Overview of sore throat
A sore throat is a painful, dry, or scratchy feeling in the throat.
Pain in the throat is one of the most common symptoms. It accounts for more than 13 million visits to doctor?s offices each year (1Trusted Source).
Most sore throats are caused by infections, or by environmental factors like dry air. Although a sore throat can be uncomfortable, it?ll usually go away on its own.
Sore throats are divided into types, based on the part of the throat they affect:
- Pharyngitis affects the area right behind the mouth.
- Tonsillitis is swelling and redness of the tonsils, the soft tissue in the back of the mouth.
- Laryngitis is swelling and redness of the voice box, or larynx.
Home Remedies for sore throat :
You can treat most sore throats at home. Get plenty of rest to give your immune system a chance to fight the infection.
To relieve the pain of a sore throat:
- Gargle with a mixture of warm water and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Drink warm liquids that feel soothing to the throat, such as hot tea with honey, soup broth, or warm water with lemon. Herbal teas are especially soothing to a sore throat (5Trusted Source).
- Cool your throat by eating a cold treat like a popsicle or ice cream.
- Suck on a piece of hard candy or a lozenge.
- Turn on a cool mist humidifier to add moisture to the air.
- Rest your voice until your throat feels better.
When to see doctor for sore throat :
Take your child to a doctor if your child's sore throat doesn't go away with the first drink in the morning, recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Get immediate care if your child has severe signs and symptoms such as:
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Unusual drooling, which might indicate an inability to swallow
If you're an adult, see your doctor if you have a sore throat and any of the following associated problems, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology ? Head and Neck Surgery:
- A sore throat that is severe or lasts longer than a week
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty opening your mouth
- Joint pain
- Fever higher than 101 F (38.3 C)
- Blood in your saliva or phlegm
- Frequently recurring sore throats
- A lump in your neck
- Hoarseness lasting more than two weeks
- Swelling in your neck or face
Treatment for the sore throat
The treatment will depend on the cause of the sore throat.
Bacterial infection: In the case of a bacterial infection, such as strep throat, a doctor may prescribe an antibiotic. People should always take the complete course, even if they feel better before finishing all the medication.
Viral infection: Sore throats due to a viral infection usually start to improve within 7 days and do not require medical treatment. Acetaminophen or mild pain relievers may help with the pain and fever. Children can use pediatric versions of these. A pharmacist can advise which ones to use and how much.
It is important always to follow the instructions on the medication and not to take more than they suggest.
A person with epiglottitis or may need to spend time in the hospital. In severe cases, they may need intubation to help them breathe.
If investigations reveal a tumor or another cause, the doctor will discuss appropriate treatment options with the individual.
How long does sore throat last ?
Viral pharyngitis often goes away in five to seven days. If you have bacterial pharyngitis, you will feel better after you have taken antibiotics for two to three days. You must take your antibiotic even when you are feeling better.
Can a sore throat go away on its own ?
Most of the time, sore throats go away on their own. It may take a few days or up to a week, depending on the cause. To relieve the pain from a sore throat, you can take over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin or ibuprofen, or you can try lozenges or nasal sprays. Drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest.
How long to wait before seeing a doctor about a sore throat ?
In most cases, your sore throat will improve with at-home treatment. However, it's time to see your doctor if a severe sore throat and a fever over 101 degrees lasts longer than one to two days; you have difficulty sleeping because your throat is blocked by swollen tonsils or adenoids; or a red rash appears.
Why does it hurt to swallow ?
Share on Pinterest Strep throat, epiglottitis, and esophagitis are some possible causes of pain when swallowing. Throat infections are one of the most common causes of pain when swallowing. These include strep throat, which is an infection with Streptococcal bacteria.
How do I stop a sore throat ?
Also, take these steps to steer clear of colds and the flu, which often bring on sore throats:
- Stay away from people who are sick.
- Wash your hands often.
- Don't share food, drink, or utensils.
- Keep your hands away from your eyes and face.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink lots of fluids.