Several factors can trigger chronic sore throat. It can be caused by allergies, infections, and sometimes, a more serious underlying condition. And though sore throat is a common ailment, it can be very uncomfortable and painful, even.
Causes of sore throat
The first step to knowing what kind of treatment to get is knowing what triggered your ailment. Here are the most common causes of sore throat:
- Common viruses
- Infection of the tonsils and adenoids
- Throat dryness and soreness due to smoking
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Sinus drainage
- Bacterial infections
- Serious disorders or a condition like throat cancer or AIDS
Signs of a Sore Throat
Many mistake plain pain from swallowing as sore throat. But though it can be a symptom, sore throats are more than that. Other signs that you are suffering from a sore throat are:
- Redness of the pharynx
- Swollen glands in the neck
- Pus on the surface of the tonsils
- Pain in the throat
- Breathing and inhaling difficulties
You can immediately refer to the doctor to treat your sore throat. However, some home remedies can cure simple sore throats.
Salt Water Gargle
Gargling with salt water is one of the most popular natural ways to treat a sore throat. That’s why you could almost always hear your mum suggest this when you complain of pain in your throat.
Aside from it being popular, the ingredients you need to make this solution is readily available at home. All you need is a spoonful of salt and a cup of warm water. Mix the two until the salt dissolves then gargle for about 30 seconds. Do it once per hour for immediate effect.
Aside from saltwater gargle, honey is also among the most popular treatment to a chronic sore throat. You may be wondering why since honey is sweet, but it has long been proven that a spoonful of honey mixed with warm water or vinegar can help soothe itchiness in the throat area.
Studies also say that honey can fight infection though it is not advisable to give the honey treatment to infants suffering from sore throat.
Another delicious way to ease sore throat is drinking lemon water. Lemon contains vitamin C and antioxidants that help fight off bacteria. Its effects do not stop there. It also assists with the ultimate healing of your throat, whatever the trigger may be.
Herbs, Roots, and Teas
Some teas have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects that can help soothe your sore throat. These are also natural to purchase since they are readily available in markets. Here are some spices that you can use to treat this ailment:
- Peppermint Tea – Aside from the anti-inflammatory compounds that peppermint has, mint can numb your throat, which may help ease the itchy feeling for a while.
- Chamomile Tea – The daisy-like chamomile plant has long been used to treat some simple diseases. Chamomile, like other teas, contains no caffeine and can help fight infection, and reduce pain. This specific kind of tea can also help promote restful sleep, which is essential in the healing process.
- Ginger Root Tea – The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects of ginger is believed to help reduce the pain that comes with a sore throat.
- Licorice Root Tea – The Licorice plant is native to Europe and South Asia. It has properties similar to aspirin, which is useful in easing the pain.
- Marshmallow roots – Used since the Middle Ages, marshmallow roots contain a gelatin-like substance called mucilage, which can help lubricate the throat.
Garlic is known for its natural antibacterial properties and other healing capacities. Garlic also has bioactive compounds that help boost your immune system when you are sick.
Mixing cinnamon with almond milk, baking soda, and honey can also help soothe a sore throat. Cinnamon has high antioxidants that can be very helpful in treating colds and flu.
Cayenne Pepper is often used as a pain reliever due to its natural healing properties that help block pain receptors. Mix it with warm water and honey, and you can be sure that it won’t sting!
What to Avoid When You Have a Sore Throat
As said earlier, many factors can trigger a sore throat. Therefore, you need to avoid these triggers to prevent your condition from accelerating. Here are things you should avoid when you have a sore throat:
- Spicy food
- Acidic food and juices
Taking herbal tablets and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help soothe pain due to a sore throat. Some lidocaine sprays are also useful. However, taking over-the-counter medications numbs your throat, making you think that the infection or the underlying condition that caused your throat to be inflamed is also cured. Remember that when you take in medications, they only target the itchiness and the pain – not the cause of your sore throat.
Let your doctor do their job and never self-medicate!
Other Things to Do to Ease a Sore Throat
- Drink lots of fluids to keep your throat moist.
- Humidify the air to help you breathe easier.
- Avoid food that is hard to intake or swallow. They may damage your throat, even more, causing further pain.
When to Seek Medical Help
Immediately seek medical help if your sore throat is accompanied by fever, chills, drooling, headache, vomiting, and severe difficulty in swallowing, or if it lasts for weeks.
A chronic sore throat maybe just a symptom of a more serious health condition, so you should get treated by professionals. Seeing your doctor also allows you to determine possible underlying conditions that are causing these symptoms.
Prevention is Better Than Cure!
As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. If you don’t want to miss your next karaoke bananza due to the itch and the pain that comes with a sore throat, avoid irritants and triggers that could cause throat inflammation. Also, stay away from chemical fumes or smoke, and from people who have viral infections.
Regularly washing your hands can also help stop the transfer of the virus from one person to another.