What are the common symptoms of a sore throat?
At the start, a sore throat can be characterised by pain, dryness, itching or a scratchy feeling in the throat. Once it gets to the moderate stage, a person can start experiencing pain while talking or swallowing and hoarseness of voice. Severe cases of sore throat may be accompanied with sore and swollen glands in the neck or jaw, and swollen or inflamed tonsils with the presence of white patches or pus.
Common sore throat causes
A sore throat is usually the start of a common cold or flu. These are the very common types of viral infection.
Laryngitis or the infection of the voice box can also cause a sore throat. When the larynx is inflamed this causes a raspy or hoarse voice and sometimes lowering of pitch.
Mononucleosis, or simply "mono", is a typical viral infection that affects teens and young adults. It can cause a bad sore throat with swollen neck glands and fever. Some who are affected can feel tired and weak for weeks or months after the infection.
Strep throat is a common bacterial infection that leads to sore throat that can be accompanied with fever. It is an infection in the throat and tonsils caused by strep bacteria.
Tonsillitis is another common cause of sore throat. The tonsils are balls of tissue situated at either side of the throat above and behind the tongue. They are an important part of the immune system, and tonsillitis is when they become infected and inflamed.
Sore throat can also be caused by low humidity, smoking, air pollution, yelling and even post nasal drip. It happens when the mucus from the nasal passages and sinuses drain into the throat.
- Breathing through the mouth due to allergies or stuffy nose.
- Stomach acid that backs up into the throat.
- An injury on the back of the throat.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome that is characterised by inexplicable exhaustion, sleep problems, thinking problems and pain throughout the body.
Who is at risk of developing a sore throat?
Most people will experience an episode of sore throat more than once in their lifetime but there are certain individuals who may be more prone to this condition and these are: children, those who smoke, people with allergies and those with a compromised immune system.
Sore throat remedies
- At the first sign of sore throat it is best to reach for available sore throat home remedies such as:
- Gargle with a warm water and salt solution. A simple recipe is 1 teaspoon of salt dissolved in a cup of warm water. Do this every hour to keep the throat hydrated and moist.
- Drink a lot of fluids. To help soothe the irritation, taking hot soup or tea are most advisable.
- Use a vaporiser or humidifier in the room. If you do not have a humidifier, you can use a shallow pan of water to provide moisture in the air.
- Avoid smoking or inhaling irritants.
You can also take non-prescription medications:
- Medicated lozenges and medicated throat sprays that have a local anesthetic are the best to help numb the throat to soothe the pain.
- Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs like acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin.
Since a sore throat is mainly caused by infection, the best way to prevent it is by taking necessary steps to avoid infection. One very simple yet effective way of avoiding infection is by frequently washing your hands throughout the day. This ensures that no germs and bacteria will breed on your hands.
Other effective steps are:
- Do not share drinking glasses and utensils with others.
- Always use hand sanitizers whenever soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching commonly touched surfaces.
- Minimise exposure to allergens.
- Avoid smoking or getting exposed to secondary smoke.
- Keep a humidifier in your room or inside the house to eliminate dryness.
Page updated 06/04/18 12:47:36 p.m.