Sore throats may be due to viral infections, bacterial infections, irritation from smoking, excessive loud talking, dry heated rooms in winter months or secretions from the nose running down the throat.
Gargle with Salt Water
Gargle with warm salt water (1/2 tsp. of table salt in an 8 oz. glass of water) every three to four hours. Gargling helps reduce pain, swelling and reduces the excess mucous secretions. It is the safest and least expensive treatment for a sore throat.
Sip warm or cold drinks. Liquids are soothing and will help keep mucous membranes moist and comfortable.
Hard Candy or Ice
Suck on hard candy or ice chips for the soothing, moisturizing effects.
Steam inhalation helps sooth dry, raw throats. You can stand in a hot, steamy shouwer; drape a towel over you head and stand over a hot steaming sink or use a vaporizer.
Rest your voice, avoid voice strain as much as possible.
Avoid smoking, alcohol, highly spiced foods, extremely hot foods / drinks and extremely cold foods / drinks as they irritate mucous membranes.
Common Medications That May Help
Lozenges– for soothing, mucous clearing effect.
One of these pain medications
Acetaminophen (Tylenol)– 2 tablets every four hours as needed.
Aspirin– 2 tablets every four hours as needed.
Motrin IB– 1 or 2 tablets every 4 to 6 hours as needed.
WARNING: Do not give children aspirin due to aspirin’s association with Reye’s Syndorome.
WARNING: Aspirin and Motrin IB may cause stomach irritation and should be taken with food. Do not take aspirin or Motrin IB if you have a history of ulcer disease, a bleeding disorder or are allergic to aspirin.
See your personal physician if:
- Your throat becomes increasingly sore.
- A severe sore throat lasts more than three days.
- You have been exposed to strep throat.
- You have a fever over 101°F.
- You have white patches on the back of your throat.