Everyone has experienced a sore throat at some point in their life. This can be a genuinely discomforting symptom to experience and can even disrupt with daily functions. Eating and also drinking a glass of water becomes nearly impossible due to the inflammation and pain that is experienced in your throat. A review paper explains that up to 4% of all patient visits to a family practitioner are due to a complaint about a sore throat. Different factors can cause a sore throat, and the treatment options defer from one particular cause to another. Understanding the causes can help to initiate the right treatment method, but there are some things that you can do to alleviate the symptoms temporarily until the underlying cause is effectively eliminated.
Common Causes Of A Sore Throat
Different factors can cause a person to experience a sore throat, as well as inflammation in their throat. Additional symptoms that may also be present include nasal congestion, a cough, fever, and more. The majority of cases where a patient complains about a sore throat is linked to pharyngitis, which is a medical term used to describe an infection in the throat.
A virus causes most cases of pharyngitis, but bacteria can also cause this condition. Different types of viruses and bacteria can be responsible for the development of a sore throat.
Viruses that commonly causes a sore throat as a symptom include:
- Epstein-Barr Virus
- Parainfluenza Viruses
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus
- Herpes Simplex Virus
Bacterium species that usually causes a person to experience a sore throat include:
- Streptococcus Pyogenes
- Mycoplasma Pneumoniae
- Arcanobacterium Haemolyticum
- Group C / Group G Streptococci
- Neisseria Gonorrhoeae
Treatment for Pharyngitis depends on what type of microorganism is causing the infection, being either a virus or bacteria and the specific species that are involved. In most cases, medicine to assist with congestion and similar symptoms are used to provide temporary relief in patients with a virus infection, as the infection usually clears up within one week. In cases where bacteria are the underlying cause of a sore throat, antibiotics need to be administered to a patient in order to provide relief in their symptoms. Additional medication may also be used to help reduce the severity of a sore throat and other symptoms.
Tips For Relieving Throat Pain Symptoms
When throat pain develops, life can seem dull and painful. Eating and drinking become sore and uncomfortable. Relief, however, is possible. While taking antibiotics to treat a throat infection will not provide an alleviation in the sore throat symptoms immediately, there are some options available that can assist with providing a temporary relief while the antibiotics get to work or while a virus is being eliminated from your body by your immune system.
- One of the most recommended options for relieving sore throat symptoms is a salt water gargle. Just mix some salt with warm water, then gargle the mixture in your throat for a few seconds. You can repeat this process multiple times a day.
- A povidone-iodine solution can also be gargle several times a day to help destroy the microorganisms causing the sore throat and to obtain relief in symptoms. One study provided evidence that the use of a gargle solution that contains povidone-iodine can also be an effective way of preventing the recurrence of infections, especially upper respiratory infections.
- Certain herbs and plant extracts used in ancient Chinese medicine have been proven effective in alleviating sore throat symptoms and speeding up recovery from a throat infection in scientific studies. One study explains that herbal remedies that are effective in treating a sore throat include Qinganlan Liyan Hanpian, Ertong Qingyan Jiere Koufuye, Dikuiluqan Hanpian, and Dandelion compounds.
- Water mixed with juice from a fresh lemon can also be beneficial. This drink will help to soothe your throat and may assist with reducing pain and other symptoms affecting your throat. The high concentration of antioxidants and vitamin C contained in the lemon will also be beneficial in helping your immune system fight off the infection and provide for a speedier recovery.
- Tea that contains extracts of ginger tea can also be useful. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that can help to reduce swelling in your throat and, in turn, assist with alleviating pain and irritation. Additionally, the antibacterial properties of ginger root can help to destroy the bacteria that are causing your throat infection, should the infection be caused by a bacterium species.
- There are many lozenges that you can also suck on to help you achieve relief of your sore throat. Some lozenges are known to be more effective than others. One study provided evidence that lozenges containing a 25mg dose of ibuprofen can provide effective relief of pain and inflammation in the throat. Another study found Flurbiprofen lozenges also to be an effective option. A trendy choice is Strepsils as well, a brand of lozenges that contain a combination of 2,4-Dichlorobenzylalcohol and Amylmetacresol – in addition to its anesthetic properties, these lozenges also contain antiseptic properties.
- When antibiotics are prescribed to assist with fighting against a bacterial throat infection, the addition of corticosteroids can provide for a faster reduction in pain symptoms and also help to improve the recovery time. Even when antibiotics are not utilized during the treatment of a throat infection, such as when a virus is responsible for the infection, the use of corticosteroids can still be an effective method for reducing pain symptoms faster in the affected patient, as explained by one clinical study.
Millions experience a sore throat each year. This symptom is disruptive and can make going about your daily tasks more difficult. A sore throat may sometimes be accompanied by additional symptoms, such as ear pain and swollen lymph nodes. Luckily, there is no need to continue suffering from a painful throat, as there are many ways to achieve fast and effective relief of this symptom, as we pointed out in this post.