There are several reasons why you can have a sore throat, and by understanding the causes of this problem, you can change your behavior along with treating the condition. Sore throats occur for these reasons:
- Having a cold
- Having a sinus infection
- Having influenza
- Having a viral infection
- Having a bacterial infection
- Having tonsillitis
- Having allergies
If you talk a lot, smoke cigarettes or live where there is dry air, then you are more likely to have sore throats frequently. A sore throat can lead to discomfort, swollen tissue in the throat and a raspy voice. You may find it difficult to swallow food, and in some cases, it is difficult to drink liquids.
How Can You Treat a Sore Throat?
Having an occasional sore throat from a cold is common, but if you have a serious problem with your throat, then visiting an ear, neck and throat specialist is recommended. A physician with specialized training in taking care of the ears, neck and throat can determine why you have a chronic or extremely painful throat condition, and after understanding the reason for the sore throat, you can begin treatment. There are numerous ways to treat a sore throat, and you should follow your physician’s recommendations.
For some types of sore throats, cold treats are recommended, including ice cream or ice pops. Frozen or cold foods and beverages help to numb the interior of your throat to reduce the inflammation and pain. You will probably need to have a cold or frozen treat about once an hour to feel better.
In some cases, your throat will feel better if you drink warm liquids such as hot tea. Some individuals like to add honey to their hot tea because it helps to soothe the inflamed tissue in the throat. You can use regular tea bags to make a warm beverage for your throat, or you can use herbal tea bags.
Gargling with a variety of liquids can also soothe your throat while eliminating an infection. In addition to gargling with store-bought mouthwashes, you can make your own mouth rinse from warm water mixed with salt. Alternatively, some individuals recommend gargling with apple cider vinegar.
You can buy bags of throat lozenges at local drugstores to soothe your throat at anytime of the day. Throat lozenges may contain menthol to release the congestion in your sinuses, or the items might have vitamin C to boost your immune system. You can find throat lozenges that are in a variety of flavors such as cherry or lemon, and some of these items also contain herbs.
If you have a bacterial infection such as strep throat, then you will need antibiotic treatment that is only available with a prescription. An ear, nose and throat physician can diagnose strep throat with a throat culture swab test so that you can begin antibiotic treatment right away.