Changes in weather and the ushering in of the cold season often brings about colds, coughs and the dreaded itchy sore throats. Here is how you can prevent a sore throat from occurring but if you get one, donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t despair; there are several home remedies to provide temporary relief.
A sore throat is pain, scratchiness or irritation of the throat that often worsens when you swallow. It is the primary symptom of pharyngitis Ã¢â‚¬â€ inflammation of the pharynx, or throat.
The most common cause of a sore throat is a viral infection, such as a cold or the flu. A sore throat caused by a virus usually resolves on its own with at-home care. A bacterial infection, a less common cause of sore throat, requires additional treatment with antibiotic drugs. Other less common causes of sore throat may require more complex treatment.
Symptoms may vary depending on the cause. Signs and symptoms may include: Pain or a scratchy sensation in the throat, pain that worsens with swallowing or talking, difficulty swallowing, dry throat, sore, swollen glands in your neck or jaw, refusal to eat (infants and toddlers), among others.
Common infections causing a sore throat may result in other accompanying signs and symptoms: Fever, chills, cough, runny nose, sneezing, body aches, among others.
Lifestyle and home remedies
Regardless of the cause of your sore throat, at-home care strategies usually provide temporary relief. Try these strategies:
Rest. Get plenty of sleep and rest your voice.
Fluids. Drink plenty of water to keep the throat moist and prevent dehydration.
Comforting foods and beverages. Warm liquids Ã¢â‚¬â€ broth, caffeine-free tea or warm water with honey Ã¢â‚¬â€ and cold treats such as ice pops can soothe a sore throat.
Salt water gargle. A salt water gargle of 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) of table salt to a small cup of warm water can help soothe a sore throat. Gargle the solution and then spit it out.
Lozenges. Lozenges can soothe a sore throat. Lozenges are a choking hazard, so donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t give them to children age 4 and younger.
Avoid irritants. Keep your home free from cigarette smoke and cleaning products that can irritate the throat.
Treat pain and fever. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) may minimise throat pain. Aspirin has been linked with ReyeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s syndrome, so use caution when giving aspirin to children or teenagers. Though aspirin is approved for use in children older than age 2, children and teenagers recovering from chickenpox or flu-like symptoms should never take aspirin. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.Ã¢â‚¬â€Www.mayoclinic.com