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A sore throat is a condition characterized by pain in the throat. It is usually caused by inflammation due to colds or other virus. While they can be painful and disturbing, they just go away without medical intervention.
According to Web MD, a sore throat can be viral in nature. It can be caused by common colds, the most common type of viral infection; laryngitis or the infection of the larynx; mononucleosis, which is a viral infection that causes persistent sore throat; and other viral infections like herpangina, influenza, or mumps.
A sore throat can also be caused by bacteria. These causes include strep throat, which is due to Streptococcus bacteria; tonsillitis or the inflammation of the tonsils; adenoiditis or the inflammation of the adenoids; peritonsillar abscess or the infection of the tissues around the tonsils; uvulitis or the inflammation of the uvula; and epiglottitis or the inflammation of the epiglottis. In rare cases, sexually transmitted infection (STI), such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, may be the cause.
There are a number of home remedies that can be done to relieve sore throat.
According to Healthline, licorice root had long been used as remedy for sore throat, with trials showing its efficiency when combined with water to produce a gargle solution. This is also evidenced by a research published in the Journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society. The study findings revealed that licorice root helped sooth patients’ throats and reduce cough after a surgical procedure.
Honey can also help relieve sore throat. It can be combined with tea or simply taken up. According to Healthline, a study involving 139 children diagnosed with upper respiratory tract infection found out that honey was more effective in reducing night coughs as compared to common cough suppressants.
Saltwater or saline gargle is one of the most common interventions done to relieve sore throat. According to Health, a number of trials have found that gargling with warm saltwater multiple times daily can decrease swelling in the throat and help loosen mucus, in addition to flushing out bacteria and irritants. In preparing the gargle solution, physicians suggest dissolving half a teaspoon of salt in one cup of water. A small amount of honey can be added to the mixture if the salty taste is unpleasant.
One important home remedy for the relief of sore throat is adequate fluid intake. Dr. Jeffrey Linder of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston told Health that staying hydrated is essential, particularly when one was sick or when one’s throat is irritated or inflamed. According to Linder, drinking adequate fluids help fight bacteria and irritants by keeping mucus membranes moist. While water remains as the top fluid to consume, Linder also suggests chicken broth and fruit juice.
Another strategy to help eliminate sore throat is having adequate rest. As per Mayo Clinic, getting plenty of rest will provide temporary relief to sore throat, as it help the body recuperate. Also, having adequate rest will reduce stress, which contributes to having poor immune function.
According to Web MD, antibiotics are not the drugs of choice when it comes to sore throat, since it is caused by a viral illness. The publication also mentioned that the excessive use of an antibiotic will just predispose an individual to the risk of having allergic reaction, in addition to side effects to antibiotics, such as rashes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and yeast infections. Also, these anti-bacterial agents may kill normal bacteria in the systems or promote the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria. While antibiotics do not change the path of viral infections, these can be used for sore throat caused by Streptococcus bacteria.
A sore throat should not be taken lightly, as it could lead to serious diseases, such as rheumatic heart disease. Thus, if the sore throat remains unresolved even after employing the home remedies, it is essential to consider medical consult.