A painful throat can simply come along with a cold or runny nose to add to your woes. Sometimes, though, it can be a sign of some underlying problems that might need medical treatment.
What Is A Sore Throat?
A sore throat means that your throat hurts, feels irritated or scratchy. You may feel mild discomfort or burning pain in the throat and sometimes even difficulty in swallowing.
What Causes A Sore Throat?
-Viral infections such as colds or the flu.
-Bacterial infection in the throat and tonsils, caused by a particular kind of bacteria, Streptococcus pyogenes (Strep throat)
-Painful swelling of tonsils (Tonsillitis)
-Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke
-Seasonal or food allergies
-Mouth breathing at night while sleeping, especially in winter
-Pollutants in the air
Pollution can also cause symptoms like runny nose, itchy skin, and burning sensation in the eye, etc. Don’t let that worsening air quality hurt your health. Get tested for toxic elements.
While sore throat caused due to viruses is usually self-limiting and no antibiotic treatment is needed, a bacterial cause may need prompt medical care.
When To Worry About A Sore Throat?
Match your symptoms with this checklist to know if you need to see a doctor for your painful throat:
-The sore throat gets better as the day goes on
-It hurts to the point that you’re having to change their diet
-The sore throat is accompanied by high fever (102° F or higher)
-If there is a rash, headache, stomachache, or vomiting
-If none of the above are happening, chances are high that your sore throat will be fine in a day or two.
How Long Can A Sore Throat Last?
Sore throats can last only a few days, or stay on until the underlying cause is addressed. Most sore throats occur due to common viruses and resolve on their own within 3 to 10 days. Sore throats caused by a bacterial infection or allergies may last longer.
Quick Tips To Relieve Sore Throat
Avoid foods that are salty, spicy, acidic (like orange juice), or sharp (like potato chips). Stick with bland and soft food.
Use a humidifier at home or workplace to help keep the throat moist.
Suck on cough drops (like lozenges) to help lubricate and soothe irritated tissues of the throat.
Take rest and keep yourself hydrated with plenty of fluids.
Sip on warm liquids and herbal teas to soothe the throat.
1mg Supertip: Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in ~250 mL of warm water and gargle with it, around the back of the throat, 3-4 times daily. It moistens the throat and relieves pain and scratchiness.
(The article is reviewed by Dr. Swati Mishra, Medical Editor)