You might not always have a sore throat, but when you do, you swallow every ten seconds to see if it’s still sore. The irritation and pain that follows with a sore throat is unpleasant. Besides that, swallowing and even talking becomes too irksome. In most cases, a sore throat gets resolved in few days with a follow-up of home remedies. There are quite a number of home remedies for soothing the soreness, until the underlying condition subsides. But it is also essential to learn about the causes and symptoms that accompany a sore throat.
According to a study, 85-95% of sore throat cases in adults are caused by viruses. Another 10% is caused by bacteria. Other causes include allergies, acid reflux, and dry weather.
Causes Of Sore Throat
Sore throat covers several symptoms such as dryness, irritation and difficulty in swallowing, and talking. A sore throat is usually caused by a throat inflammation known as pharyngitis. Other factors such as viral infection and bacteria can also lead to sore throat. But, viruses are the most common cause of sore throat on the whole. The other possible causes can also be fungal infections, allergies, medications, acid reflux, injury, and temperature fluctuations.
- Various infections in the upper respiratory tract can cause a sore throat. Most of these infections are caused by other symptoms besides a sore throat. Viral infections with common cold are the biggest causes
- In most cases, an infection might not be the cause of a sore throat. But it can occur due to allergens or irritants in the environment. These irritants can involve industrial and vehicular pollution. In some cases, household irritants like paint or medication can also be a cause for sore throat. This can vary from one person to the other
- Another common cause for sore throat is acid reflux. This happens when acid from the stomach increases into the esophagus and throat. The frequent irritation in the throat caused by acid reflux can lead to sore throat
Symptoms Of Sore Throat
A sore throat can be a symptom of an underlying infection. This is commonly an infection in the upper respiratory tract such as sinusitis, tonsillitis, common cold and other serious conditions like influenza. In most cases, a sore throat can only be a cause of common cold. But it is always advisable to visit a doctor for sore throat. They can check for various symptoms before coming to a conclusion. These symptoms can include:
- Any severe swelling of the lymph node as it can means a serious infection
- Constant fever as most severe respiratory tract infections tend to affect the whole body and lead to fever
- Cough as it is the most common symptom of most upper respiratory tract infections.
- Any fatigue signs, as it a common symptom resulting from the body using all its systems to fight the infection
- Discoloration in and around the mouth
- Appetite Loss
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Runny nose or sneezing is another symptom that comes with a sore throat
- Muscle and joint pain
- Blood test and throat swab
11 Ways To Treat Sore Throat Naturally
First of all, it is important to discover the underlying cause of sore throat because it is rarely a condition in itself. It is advisable to consult a doctor if you have a serious sore throat infection. In the meantime, you can try these home remedies for sore throat pain:
1. Gargle With Warm Salt Water
You can try gargling with warm salt water. Repeat this exercise two to three times a day. Do not exceed gargling more than three times as it can dry out any inflamed tissue further and increase irritation.
2. Drink Hot Toddy
Hot toddy therapy is helpful for getting restful sleep. You can prepare a tonic by assembling few simple ingredients like 1 tsp of honey, 4 ounces of hot water, 1 tsp of lemon juice and 2 ounces of bourbon and whiskey. The use of alcohol is optional but it can help you sleep better.
3. Make A Milk And Honey Drink
Another remedy is mixing milk and honey together. Both these ingredients can help ease your throat when it feels dry. While warm milk is soothing and help you sleep, honey can leave a sweet lingering taste behind.
4. Try Steam Therapy
If your sore throat is accompanied by a stuffy nose, then you should try a steam therapy. This can help clear up congestion. Take a medium bowl and fill it with hot water. Drape a towel or a cloth over your head and lean over the bowl to inhale the steam. Alternatively, a hot shower can work too.
5. Eat An Ice Cream Or A Popsicle
You can try frozen foods such as ice cream and popsicles to soothe and numb the throat.
6. Avoid Irritants
Try avoiding irritants as sore throat can be aggravated by various environmental factors such as smog, smoke, and cleaning fumes.
7. Gargle With Licorice
According to a 2009 study, gargling with a licorice and water relieved patients of severe sore throats compared to other patients who gargled with just water. Licorice is well-known for soothing sore throats and preventing phlegm and mucus.
8. Make An Apple Cider Vinegar Drink
Apple cider vinegar is used for multiple purposes including fighting the infection that causes sore throats. You can also mix it with honey and warm water. Use a teaspoon of honey and vinegar mixed in warm water. Drink the mixture to get relief from sore throat.
9. Drink Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is another effective remedy for swollen throat infections. Drink it several times a day for effective results
10. Chew Garlic
Garlic is useful for treating early stages of a sore throat. You can chew a single clove of garlic for few hours. Chew it lightly so you can release the chemicals found in garlic
11. Have Soup
Having soup can be comforting when suffering from sore throat. Research has suggested that chicken and vegetable combo soup can help reduce upper respiratory cold symptoms and also soothe sore throats.