SORE THROAT ADVICE: CAUSES, REMEDIES & TREATMENTS
If you’re reading this, we’re guessing you’ve got a sore throat…
Sore throats are painful, uncomfortable and coughing only makes them worse. Our guide answers your most-asked questions on sore throat causes, remedies and treatments, so you can relieve yours with Covonia.
WHAT IS A SORE THROAT?
A sore throat is when you have pain or irritation in your throat that can cause a scratchy or dry feeling, discomfort, and is often worse when you swallow.
SORE THROAT SYMPTOMS
Pain is the most common sore throat symptom, but your throat can also feel:
- Tender or sore
- Irritated or raw
WHAT CAUSES A SORE THROAT?
Sore throat causes are varied; the majority are caused by viruses from colds and the flu. Other common causes can be allergies, dry air and smoking. All of these are generally nothing to worry about and resolve in about a week to ten days. More serious causes are tonsillitis, strep throat and mononucleosis (mono), which are the result of bacteria and may require medical attention.
If you think you may be suffering from one of these illnesses, please see a medical professional (like your GP) who will examine you, take a swab and decide on the right course of treatment for you.
SORE THROAT REMEDIES: WHAT HELPS A SORE THROAT?
If you’re wondering how to help a sore throat, keep reading for our advice, including sore throat treatments that can ease symptoms and speed up your recovery.
- Rest your voice – not speaking for a while can help to alleviate pain and fast-track your recovery
- Take over-the-counter pain killers – paracetamol and ibuprofen can ease the pain and discomfort associated with a sore throat
- Gargle warm salt water – add a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and gargle, before spitting out. This can kill any bacteria in your throat
- Try sore throat lozenges or numbing sprays – these can provide fast relief from pain
- Drink warm (not hot) beverages – to warm the irritated membranes and help relieve symptoms. Drinks such as hot water with honey and lemon can help soothe sore throats and keep you hydrated.
- Put a bowl of water near your radiator at night – this can help keep the air humid and your throat lining moist
- Brush your tongue – sometimes removing the build-up of bacteria on your tongue can lessen the soreness in your throat
- Drink ice-cold drinks – use a straw to drink these slowly, letting the drink rest at the back of your throat for a few seconds to ease any pain
- Rest up – your body is fighting an illness, so it’s important to take it easy and rest as much as possible until you feel better
WHAT TO AVOID WITH A SORE THROAT
If you want to fast-track your recovery from a sore throat, there are a few things you should avoid:
- Smoking – this can further irritate the linings of the nose and throat
- Eating spicy foods – these may make symptoms worse
- Eating acidic foods – citrus foods, dairy and pickled foods can further irritate your throat, so avoid these until you feel better
- Alcohol – this can cause a stinging sensation in your throat and make you dehydrated
- Closing your windows – fresh air is good for your immune system
WHEN TO SEE YOUR GP
Sometimes you need an extra hand to diagnose or treat your sore throat. Make sure you visit your GP if any of the following apply:
- Your sore throat doesn’t improve after a week
- Pain does not improve after three or four days of treatment
- Your sore throat is accompanied by:
- Pain on opening the mouth
- Cough with blood-stained sputum
- Difficulty breathing
- A skin rash
- Swelling on one side of the throat with severe pain
- Loss of appetite or severe fatigue
- Hoarseness doesn’t improve with time or treatment
- Severe joint pains, stiff neck and light sensitivity
For more tips around all things coughs, colds and sore throats, visit our Articles & Advice hub. Feeling under the weather? Take life by the horns and browse our full list of products to Feel the Power with Covonia.