When you notice that your throat is sore and scratchy, then it could be the first sign that you are getting sick. Within a few hours, you might notice that your throat is painful, tender, and irritated. It’s often difficult to eat because of the pain when you swallow.
In many situations, a sore throat doesn’t merit a trip to the doctor – because the symptoms will go away within a few days. A few at-home remedies can help your body heal from the underlying illness, such as the flu or a cold.
Sore Throat Home Remedies
Treatments at home are focused on alleviating your symptoms while also supporting immune health so your body can fight the illness. Here are a few tried-and-true sore throat home remedies:
- Honey: A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down… and a spoonful of honey can ease a sore throat. Honey can be taken on its own, or mixed in tea. Researchers found that honey can soothe a sore throat and also reduce nighttime coughing.
- Warm or Cold Drinks: What drink helps a sore throat? Staying hydrated is important to help your sore throat heal. Try drinking warm liquids, such as tea (chamomile or peppermint) or chicken broth. The warmth helps to thin mucus if your sore throat is related to the common cold. People also find that cold drinks can soothe the pain such as fruit juice, smoothies, or ice water.
- Salt Water Gargle: Even though it has an unpleasant taste, a saltwater gargle is a great way to help your throat heal. Gargling salt water in the back of the throat can break down secretions, kill bacteria, and soothe your symptoms. Dissolve a half teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Gargle this mixture every three hours.
- Over the Counter Medications: If your sore throat is caused by a virus, then you might need to wait for the illness to pass. Over the counter pain-relievers can help to reduce the pain, making it easier to get through the day. Another option is to use an antihistamine or decongestant if you are also experiencing congestion or a runny nose.
- Sprays and Lozenges: Look for sprays and lozenges at the local drug store. Lozenges are beneficial to boost saliva production, which keeps the throat moist. Throat sprays often contain ingredients that numb the pain, giving you temporary relief from a sore throat.
- Humidifier: Some people find that a cool-air humidifier can help to reduce their discomfort. Adding a bit of moisture in the air helps to soothe the throat and nasal passageways. Another option is to take a steamy shower or soak in a tub with eucalyptus.
- Nasal Rinsing: An at-home nasal rinse can be beneficial for reducing symptoms. Nasal irrigation is beneficial to manage congestion and sinus mucus, which reduces post-nasal drip that irritates the throat. Be cautious to use sterile equipment and water if you choose to do an at-home nasal rinse.
You might try one of these home remedies to find relief. Or implement several remedies to help your body heal as quickly as possible.
Sore Throat Remedies from an ENT
Sore throat home remedies can be effective for minor health concerns, but there are times when you need to see a doctor. Call an ENT for an appointment if you are experiencing any of these conditions:
- The sore throat doesn’t go away after a few days
- Your discomfort is increasing
- You have a high fever
- White spots are visible on the tonsils
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Your ENT will complete a diagnosis to identify the cause of your sore throat. Then, a treatment plan can be designed to help you heal quickly. Common treatments include:
- Antibiotics: If the sore throat is caused by a bacterial infection, such as strep throat, then antibiotics might be needed to clear up the infection.
- Surgery: When a sore throat persists or recurs several times a year, then a tonsillectomy might be recommended.
- Biopsy: Sometimes, a sore throat could be a symptom of cancer or other serious health conditions. A biopsy might be recommended for painful growths in the throat.
What You Need to Know About Sore Throats
Here is a little more information you need to know if you have a sore throat:
- Is a Sinus Infection Causing Your Sore Throat? The above sore throat remedies might help to alleviate symptoms, but sometimes additional treatments are required to clear up the problem. For example, if you have a sinus infection, then it’s likely that the post-nasal drip is leading to pain and discomfort in the throat. An ENT can diagnose the sinus infection and treat the condition, which has a positive impact on your throat symptoms as well.
- What kills a sore throat quickly? You can reduce the discomfort of a throat that is sore fast by using pain relievers or numbing throat spray. This short-term remedy helps to alleviate symptoms, but you also need to address the underlying cause.
- How long does a sore throat last? The duration of a sore throat usually lasts between 3 to 10 days, depending on the underlying cause and medical treatment.
- How do you get rid of a sore throat in 5 minutes? The quickest way to reduce the pain of a sore throat is to spray the throat with a numbing spray. These over-the-counter treatments can be purchased at your local drug store. But it only offers temporary relief.
Talk to an Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor
A sore throat could be a minor irritant or a symptom of an underlying health problem that needs to be treated. If you think that you need to talk to a doctor, then don’t hesitate to schedule an exam. Through this process, we can diagnose the issue and help you treat the underlying cause of your discomfort.
While sore throat diagnosis and treatment can be available through general physicians, there are times when it’s best to talk to an ear, nose, and throat doctor. It’s recommended that you see a specialist if these symptoms are chronic or severe.
If you live near Frisco or Plano, then consider scheduling an appointment with our experienced team at Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat. We have offices in Frisco and Plano, TX, providing convenient access to reputable doctors. Enter your information in our online form, or call to book an exam: (972) 596-4005.