Ashford Clinic Blog
10 Sore Throat Solutions
This time of year, it seems like everyone gets a sore throat for one reason or another. While some instances are more of a cause for concern than others, there are some things you can do to relieve your sore throat...
Gargle with Salt Water
Salt water is a great home remedy for sore throat, as it can reduce swelling and calm inflammation and irritation. It may also help draw infections or irritants to the surface of your throat, where your body is better able to deal with them. A good ratio is 1/4 - 1/2 tsp of salt to 8 oz warm water and gargle every hour or two. At this point, you may want to avoid gargling with Apple Cider Vinegar. While it does have several health benefits, there is no clear evidence that it is helpful for sore throats and extended use can damage the enamel on your teeth.
Cold Liquids are Your Friend
Icy cold liquids can help numb the pain and reduce the inflammation in your throat. Popsicles can be equally as effective so long as you avoid citrus flavors that can trigger acid reflux.
Turn on the Humidifier/Take a Steamy Shower
Dry air can further irritate your throat, so using a humidifier or taking a hot shower can add some moisture to your airways. This soothes your symptoms and helps you recover faster.
Avoid Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is not only a common cause of sore throat, it can also prolong and even worsen your symptoms. Anything you can do to avoid acid reflux is helpful, whether that's skipping acidic foods, avoiding eating an hour before bed, or taking antacids.
Sip Herbal Teas
Many herbal teas, like turmeric, have anti-inflamatory and immune-system-boosting properties that can help ease your symtoms and get better faster. Adding honey is also helpful, not only does it have antibacterial properties, it's sweet and delicious.
Take a Pain Reliever
Taking ibuprofen and other pain relievers can help with caughing and inflamation, just make sure to read the label and consult your doctor for proper dosage.
Use a Nasal Decongestant
Nasal Decongestants can help to open up your airways, eliminate congestion, and decrease postnasal drip, all of which will help you to feel better.
Toss Your Toothbrush
Bacteria collect on the bristles, and any injury to the gums during brushing injects these germs into your system. As soon as you start feeling ill, throw away your toothbrush.
Get Plenty of Rest
Getting 7 - 9 hours of sleep helps your body to recharge and fight infections more effectively.
Elevate Your Head
When you lay down, propping up your head can help relieve pressure on your neck and helps you to feel better. It's also helpful in fighting acid reflux.
When to see a Doctor
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms along with your sore throat, you should see a doctor for proper treatment.
- Severe, prolonged, or recurrent sore throats
- Difficulty breathing, swallowing, or opening the mouth
- Joint pains, earache, or a lump in the neck
- Rash or a fever above 101°F
- Hoarseness lasting 2 weeks or longer
- White patches on your throat (look with a flashlight)
- Blood in saliva or phlegm