A sore throat is a painful, scratchy, dry or irritating feeling in the throat, often triggered by infections or polluted air. Though a sore throat can cause discomfort, it generally settles on its own.
Sore throats are categorized into different types, based on the part of the throat it effects.
Pharyngitis is an inflammation in the area right behind the mouth.
Tonsillitis is swelling and redness of the tonsils, the soft tissue in the back of the mouth.
Laryngitis is an inflammation and redness of the voice box, or larynx.
What Causes Sore Throat?
Viruses cause more than 90% of sore throat, while bacteria causes streptococcal infections triggered by allergens such as pollen and pet dangers. Dry air during winter can suck the moisture from the mouth and cause scratchy throat and other environmental factors such as smoking, exposure to chemical and air pollution also contribute to this condition.
The symptoms of a sore throat are the scratchy, burning, dry, tender and irritated throat. Sometimes you may have found it difficult even to swallow or talk. Throat looks reddish, white patches form on the tonsils. Patches are more common in strep throat than in a sore throat caused by a virus.
In severe cases you may have symptoms like nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, cough, fever, chills, hoarse voice. body pain, headache and loss of appetite.
Diagnosis And Treatments
A sore throat that is caused by a viral infection settles on its own within a week, consult the doctor if the symptoms worsen such as difficulty in swallowing, breathing difficulty, fever, and blood in the phlegm.
Strep throat is diagnosed by a physician based on symptoms, examination of the throat and a strep test.
Effective Home Remedies For A Sore Throat
In most cases, sore throats can be treated at home, by taking ample rest and allowing your immune system to combat the infection.
To Alleviate The Pain Of A Sore Throat:
- Gargle warm salt water for at least 3 times in a day
- Always drink warm liquids that help to soothe throats such as soup, ginger tea with honey, warm lemon tea, and basil honey tea
- Soothe your throat by taking popsicle or ice cream, or lozenges
- Rest your voice until your throat feels better