7 Ways to Soothe a Sore Throat
Sore throat refers to itchiness, pain and inflammation of the throat. The most obvious symptom is pain in the throat that can be bothersome at the very least and may prevent you from ingesting food properly at worst.
A sore throat is usually caused by either a viral or bacterial infection. Swollen tonsils are the most common symptom. You can also get a sore throat from allergens in the environment such as pollen and dust. Pollen and dust may not cause sore throat per se but can cause colds and post nasal dripping that could lead to sore throat.
Sore throat can be a condition in itself or a symptom of underlying diseases such as tonsillitis, mononucleosis or streptococcal pharyngitis. It can be quite painful, so the first concern of most people is really how to soothe the irritation in their throats.
Here are 7 ways to help soothe your sore throat.
1. Throw Away Your Toothbrush
First off, one of the most important steps that people skip is throwing away their toothbrushes. Your toothbrush has obviously been repeatedly introduced to the microbes that are causing your sore throat. Although they may have been washed after use, your toothpaste may not have enough antiseptic properties to kill the microbes and the moist environment in your bathroom could cause the microbes to multiply on your toothbrush. To keep from reintroducing even more bacteria to your body you should either throw your toothbrush away or sterilize it with warm saltwater solution or mouthwash.
2. Gargling With A Salt Solution
An oldie but a goodie, this old-wives cure to sore throat is a cheap and effective way of soothing and curing mild to moderate cases of sore throat. The warm water may have a soothing effect on the muscles of your throat and can ease the pain and itchiness for a while. The sodium in the salt solution may have antiseptic properties that can help cure your sore throat. Gargling with the solution could also help rid of food particles that could have been lodged in your tonsils which may have caused the infection in the first place.
3. Cough Syrup
Although it is not ideal to over medicate, drinking cough syrup could be soothing for your sore throat. The syrup may help coat your throat and ease the soreness. If you’re heading to work though best to choose a non-drowsy formula. However if your sore throat is causing you to have trouble sleeping, nighttime formulas like Robitussin AC and Nyquil could help you get some much needed rest.
4. Gargle With Mouthwash Or Oral Antiseptics
If you are out of town with no access to a pantry or simply cannot be bothered to concoct a salt-solution, you could try using mouthwash or oral antiseptics. This method of soothing sore throats is recommended for minor conditions only. Our mouths are completely filled with good and bad bacteria. These bacteria can prolong the healing process of a sore throat caused by tonsillitis or minor abrasions in the throat. Mouthwash and oral antiseptics can help your throat heal faster by hindering bacterial growth.
Over the counter NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as Advil and Aleve, are great for soothing and even curing your sore throat. These drugs are both anti-inflammatory pain relievers. They are able to both reduce the swelling as well as ease the discomfort in your throat. If your sore throat is accompanied with a fever, these drugs can also help with that.
6. Ginger, Honey And Lemon In Water Or Tea
If you prefer natural remedies over medical ones you might enjoy soothing your throat with ginger, honey and lemon in water or tea. Ginger has both analgesic and anti-microbial properties and may help soothe the pain in your throat while eliminating the causes of your sore throat. Honey can coat your mucus membrane and provide relief. It also has infection fighting properties and can prevent your sore throat from developing into a full blown infection. Tea, especially if it’s licorice tea, may soothe the swelling and irritation in your throat. Below is a recipe for ginger, honey and lemon water:
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon grated ginger or 1 teaspoon of the powdered kind
- Juice from half a lemon
- 1 warm cup of water (or tea)
Stir together and drink as needed.
7. Get Plenty Of Rest
One of the best ways to soothe and cure a sore throat is really to get enough rest and sleep. Our body needs proper rest in order for our immune system to function optimally. So once you feel a sore throat coming on, pass on the weekend festivities and get more rest and relaxation.