm liquids or broth that are caffeine-free. You can go with warm water and honey or go for cold treats such as ice pops to soothe your sore throat. If that does not help, you can switch to gargling with salt water as well. Or use a cool-air humidifier to eliminate dry air. You can also consider lozenges or hard candies as the best treatment for sore throat under some situations.
Also, if you are finding ways on “How to get rid of your sore throat?” start with keeping your home free from any triggers such as dust or pet dander. Here’s how you can deal with a sore throat quickly.
How to Prevent Yourself From Getting Sore Throat?
Everyone is so much invested in things like “How to get rid of a sore throat?” or “How to cure a sore throat?” or “What causes a sore throat?” that they have forgotten the best treatment for sore throat is by avoiding the germs that cause sore throat in the first place. Follow these steps to prevent it from happening.
- Wash your hands thoroughly, especially after using the toilet, sneezing, and before eating.
- Avoid sharing food or glasses.
- Cough or sneeze using tissue, and if you can’t find one, do that into your elbow.
- Avoid touching public utilities.
- Regularly clean phones, Tv remotes, keyboards using a sanitizer cleanser. Use the same for yourself if hand washing seems unfeasible.
Certain misconceptions are going around different platforms that, if you have a sore throat, you might have Coronavirus. However, in the case of Coronavirus, there must be accompanied by an array of symptoms, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath that might appear within two to 14 days after exposure. In case you have traveled in an area with higher COVID cases, talk to a doctor online and keep yourself under a self-isolation.
When to See a Doctor Online?
A sore throat usually gets better on its own. The best treatment for sore throat is to take plenty of rest and keep yourself hydrated. However, some of the causes need medical intervention. For instance, if you have a severe sore throat or have trouble swallowing or breathing along with blood in saliva or phlegm, see a doctor without any delay.
And while you are making sure to keep yourself away from the deadly viral attack, continue with social distancing and lockdown.