Many things can make your throat feels sore especially in the cold winter months, such as allergies, alcohol, infections, too much smoking or talking, or even when you sleep with your mouth open. A sore throat is usually the first sign that something is wrong. Most sore throats are caused by viruses and are usually associated with the cold and flu with symptoms of a runny nose and cough. If you have a viral or bacterial infection, you may have a fever. Continue reading to find out more.
What to do for a sore throat
If you have a headache, cough, fever and chills, aching muscles, fatigue runny nose etc., these symptoms may be influenza or flu which is a common respiratory infection. If you have a fever, swollen glands under your jaw or in your neck, no symptoms of cold or flu, an ill feeling, and white patches on the back of your throat, you may have strep throat. This will happen if your sore throat developed suddenly, or you were exposed to someone with strep throat, you might have the infection also. You will have to see your doctor and have a test done to rule out this infection. Better to be safe than sorry.
If your illness is diagnosed as strep throat, you will have to take precautions as this is contagious. Strep throat is not life-threatening but it accounts for about fifteen percent of sore throats for all ages and is most common during the late winter and early spring. If strep throat is not treated, it can progress to complications such as abscess formation in the throat and the spread of infection to the blood, middle ear, and your sinuses. Talk to your doctor for treatment. He may prescribe antibiotics for you and advise you what to do. Remember to follow your doctor’s instructions and take all your medications as prescribed. If you do not follow your doctor’s instructions, your infection could return with complications like kidney damage or rheumatic fever which could damage your heart.
Take these steps to fight strep throat: Try and get a lot of rest to fight off the bacteria. Use a humidifier to add moisture to your room. The moist air can help to relieve the dry scratchy irritated feeling in your throat. Stop smoking. This will cause more irritation to your throat and this can cause you to feel worse.
Drink fluids and lots of it: Although your throat is sore and you may not feel like swallowing, liquids are easier to swallow than solids. You lose a lot of fluid when you have a fever, so you should drink lots of fluids to replace what you lost. You can drink different fruits and vegetable juices, soups, herbal teas or teas that you like, also drink coffee if you can tolerate it. Try to drink at least six to eight glasses of liquids a day. This will help to prevent dehydration and will help to clear up your infection faster.
Eat lots of fresh fruits and fresh fruit juice: This will nourish your body with vitamin C to help fight your condition for a speedy recovery. Orange, Cantaloupe, Strawberries, Broccoli, and green pepper are good to boost your vitamin C intake. Garlic is a good way to fight bacteria and strep throat. It contains allicin which is a natural antibiotic. Fresh garlic is recommended. (Chew 2-4 cloves) when you first notice your sore throat. For garlic breath, you can soak the cloves in yogurt before you eat them or chew them with fresh parsley. Fresh onions also have allicin.
Drink tea: Drinking warm or cold tea will soothe your throat and decrease the pain. The tannin in the tea shrinks the blood vessels and swelling in your throat. You can also use it to gargle if you like to.
A Gargle is a good remedy: Gargling will bathe and smooth the pain in your throat that you feel when you swallow. Gargle as often as you can with one of these homemade solutions. Mix one teaspoon of salt dissolved in a cup of warm water. Steep one teaspoon dried chamomile in one cup of hot water. Strain. Let it cool and gargle as often as you can. Squeeze some lemon juice in a glass of lukewarm water and gargle when you need to.
Try Lozenges: Lozenges containing phenol, can kill the germs and numbs the nerve endings so that your throat does not scratch as much. Choose the ones you like as they come in different strengths.
Try something for your pain: Try Aspirin or Ibuprofen to help relieve the pain and inflammation of your strep throat. Follow the instructions to avoid an upset stomach, or speak to your pharmacist before taking them.
If you have symptoms of strep throat, see your doctor, have a test done and find out if your pain is due to a strep throat or something else. Strep throat is a common illness and it’s difficult to avoid. You can get it from someone with the infection, coughing into the air around you. Remember to take precautions. (wash your hands) Build up your immune system by eating a well-balanced diet, get plenty of sleep and remember to do some exercise. This way, you will be better able to fight off the illness.
Natural Remedy For Sore Throat
Echinacea: May have some healing power when it comes to respiratory and strep infections. It strengthens your immune system and is good for inflammation. It can numb inflamed throat tissues and kills some of the viruses that infect the upper respiratory tract. If you are allergic to ragweed, you may be allergic to echinacea. Remember, always speak to your doctor or pharmacist before using herbal remedies.
Licorice: Licorice reduces inflammation, soothes the throat, and stimulates the immune system. Do not take for longer than six weeks. Do not use if you are pregnant or nursing. People with high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disease, kidney, liver, or heart disease should not take licorice unless advised to do so by their doctor.
Plantain: Soothes the throat, effective for throat inflammation, and is also an antibacterial. Steep 2 teaspoons of dried leaves into 1 cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. (Doses) up to 4 cups of tea per day.
Slippery Elm: Soothes all kinds of sore throats. Steep 1/2 teaspoon in 1 cup of hot water for 10 minutes. (2-3) cups per day. Lozenges may also be available. Take them according to manufacturers direction.
Eucalyptus: Shrinks inflamed swollen tissues in the throat. Do not take eucalyptus internally if you have serious liver disease or inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract or bile duct. Steep 1 teaspoon of crushed leaves in 1 cup of hot water for 10 minutes. (3 cups) of tea per day. Eucalyptus Lozenges are also available.
Lemon Balm: Lemon balm works against many viruses and bacteria. It works well as a tea or as a gargle. Steep 1 teaspoon of dried leaves in 1 cup of hot water for 10 minutes or gargle as needed. (3-4) cups per day.
Conclusion: Viral sore throats usually last for three to four days and will go away without any medical treatment. However, antibiotics will not make them go away any faster. Herbs can soothe the symptoms, boost immune function, and prevent viruses. I do hope this article, what to do for a sore throat will be of help to you. Please feel free to leave a comment or read any other article from here