Sore throat is an irritation, pain or itchiness of the throat which make it harder to swallow food. A sore throat is the primary symptom of pharyngitis which is the inflammation of the throat (pharynx). But the terms “sore throat” and “pharyngitis” are often used interchangeably. It can also happen due to physical trauma or other conditions like diptheria.
The most common cause of a sore throat is a viral infection, such as a cold or the flu. A sore throat caused by a virus resolves on its own with at-home care. Strep throat (streptococcal infection), a less common type of sore throat caused by bacteria, requires additional treatment with antibiotic drugs to prevent complications.
Symptoms of a sore throat may vary depending on the cause. Signs and symptoms may include:
Pain or a scratchy sensation in the throat
Pain that worsens with swallowing or talking
Sore, swollen glands in your neck or jaw
Swollen, red tonsils
White patches or pus on your tonsils
Hoarse or muffled voice
There are several different causes for sore throat. The most common ones are mentioned as follows:
1) Bacterial Infection
There is a particular strain of bacteria known to cause this sort of problems. Its called streptococcus bacteria. Infections in the nose and sinuses also can cause sore throats, because mucus from the nose drains down into the throat and carries the infection with it.
The most dangerous throat infection is epiglottitis, which infects a portion of the larynx (voice box) and causes swelling that closes the airway. Epiglottitis is an emergency condition that requires prompt medical attention. Suspect it when swallowing is extremely painful (causing drooling), when speech is muffled, and when breathing becomes difficult.
2) Viral Infection
Viral infections are often the leading cause of sore throats especially after flu, colds, measles, chicken pox, whopping cough and croup. One particular viral infection known as “mononucleosis” lodges itself in the lymph nodes causing massive enlargement of the tonsils. This leads to extreme soreness in the throat.
Certain allergic reactions can also instigate an attack of sore throat. Being allergic to pollens and molds such as dog dander is common cause of sore throat.
Irritation caused by dry heat, a chronic stuffy nose, pollutants and chemicals, and straining your voice can also irritate your throat.
Determining the cause of your sore throat can help your doctor treat your symptoms. Your doctor will do a physical examination and examine your throat with a lighted instrument. They’ll look for signs of inflammation or white patches, which might indicate strep throat. Your doctor will also feel your neck for swollen glands and check your breathing.
Because strep throat is a common cause of sore throats, your doctor may swab the back of your throat and examine the sample for S. pyogenes. They may also run a blood test to determine whether you have a viral or bacterial infection.
Home Remedies For Sore Throat
We have some of the best sore throat remedies for you right here. Use these for instant results.
Gargle With Saline Water
When our throats hurt, regardless of what causes it, it’s because the cells in the mucous membranes have become swollen and inflamed. By gargling with salt water you decrease the swelling, as salts primary function is to draw out water, which in turn shrinks the swollen cell and eases the pain. It also helps wash away the excess mucous and allows your stuffy nose (if you have one) to drain properly. A simple yet highly effective sore throat remedy.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is probably right up there with garlic (its unfortunate the things that make us better can’t taste delicious) but some people swear by it. Its high levels of acidity can kill bacteria quite efficiently, and when mixed with honey it can soothe the soreness in your throat as well. It is one of the best sore throat remedies.
Garlic is a natural remedy that can kick a sore throat right in it’s painfully swollen tush. The reason lies in the garlic’s allicin, a compound that can kill the bacteria that causes strep and fight the germs causing pain and irritation. Sucking on raw garlic or taking garlic tea can help immensely. A great sore throat remedy, easily available and highly effective.
Cayenne pepper can actually make things better in case of sore throat even though it may sound stupid to dump any sort of hot pepper down your throat. Cayenne (and other hot peppers) have a chemical compound called capsaicin that temporarily relieves pain, much like Advil or aspirin does. It accomplishes this by hindering something called substance P, which is what transmits pain signals to your brain. Thus discomfort to your sore throat is reduced.
By drinking licorice root tea you can naturally get some relief for your sore throat. The anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties of licorice root help reduce swelling and irritation, and soothe the mucus membranes in your throat. You can buy tea with licorice in it, or brew up your own. The recipe below has a few extra ingredients to make this at home remedy for sore throats taste extra yummy and comforting.
Peppermint has the component known as menthol that is believed to act as a decongestant by thinning mucus lining. Hence peppermint is can easily soothe a sore throat and ease a dry cough. Drink some peppermint tea or use it as an oil. It is one of the best sore throat remedies.
This is not the confection, but the herb. Like slippery elm, marshmallow root is a demulcent, and marshmallow root can soothe a sore throat by coating the irritated tissues of the throat. It may also loosen mucus and help with cough that may accompany or aggravate a sore throat. Marshmallow root may be taken as a tea.
Also known as Indian elm, moose elm, and sweet elm, slippery elm is believed to help coat the throat. It is considered a demulcent, which means it can help relieve irritation of the mucous membranes in the mouth by forming a protective film. Slippery elm can be particularly effective when used in a lozenge as it can help prolong the pain-relieving effects. It may also be taken as a tea.
Studies have shown that zinc lozenges may shorten the duration of a cold, and may reduce the severity of cold symptoms including sore throat. Be careful if using zinc nasal sprays or gels. There are some reports of loss of smell with the use of zinc sprays or gels. Use for less than 5 days is usually safe and may shorten the duration of a cold. Also, like regular lozenges, zinc lozenges can help keep the throat moist, which may alleviate soreness. Young children should not be given lozenges.
It is really easy to cure sore throat with these simple sore throat remedies. These simple sore throat remedies are easy to use and safe to include in your daily life.