What Is Sore throat?
A sore throat is defined as pain, dryness or irritation of the throat. It is termed as throat pain also. It can occur anywhere in the throat. It can be due to any virus, flu or infection. It results in irritation or inflammation of the throat along with pain.
A sore throat is classified into 3 three categories on the basis of the area affected.
- Pharyngitis- Inflammation of the throat
- Tonsillitis- Inflammation of the tonsils
- Laryngitis- Inflammation of the larynx or voice box
What Are The Symptoms Of Sore throat?
Symptoms of a sore throat are:
- The burning of the throat, dryness of throat
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Redness of throat, pain in the throat
- Swelling or pus on tonsils
- Formation of white patches on tonsils
- Hoarse voice
- Coughing, sneezing, fever
- Loss of appetite, headache
- Nasal congestion
What Are The Causes Of Sore throat?
A sore throat can be due to an infection, flu or injuries. Some of the common causes of a sore throat are enlisted below:
- Viral infection: Viruses are the most common cause of a sore throat. The viral infection which causes a sore throat are:
Cold, influenza (flu)
Chickenpox, measles, mumps
Mononucleosis- a type of infection that transmits through saliva
- Bacterial infection: A sore throat can also occur due to bacterial infections. Streptococcus pyogenes is a type of bacteria which causes strep throat. Strep throat is an infection of throat and tonsils caused by bacteria.
- Allergens: Some allergens such pollen grains, grass, mold and dust causes a sore throat. The immune system when attacked by these allergens causes allergy resulting in a sore throat.
- Dryness of the air: Dry air removes the moisture from the throat and makes breathing difficult. This causes a sore throat.
- Outdoor irritants, chemical, and smoke: Environmental pollution, smoking, dust from chemicals are also responsible for causing a sore throat.
- Strains or injuries: Any injury or strains in the throat due to some accident, games, loudly singing or talking for a longer period of time can cause sore throats.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): In this disease, the acid content of the stomach is pulled back to the esophagus causing irritation of the throat.
- Tumors: Tumours of the throat also causes a sore throat resulting in difficulty in swallowing, hoarseness, blood in the saliva etc. This type of a sore throat in the symptom of cancer.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Sore throat?
- Drink warm water as much as possible. This will help in relieving the irritation of the throat.
- Gargling with salt water will help in clearing the blockage and will provide relief to the throat.
- Always brush your tongue. Cleaning your tongue can help to reduce the soreness of the throat also.
- Stay hydrated as much as you can. Drinking water and other liquids will help to soothe your throat and will moisten the throat.
- Use a humidifier to get clean and purified air. This will reduce the risk of allergens and irritants and will add moisture to the air. Dryness of the throat will be reduced while sleeping in this air.
- Wear a mask while going outside to reduce the risk of allergies.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Sore throat?
- Avoid smoking as this can irritate the throat.
- Forget spicy and junk food as these worsen the symptoms of a sore throat.
- Avoid loud talking or singing. These will increase the pain.
- Avoid alcohol intake because alcohol increases the dryness of the throat.
- Stay away from chemicals and pollens.
What Are The Best Foods For Sore throat?
- Tea: Drinking warm tea helps to soothe a sore throat.
- Egg whites: Egg whites especially scrambled ones are the good source of proteins and are soft to swallow. These help in reducing the inflammation of the throat.
- Oatmeal: Oatmeals are a rich source of soluble fiber. Eating oatmeal by adding honey will provide the soothing effects to the inflamed throat.
- Boiled vegetables: Eating boiled vegetables especially carrots helps to recover through a sore throat. Vegetables are rich sources of vitamins and minerals.
- Vegetable soups: Vegetable soups are easily digestible and warm soups help to ease the pain. These are rich sources of essential nutrients required for the recovery.
- Banana: Banana is a soft fruit, easy to eat. Making a smoothie or a shake will help to soothe the throat and will provide energy also.
What Are The Worst Foods For Sore throat?
- Spicy and junk foods: These foods are full of spices and fatty oils. These can worsen a sore throat and increases the pain.
- Citrus foods: Lemon, grapes, oranges, tomatoes are some citrus food which should be avoided if you have a sore throat. Their acidic contents can irritate a sore throat.
- Fatty foods: These foods are not easily digestible and suppress the immune system. These include full-fat dairy products, fried foods. These can cause trouble while swallowing or chewing.
- Alcohol: Consumption of alcohol and products containing alcohol causes the dryness of the throat. This increases the inflammation and pain.
What Are The Medicines For Sore throat?
What Are The Tips To Manage Sore throat?
A sore throat can be managed by following some of the old home remedies as given below:
- Gargling with salt water: Dissolve a small amount of salt in hot water and do gargles with that. This will help in reducing the inflammation.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent. Mix turmeric with honey or with milk. It will help in healing and soothe the inflamed throat.
- Ginger: Ginger is also another magical remedy for a sore throat. It also has anti-inflammatory activities. Drinking warm ginger tea helps to kill the bacteria and soothes the throat.
- Honey: Honey can be consumed with turmeric or tea to fight the infection. It is a good healing agent.
- Garlic: Garlic contains allicin which has antibacterial properties. Eating ginger will help to cure the bacterial infection.
- Water: Water is one of the natural remedies for all diseases. Staying hydrated helps to remove the dryness of the throat. Drinking lot of water helps to remove the toxins from the body and improves the circulation as well.
- Licorice: Liquorice root is one of the powerful expectorants which helps to break down the mucus and clear the airways. It has antimicrobial and antiviral properties. It soothes the throat and reduces the inflammation.