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Sore Throat

 

A sore throat is an infection of the throat. It is one of the most common conditions seen by an ENT specialist. It is a symptom, not a disease.

Causes

  • The sudden change in weather from a bright, warm sunny day to a cold, chilly day
  • Viral infections
  • Pollens and molds
  • Cat and dog dander
  • House dust
  • Dry heat during the cold winter months
  • Mouth breathing
  • Pollutants and chemicals in the air
  • Straining your voice
  • Secretions from the nose in association with a cold or allergy
  • Regurgitation of stomach acids into the back of the throat
  • Tonsillitis

Symptoms

  • Itchiness or tickling in the throat
  • Red area in the  throat
  • Pain while swallowing
  • Cough
  • Inflammation in the throat
  • Fever
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Nausea
  • Pus on tonsils

Treatment 

  • Drink lots of liquids: The best ones are warm liquids such as hot tea or soup. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Stop Smoking: Smoke irritates the throat prolonging the symptoms. Refrain from smoking if at all possible.
  • Rest and sleep more during this time: Getting 8-10 hours of sleep each night gives the body a better opportunity to combat the viruses. Exercise should be withheld for the first 48-72 hours to allow the body to fight off the virus.
  • Gargling with a solution of 1/2 teaspoon (or less) salt in a glass of warm water every 2-4 hours during the day, to help soothe the throat.
  • Suck on lozenges to help ease the pain.
  • Steam helps soothe a dry and/or raw throat.
  • Taking paracetamol will help relieve pain and fever.
  • Avoid sharing of towels and utensils with the infected person.
  • Frequent hand washing helps.
  • Eat small, frequent meals. Choosing simple, nutritious food ensures a well balanced diet with in essential vitamins and nutrients.
  • As long as the room remains reasonably warm and free of drafts, a daily dose of fresh air can sometimes do wonders.

Prevention

  • Wash your hands frequently; this is the best defense. Most viral infections are picked up by hand-to-hand contact.
  • Stay away from people who are suffering with cold or sore throat, especially when they sneeze or cough, since you end up inhaling the infected droplets from a cough or sneeze.
  • Eat a well balanced diet and make sure one gets enough sleep to keep up the resistance.