Learn How to Identify And Relieve a Sore Throat

Learn How to Identify And Relieve a Sore Throat

Learn How to Identify And Relieve a Sore Throat

A sore throat is one of those painful conditions that pay frequent visits and can hit you at any time. Screamed a little too loud during the baseball game? You have a sore throat the next morning. Got a cold? There comes another sore throat. Whatever the cause, you will agree that it’s really painful, irritating and causes a lot of discomfort. Once you have it, your entire day is ruined. 

But, a sore throat is easily treatable with a few home remedies, medications and proper rest. While it is true that a sore throat goes away within a few days, if it stays for long, it may be something serious. This is why it is important that you know what a sore throat is. So, let’s take a look into the basic points that will help you identify a sore throat and incorporate the necessary relieving methods to get rid of it as soon as possible. 

What is a Sore Throat?

Before you get into any other details, take the time to understand what exactly is a sore throat. It’s the first step towards identifying if you have one or not. 

If you talk about commonality, a sore throat takes the crown. As soon as the winters or autumns kick in, you know that it’s the season of allergies, colds and sore throats. It starts with a tickle in the back of your throat that’s persistent for a few days. You may feel it getting dry, prickly or uncomfortable every time you swallow food or drink. In some cases, eating may worsen the pain of the soreness. If you can relate to this feeling, it’s more than likely that you have a sore throat. 

So, do you have a dry, itchy and irritating feeling in your throat? If yes, then you have a sore throat. Don’t worry, as we’ve already discussed, it is a very common condition among people and usually gets better on its own. So much so that only 4 percent of all people suffering from it visit a family medicine practitioner. 

Symptoms of a sore throat

The symptoms for a sore throat can vary from one person to another. It can depend on their lifestyle, body and of course the cause of the condition. But if you look at the general symptoms, here’s what you can expect from a sore throat.

  • Scratchiness, irritation or prickly sensation in the back of the throat.
  • Slight discomfort while swallowing.
  • Visibly inflamed tonsils. 
  • Mild swollenness of the jaw and neck glands. 
  • Change in voice. It usually gets hoarse or muffled.
  • Visible white spots on or around the tonsils.
  • Burning sensation in the throat.
  • Tenderness around the neck. 

 You may have a sore throat if your symptoms match with the ones on the list. However, you must remember that the symptoms are not limited to the ones included here. You must contact a professional to get the right diagnosis. 

The symptoms of sore throat are usually tolerable that subside after a few days. However, if the condition gets severe and symptoms become intolerable, it’s a sign of something more serious than a common sore throat.

Common Causes of a Sore Throat

A sore throat can occur on its own or come along with some other infection as well. Let’s take a look at the common causes of a sore throat.

Viral infection: If you catch a common virus like the common cold, measles, influenza or croup, the symptoms of the condition may include a sore throat as well. Currently, sore throat is also a symptom of COVID-19. So, if you feel that your condition resembles that of the novel coronavirus, consult a medical professional immediately.

Allergies: In the season of allergies, there are a lot of irritants like mold, pollen etc, that may flare up the allergies including a sore throat.

Bacteria: Though not very usual but a sore throat can also be a result of a bacterial infection. The most common bacteria responsible for a sore throat is GABHS. It requires immediate medical attention. 

Environmental Factors: A sore throat can develop if you are continuously exposed to dry air or are breathing through your nose due to nasal congestion. Also, if you have been screaming the day before, the excessive stress from yelling may cause a sore throat too.

Tips to Relieve a Sore Throat

The good news about having a sore throat is that it can be relieved by using a few tips and tricks. So, while resting at home, you can follow these home remedies to reduce the symptoms and help heal a sore throat.

  • Have as much fluid as you can. Hot or cold, fluids help ease the swelling and soothe the pain. Also, they keep your throat hydrated to avoid any scratchy feeling. Both hot and cold beverages can do wonders for a sore throat.
  • Gargles are a tried and tested method for easing a painful throat. It’s an effective way of removing the irritants and soothing the inflammation. And if you also have a blocked nose, gargling can help loosen the mucus and relieve congestion. Use some warm salt water to gargle twice a day until the symptoms subside.
  • Keep a humidifier around you. It will humidify the air and help prevent the dryness and itchiness in the throat. Hot steam can also help achieve the same purpose. 
  • Get enough sleep. Your immune system works the best against infections when you are asleep. So, take enough rest to get better soon.

When to See a Doctor?

Most of the causes of a sore throat are treatable at home. With some rest and the tips that I have mentioned above, you can be free from one in no time. However, a sore throat may develop into intolerable symptoms or something serious too. It’s uncommon but very probable. Especially today, when the world is dealing with a pandemic whose symptoms include having a sore throat, even a normal cause can trigger anxiety and suspicion. So, for everyone who has a sore throat, it is very crucial that they learn when to shift from home remedies and therapies to a medical professional. Here are a few red flags that indicate that it’s time to see a doctor. 

  • If a sore throat lasts more than a week. 
  • A fever of 101 degrees or more. 
  • If the fever lasts for more than two days. 
  • Excessive swelling of the tonsils that makes swallowing severely painful. 
  • The appearance of a red rash. 
  • Earache, joint pain or difficulty in opening the mouth. 

Get in touch with your family physician or local doctor. They can help you with a proper diagnosis. If you are wary of leaving the safety of your home and being around people as a safety precaution for COVID-19, you can still get the best treatment for sore throat using telemedicine. Just reach out to a clinic you can trust and they will connect you with a trained medical professional from the comfort of your home. The doctor will consult you through the screen of your laptop or phone and plan out a personalized treatment for you. No contact, no exposure, just a perfect solution to your medical needs. 

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How Alarming is Having a Sore Throat During Covid-19?

How Alarming is Having a Sore Throat During Covid-19?

How Alarming is Having a Sore Throat During Covid-19?

During the Covid-19 padenic people have become more health conscious. While maintaining good hygiene keeps you away from microbes that could contaminate your system, a sore throat during this time could make you anxious due the fear of Covid-19.

Although there are other factors too, a sore throat is one of the common symptoms of coronavirus.

Thankfully, various private and government institutions are providing virtual care and you can consult a doctor through telemedicine in case you feel unhealthy. 

A sore throat usually doesn’t imply anything serious, but still could be painful and irritating, and needs to be treated.

Natural remedies found in your kitchen could help in the treatment of sore throat and speed up the recovery time.

What is a Sore Throat?

A sore throat refers to an irritating or scratchy feeling in your throat, which could cause discomfort and pain. In severe cases it causes a burning pain when you swallow. Increased infection in your throat could also cause complications in your ear and lead to sinuses infections. Another complication linked with sore throat is abscess or formation of pus near tonsils, which could cause swelling and redness around the neck.

Reasons That Cause a Throat Sore

A sore throat could be due to allergies, such as mold, pollen or pet dander. Even indoor dryness could make your throat rough and scratchy. Although, mostly it is caused by seasonal flu or cold, a virus or infection can also cause sore throat, following could be linked to it:

Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis causes inflammation in the tonsils, located behind the throat. These oval shaped pads swell during the inflammation and also cause sore throats. Difficulty in swallowing and tender lymph nodes towards the sides are common characteristics of tonsillitis.

Mononucleosis (mono)

Mononucleosis, commonly referred to as mono is a communicable disease that can spread through saliva. Fever, swollen tonsils, headache and swollen spleen are some of the symptoms linked with it along with having a sore throat which is often confused with strep throat. It is also called kissing disease as it can spread through saliva but one could also get exposed through sneezing, cough or sharing of food.

Strep Throat

Strep throat is a bacterial infection that may be caused by the invasion of any disease causing agents. It can affect both children and adults and causes inflammation in the throat. Strep throat is often painful, especially when swallowing.

Smoking

Smoking can cause chronic sore throat. Not just smoking, any kind of indoor pollution, chewing tobacco, and drinking alcohol regularly can lead to prolonged irritation in the throat and muscle strain, leading to an enduring sore throat.

General Anesthesia

You may experience a sore throat after a surgery involving anesthetic gases or drugs, as they can dry your throat. In certain cases these drugs could also damage vocal chords.

Symptoms of a Sore Throat

Depending upon the cause of your sore throat, your symptoms could vary. Most commonly you could notice the following symptoms, 

  • Swollen neck glands
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Skin Rashes
  • Swollen or red tonsils
  • Headache
  • Fever

In some cases people may experience the following, 

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Muscle Pain
  • Nausea and vomiting (usually linked with children)

COVID-19 Symptoms VS Cold or Flu Symptoms

Anyone could get anxious to develop a sore throat or other flu symptoms during current times. But how to identify if it is due to Covid-19 or a seasonal flu?

Well, in simple terms , to rule out Covid-19, you need to get tested for it.

But, there are a few factors which can help you differentiate between these illness,

Covid-19

Coronavirus symptoms often develop over a few days. Most commonly a person experiences fatigue, fever and dry cough. Other symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, sore throat and loss of taste are less common.

Seasonal Flu

Symptoms of season fly generally come suddenly. Although, flu shares a few symptoms with Covid-19, like, fever, cough and sore throat, other symptoms such as, body aches and headache are less common with this coronavirus.

Common Cold

Symptoms of the common cold also develop suddenly like Covid, however fevers are rare in this case. Common early symptoms of cold include, running or stuffy nose and sore throat.

Natural Remedies as Treatment For Sore Throat

If your sore throat is the result of a flu or any virus, you might have to visit a doctor if it goes bad. Your doctor would probably recommend you an antiviral medicine to inhibit the development of the pathogen causing it. 

It usually goes away within a week-10 days but you must be extra cautious amidst a global pandemic.

However there are certain home remedies that could boost your immunity and help you in a speedy recovery.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea has been used as a remedy for treating a bad throat for ages. It has anti-inflammatory effects on our body and is a natural antioxidant.

Research showed that the medicinal effects of chamomile tea can help relieve the symptoms of cold and sore throat. Inhaling steam would be good to relieve cold, although for a sore throat drinking chamomile tea is beneficial. It’s astringent and anti-oxidant effect boosts our immune system and its anti-inflammatory effects can help our body to fight the invading viruses and germs.

Salt Water Gargles

Salt water gargles are perhaps the most common home remedy of a sore throat. They are as effective as easily available they are. Gargling with warm water and half a tablespoon of common salt can break down secretions and also kill the bacteria in the throat.

You can do warm water gargles 3-4 times a day for 2-3 days, after the first day you could notice the difference.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Antibacterial effects of apple cider assists our body in fighting various infections. Due to its acidic nature it helps to break down mucus in a sore throat and cease the bacteria from further spreading.

You can dilute 1-2 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and gargle every 2 hours to treat your sore throat. Take a sip of the mix  in between the gargling sessions and make sure to drink lots of water.

Honey

Honey is an effective household medicine for a sore throat. It’s best when mixed with tea but can be taken on its own too. This study suggests that honey is more effective than common cough suppressant syrups at controlling night time coughs.

Honey is also effective in healing wounds and could speed up your recovery.

Marshmallow Root

Medical properties of marshmallow provide a soothing effect against the itching in an inflamed throat. It contains a mucus like compound that acts as a remedy for swollen neck glands. 

You can just add a few pieces of dried root in boiling water and sip it like tea. Having 2-3 cups a day could relive your throat pain.

Although diabetic patients should consult their primary doctor before consuming marshmallow tea as it may cause a decrease in blood sugar level which could be unhealthy for them.

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Treat Your Sore Throat Using These Home Remedies

Treat Your Sore Throat Using These Home Remedies

Treat Your Sore Throat Using These Home Remedies

It’s the season of allergies, flu and one of the most irritating conditions- a sore throat. It pays frequent visits to me every year. This is why, every time I know that a sore throat is developing, I immediately call up my doctor for a viral sore throat treatment and accompany it with some of the most effective home remedies. Some of them are backed by science while others by anecdotal evidence.  So you can choose which of the remedies will work best for your condition. But remember that none of these methods are a replacement for treatment by a professional. 

Now let me give you an introduction to what you can do to treat your sore throat at home. But before I begin, let’s first understand the symptoms of a sore throat. 

Symptoms

Most of you may already have an idea about the symptoms but in case you don’t here’s what you are looking for.

A sore throat feels like a clogged throat. You may feel slight pain and swelling around your neck and it may increase while swallowing. Sometimes, you can see the redness and swelling of your tonsils too. And you can hear a change in your voice. Considering the fact that sore throat is also one of the symptoms of COVID-19, you must consult a doctor just to be safe.

 

Now let’s move on to the home remedies for a sore throat.

Fluids are your best friend

If your grandmother ever told you that chicken soup is beneficial for you, she wasn’t wrong. It can be really good to ease a sore throat. And not just chicken soup, every kind of hot and cold fluid can be very effective in easing the pain and swelling. You can choose to have cold or hot fluids. It’s entirely based on your preference. While some find relief with hot fluids like soup and herbal teas, others may feel a reduction in pain with cold fluids like ice chips and plain water. 

 

Fluids are one of the many ways of staying hydrated. A sore throat can be very dry and this dryness further aggravates the swelling. Fluids, however, can avoid further escalation of this condition and maintain the right hydration around your throat to prevent any irritation. In case you feel congested, drinking fluids will help find relief with it too. 

Gargle twice a day

Gargling is the answer to a scratchy, swollen and painful throat. But not just with plain water, you must warm it up until it’s lukewarm and add a little bit of salt. Use this solution twice a day and you will feel significant relief from the pain of sore throat. I do it every day, even when I don’t have a sore throat. 

 

Gargling acts like a flush. It removes any irritants and the virus from your throat and helps relieve the pain by soothing the inflammation.  Also, it helps loosen out excess mucus and relieve the congestion. But remember, gargling is not a treatment to the condition. It is only a method that can help provide symptomatic relief. If you are looking for a recipe, there isn’t a rulebook. All you have to do is add a little bit of salt or even baking soda (it helps with a sore throat due to acid reflux) in warm water and gargle. 

Get enough rest

A sore throat is commonly caused by a virus. And when that happens your body has to be at the top of its defenses to get rid of the intruder. Most of your body’s energy and focus is shifted to fighting the contaminant and getting rid of it as soon as possible. Since it is working so hard, you feel lethargic and weak. At this time the best you can do for yourself is rest. 

 

Your body recovers the best while you are asleep. The rest of your body is less demanding so your body focuses on healing and creating more white blood cells. So fighting the weakness while you are sick is only making matters worse. So put a pause to your routine and let the body recover. 

Try honey

Most of us have honey sitting on our kitchen counters. And this is what makes it one of the most convenient home remedies for a sore throat. Take a spoonful of honey and gulp it down as it is. Or you can mix it with some tea, cucumber water or just plain warm water. 

 

Honey is known to possess antibacterial properties, this is what makes it a healer and helps deal with the irritation. It is also a natural anti-inflammatory. So it can reduce the swelling around your throat and tonsils. In addition to this, honey can create a temporary coating in the throat that prevents itchiness and soothes the cough or irritation. 

Use humidifier

A humidifier can also provide symptomatic relief from a sore throat. Your throat feels scratchy and itchy because it is dry and lacks moisture. A humidifier compensates for this lack. It adds moisture in the air so that your throat does not feel dry. When the air is dry, your mucus hardens and it becomes difficult to get rid of it. A humidifier also helps remove excess mucus by loosening it. So it acts like steam for a cold. 

 

Moist air also reduces pain by helping to lower the level of swelling and inflammation in the throat and nasal passages. So if you are one who frequently suffers from sore throat and cold, investing in a humidifier can be a good call. 

Wear a mask when going out

This is more of a prevention than a remedy. While you may already be wearing a mask due to COVID-19, even when the situation eases down, it’s always best to wear a mask when going out or when around people. 

 

This way you avoid spreading the virus to others. And for your own benefit, wearing a mask prevents contact with any irritants in the environment. They can worsen the already aggravated throat and make it difficult for the sore throat to heal. 

Conclusion

I have experienced a fast recovery from a sore throat using these home remedies. So you should give them a try. Let us know which remedy suits you the best. And remember, if you like this information, share it with others so they can find a home remedy to soothe their sore throat too. 

 

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How to Soothe a Sore Throat?

How to Soothe a Sore Throat

How to Soothe a Sore Throat?

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. 

Allergies 

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 

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. 

Injury

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. 

GERD

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. 

Also, Read- How to Differentiate Between Allergies And Coronavirus?

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. 

Also, Read- Self Quarantine Tips For Dealing With The COVID-19

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. 

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COVID-19 ALERT:

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.

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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. 

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