Many sore throat remedies are available for the relief of discomfort brought about by the inflammation.
The treatment for a sore throat varies from one patient to another. Some remedies may be effective on one person while ineffective for the other. Furthermore, known as tonsillitis or pharyngitis, a sore throat is an inflammation of either the tonsils or pharynx. A sore throat is not really considered a disease but more of a symptom of a disease. The infection may be brought about by bacteria or a virus. Sore throats may be symptoms of an illness such as the flu or a symptom of the condition itself.
A sore throat is commonly characterized by difficulty in swallowing and pain in the throat. It usually affects children; though the symptom may affect people at any age. Simple sore throat remedies exist. However, a sore throat caused by bacteria is usually treated with antibiotic therapy. Early treatment is encouraged because certain types of bacteria may cause complications.
Causes of a Sore Throat
A sore throat is usually caused by infection. The infection is usually brought about by viruses such as: the Epstein-Barr virus, influenza virus, and the common cold virus. These viruses are commonly spread through airborne contact or the droplet method by sneezing or coughing. The probability of spreading the infection is also increased by not washing your hands.
The symptom may also be caused by bacteria. The most common for which is the group A Beta-hemolytic Streptococci bacteria or GABHS. Recurrent infection caused by GABHS may lead to serious complications such as glomerulonephritis or rheumatic fever. Allergies, trauma, and smoking may also cause a sore throat.
Signs of a Sore Throat
The most common sign of a sore throat is the difficulty in swallowing and throat pain. The pain felt in the throat may also radiate to the ears. The tonsils may appear swollen and reddish. If the symptom is caused by an infection, the patient may develop a fever. The lymph nodes in the neck area (See: neck pain relief) and underneath the jaw may also appear swollen as a sign of infection.
The signs of a sore throat may vary depending on the cause. The symptoms are commonly mild with a sore throat caused by a viral infection. Symptoms similar to a common cold may also appear. A sore throat caused by a Coxsackie virus is accompanied by blisters that appear in the soft palate and tonsils. After a few days, the blisters in the tonsils and soft palate erupt, and this later forms a scab that can be very painful. Streptococcal infection is often manifested by swollen tonsils that appear to be coated. The infection is also accompanied by fever and, in some cases, a foul breath and fatigue.
Sore Throat Remedies and Treatment
The goal for the treatment of a sore throat is to relieve the patient of pain. Sore throat symptoms usually go away on their own without treatment. However, the pain and discomfort brought about by a sore throat may interfere with the patient’s day-to-day activity. Many sore throat remedies are available to soothe the pain. Remedies may come in lozenges, gargles, drinks, and sprays.
To prevent further damage to the throat, the patient is encouraged to change his or her diet. A soft diet is very beneficial. A soft diet is consisting of food that goes down the throat easily. This prevents further damage to the throat by reducing the friction being brought about by food going down through the throat. A frozen yogurt, Popsicle, or ice cream may also be of help. The cold feeling brought by these foods provides a numb sensation in the throat which soothes the pain.
Sore throat remedies include gargles. Gargling using warm saltwater helps reduce phlegm and inflammation. The solution is done by dissolving at least a half a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water. Repeat gargling as necessary. Other types of gargle solutions include: licorice root and commercial solutions such as Listerine.
One of the many sore throat remedies includes keeping the nasal passageways clear. A dry throat and post-nasal drip is one of the most common causes of a sore throat. A dry throat occurs due to blocked nasal passages causing the person to sleep with an open mouth. Post-nasal drip may be prevented by blowing the nose one nostril at a time. Always remember to blow gently to prevent irritation in the nasal passages. Medications such as decongestants may also be utilized but must be taken with caution. Decongestants may cause nasal irritations and a rebound effect. Another way to clear the nasal passageways is through the use of saline nasal sprays. Furthermore, one of the best ways that can aid in clearing the passageways is through the use of a humidifier.
Other sore throat remedies include the treatment of the underlying cause. In cases of bacterial infections, the patient is recommended to consult a physician for antibiotic therapy. Drinking lots of fluids may as well aid in the treatment of a sore throat. This helps the patient stay hydrated in case of infection. Lozenges may likewise help in minor cases.
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