Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Treating Sore Throat

Sore throat is often caused by a virus. It is characterised by the pain, itching and irritation of the throat. Laryngitis and pharyngitis are common infections that can give rise to sore throat. The pain is aggravated on swallowing liquid or foods. Other associated symptoms are dry throat, hoarseness and swelling of adjacent glands.

Generally, with proper home care, sore throat is relieved.
  • Gargle with warm saline water to reduce inflammation, swelling and pain
  • Gargle at least once in every two hours
  • Drink plenty of water to prevent dryness of throat
  • Have hot fluids, herbal teas, soups to decrease throat irritation
  • Steam inhalation would help clear swollen air passages and hoarseness
  • Quit smoking and stay away from passive smoking

These tips help relieve sore throat effectively. If they fail to provide any effect, consider taking over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, such as:
  • Painkillers – Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, Naproxen or Aspirin
  • Medicated throat lozenges
  • Nasal decongestants in case of stuffy nose

You need to follow certain safety tips before and while using medicines for sore throat. Carefully check the instructions before use. Follow all the directions advised by your doctor. Do not overdose with any OTC medicine, as it increases the risk of adverse events. Special care should be taken in case of pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Visit your GP if you experience severe throat pain, shortness of breath, inability to swallow liquid or solids with fever. If your symptoms last for more than two weeks, immediately seek medical help. In serious conditions, you may require antibiotics that destroy bacteria.

Preventing Sore Throat

Sore throat often recur; there are certain steps you can follow to prevent infection. Wash your hands thoroughly, use hand sanitizer, do not share utensils and drinking glasses with others, quit smoking, use a humidifier in your house to prevent dryness and more importantly, stay away allergens such as pollen, dust and mould.

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