What is Good for Sore Throat? How to Relieve Sore Throat?
Sore throat is a symptom that can be seen in all age groups, at any time of the year, and is usually felt when swallowing and can negatively affect daily life. Sore throat, which may develop due to different diseases, can go away on its own or can be treated with medication when necessary. While the rate of encountering sore throat due to viral or bacterial infections is high, antibiotic treatment may be used in bacterial infections. If a sore throat symptom is observed and does not go away, a healthcare provider should be consulted. Following a clinical examination by the doctor, a treatment plan should be made for the patient.
What is a Sore Throat?
Sore throat is a symptom that causes pain, itching and irritation in the throat. Sore throat may be felt due to viral infections such as cold or flu, especially pharyngitis. If a sore throat develops due to viral infections, the sore throat may go away on its own, while in bacterial infections, drug treatments such as antibiotic treatment may be used. In cases where sore throat is severe, the patient’s quality of daily life can be improved by using medications to relieve symptoms and pain.
What are the Causes of Sore Throat?
Sore throat may develop due to different factors. Most sore throats are usually caused by a cold or flu. While these are viral infections, bacterial infections can also play a big role in the development of sore throat. The development of sore throat due to bacterial sinus infections is a common condition. In addition to bacterial infections, sore throat may also occur due to allergies. Individuals who have an allergic reaction to pollen dust mites, pets, or molds may also experience a symptomatic sore throat.
Another cause of sore throat is tonsillitis. Tonsils are located in the back of the throat. While inflammation of the tonsils is called tonsillitis, the inflammation that develops can cause a sore throat. Tonsillitis may develop due to bacteria or viruses.
It is possible to experience sore throat symptoms without encountering a harmful external substance. At this point, gastroesophageal reflux disease comes to the fore. People may experience a sore throat because stomach acid backs up into the esophagus and irritates the tissue there.
Daily lifestyle may also be associated with sore throat. After movements such as shouting or screaming, the throat area may become irritated and develop pain. Regional irritation may occur and a sore throat may occur after excessive consumption of spicy food, smoking, or consuming large amounts of hot liquids. It has been observed that some people develop a sore throat due to mouth breathing at night while sleeping.
What are the symptoms of sore throat?
While a sore throat may be a symptom of a disease, various symptoms may also be observed as the pain develops. These symptoms can be listed as follows:
- Pain or scratching sensation in the throat,
- Pain that worsens with swallowing or talking,
- difficulty swallowing,
- Pain in the neck area,
- Redness and swelling in the tonsils,
- White spots or pus on the tonsils,
- hoarse voice,
- runny nose,
How Is Sore Throat Diagnosed?
After consulting a healthcare provider with the symptom of sore throat, the doctor performs a clinical examination. During the examination, the throat, tongue and ears are examined. If there is an abnormality in the examination, the doctor may request detailed examinations to see the underlying cause of the sore throat. If there is an infectious condition causing a sore throat, laboratory tests such as throat culture or various blood tests are performed to determine whether the current infection is viral or bacterial. After examinations, it can be determined what causes the sore throat.
How to Treat Sore Throat?
Treatment planning is made according to the main cause of sore throat. If a sore throat occurs due to a cold or allergic reactions, various medications may be prescribed to relieve the symptoms. In allergic patients, antihistamine medications can be prescribed to alleviate or completely eliminate the allergic reaction. In case of a bacterial infection, antibiotic drugs may be used. In cases where sore throat is caused by acid reflux, more comprehensive treatments are applied to treat reflux disease.
What is Good for Sore Throat? What are Natural Treatment Methods?
In addition to drug treatments, patients can support the improvement of symptoms with various measures or interventions they can take at home. The patient can recover faster by supporting drug therapy with natural treatment methods. At this point, the following methods can be used.
- Consumption of warm liquid: It is of great importance to keep the throat constantly moist in order to prevent throat irritation or to prevent the progression of existing irritation. At this point, patients can benefit from consuming warm liquids. Nutritious liquids such as various herbal teas or broth with lemon and honey can be consumed. People can ensure the necessary fluid intake by regularly drinking water at room temperature.
- Ice application: Sucking on an ice cube or ice cream can help relieve a sore throat.
- Using steaming devices: The humidity of the environment is very important, especially during night sleep. The humidity level of the environment can be increased and sore throat can be improved with various humidifying devices.
- Rest: If a sore throat develops due to shouting or talking loudly, it is recommended that people rest. People can relieve throat pain by resting their voices.
- Avoiding irritating substances: Being in a smoky environment, smoking, consuming spicy foods or very hot liquids can further increase existing irritation in the throat. If sore throat symptoms develop, it is recommended to stop such behavior for a certain period of time.
How Can Sore Throat Be Prevented?
Sore throat is a symptom that can be prevented by paying attention to different topics related to daily life. The increase in viral and bacterial infections, especially during seasonal transitions, can cause many people to experience sore throat symptoms. To protect against viral infections such as cold or flu, people need to pay attention to their daily hygiene. At this point, hands should be washed frequently with soap and running water. If hand washing is not possible, it is recommended to disinfect hands using alcohol-based hand disinfectants.
If there are people around who are sneezing or coughing, care can be taken to stay away from these people. In case of contact with a sick person, extra attention should be paid to hand hygiene. Sharing food, drinks and utensils with sick individuals should be avoided. Especially with the approach of autumn, vaccination can be done to protect against flu.
Sore throat can be prevented to a large extent by avoiding talking too loudly and avoiding smoking. If people have a digestive problem such as the onset of reflux, they should also receive treatment to prevent reflux from progressing. Thus, advanced symptoms such as sore throat can be prevented.
How to Relieve Sore Throat?
In order to relieve a sore throat, it is necessary to know what causes a sore throat. Therefore, if the pain becomes severe, a healthcare provider should be consulted. How to cure a sore throat can be determined based on the existing problem. Throat pain can be relieved with medication, supportive methods that can be applied at home, and rest, in line with the doctor’s recommendations.
How Long Does a Sore Throat Last?
How long throat pain complaints last varies from person to person and the main cause of the sore throat. While the complaint of pain in viral infections lasts for a week at most, this period may be longer in bacterial infections. In case of pain lasting longer than 2-3 weeks, a healthcare provider should be consulted and the underlying cause should be determined.
If a sore throat does not improve or its severity increases, early diagnosis and intervention can prevent the symptom from progressing or developing more serious symptoms. By consulting a health institution with an internal medicine or ear, nose and throat department, you can access detailed information and correct treatment for sore throat complaints.