A sore throat is an irritable, dry, and scratchy feeling in the throat. This is especially noticeable when you try to swallow. There are several causes of sore throat that can greatly affect our daily activities. A sore throat may last for a few days, depending on the cause. While you can use over-the-counter medicines for sore throat, there are easy, affordable, and natural ways to help treat sore throat.
What are the Causes and Symptoms of a Sore Throat?
There are many reasons that cause a sore throat. A sore throat can last up to 10 days. To know what remedies to use when you have a sore throat. It is important to know its symptoms and causes.
Here are the three types of sore throat, based on the parts they affect:
- Pharyngitis – This is the inflammation at the back of the throat, or pharynx. This is the most common type of sore throat.
- Tonsillitis – This affects the tonsils at the back of the throat that causes swelling and redness.
- Laryngitis – This is the inflammation of the voice box.
Causes of Sore Throat
A sore throat happens to everyone. It can range from viruses to severe disease. Here are the following common causes of a sore throat.
- Viral infections
- Bacterial infections
- Dry air
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
The symptoms of a sore throat may vary. This depends on the cause of your sore throat. Be sure to watch out for these signs and symptoms.
- You feel pain and a scratchy sensation in the throat
- Pain increases as you talk or swallow
- Difficulty swallowing
- Neck and jaw are sore and swollen
- Swollen and red tonsils
- Pus pockets on your tonsils
- You have a hoarse or muffled voice
10 Home Remedies That Helps Relieve Sore Throat for Adults
Having a sore throat is uncomfortable and painful. It goes away in a few days but it is still extremely irritating. Here are some home remedies that can soothe relieve sore throats.
Rinsing your mouth with saltwater can help soothe the throat and kill bacteria. To make a saltwater mouth rinse, mix one teaspoon of table salt with 8 ounces of warm water. Gargle it for 15 to 30 seconds then, spit it out. This is recommended to do every three days.
Honey is a common household remedy for a sore throat. You can mix honey with tea as it can relieve sore throats and coughs.
3. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile has plenty of health benefits. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that soothe sore throats. You can prepare hot chamomile tea and add lemon or honey for a more soothing effect.
Peppermint acts as an antibacterial solution and helps fight bacteria in the throat. This is also the base ingredient for sore throat medications like lozenges.
5. Baking Soda Gargle
This remedy also works like a saltwater gargle. Baking soda has properties that kill bacteria and relieve sore throats.
6. Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow root is the ingredient in cough syrups for treating coughs. This is also effective in treating sore throat. To use this remedy for sore throat, you can simply add some dried root to a cup of boiling water and make tea.
7. Licorice Root
The root of licorice is an effective remedy for sore throats. Just mix with water to create a solution.
8. Essential Oil
Some natural essential oils are effective remedies for sore throats. These essential oils are extracted from leaves, flowers, or roots of certain plants. Essential oils like nutmeg, bergamot, and cypress are some of the natural oils that you can use.
9. Soup or Broth
Sipping a warm soup or broth can help relieve a sore throat. Adding garlic and ginger can add more effectiveness in soothing a painful throat.
10. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties that fight off bacteria in the throat. It might be bad and unpleasant but gargling a mixture of apple cider vinegar in water might help relieve painful and swollen throats.
Home Remedies for Children
Some home remedies are not suitable or might not be comfortable for children. Here are some remedies that you can use for children.
Try cold water or milk for children. It is important that the child is kept hydrated.
This can temporarily numb the throat but make sure that you avoid citrus-flavored popsicles.
Pineapple contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme. This can be a tasty treat to relieve sore throat for children.
You can add honey to milk to help relieve sore throat for children. A gentle reminder that you should not give honey to children who are younger than 1 year.
You can also try peppermint oils to treat a sore throat of children. Try throat spray that contains peppermint to relieve pain.
Moisture in the air helps the throat moist. Keep the air moist by adding cool mist or humidifier in the room.
When Should you Visit a Doctor?
Sore throats are uncomfortable and painful but they can go away on their own after few days. The following home remedies we mention can help relieve pain faster. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, you should immediately contact your doctor.
- If your throat is sore for more than a week
- Experiencing fever higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit
- Blood in your saliva or mucus
- Sore joints
- Difficulty opening your mouth
- Difficulty in breathing and swallowing
It can be really irritating and difficult to do activities with a sore throat. However, most sore throats usually only last for a few days, depending on the cause. While you wait for your sore throat to fade away, there are several home remedies you can do to relieve the pain. If symptoms persist and your sore throat does not fade for more than a week, you should immediately contact your doctor.