A sore throat is by far one of the most unpleasant parts of getting sick. Luckily, there are several home remedies you can try on your own.
Today, your experienced McAllen sinus relief specialists at the Glatz Group of Valley ENT will share six of the most effective home remedies for a sore throat, as well as those that do not work as advertised.
Try These From Home the Next Time You Suspect a Sore Throat
1. Warm and cold fluids
Enjoy some warm drinks like tea or chicken soup. Or give cold liquids, including ice water or popsicles, a try.
Liquids help clear out mucous membranes, maintain the flow of things, and prevent sinus infections. Warm temperatures may also minimize coughs by soothing the back of the throat. Try both temperatures out to determine which is ideal for you.
Dissolve ½ teaspoon of salt — or a relative portion of baking soda — into a glass of warm water. Gargle this every three hours for a sore throat remedy that is completely natural. Make sure you do not swallow it.
Salt water can help decrease swelling and irritation in your throat. Baking soda also tones down the throat pain by breaking up the built-up mucus. It can in turn help with the throat irritation that comes from acid reflux.
3. Over-the-counter antihistamines and pain relievers
An antihistamine may moderate or alleviate throat pain. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen are also good options to assist with pain that’s found a bit deeper in the glands and other neck regions.
Histamines are chemicals that give your immune system the strength to combat foreign substances. However, it is worth mentioning that sometimes they can be too much, triggering symptoms (e.g. congestion and post-nasal drip) that may cause a sore throat to feel even worse. Antihistamines can offset this overreaction.
4. Steam and humidity
Treat yourself to a hot shower. Once your bathroom gets really steamy, breathe it all in.
The steam from the hot shower loosens mucus and can provide moisture and relief to a sore throat.
5. Hot toddy
A hot toddy is a drink concoction made up of water, whiskey, honey, and lemon juice and served hot. Some people like to add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger.
Hot toddies have been shown to be extremely soothing. The following reasons are:
- Honey covers your throat and settles it by diminishing irritation. Honey also has antibacterial properties, and its sweet consistency can support the throat’s nerve endings and curb coughing.
- Whiskey (a small quantity; too much can make you dehydrated) dissolves and thins mucus. Whiskey also causes the blood vessels on the surface of the throat to dilate, so immune cells in your blood are able to multiply and protect themselves from the infection.
- Spices stimulate the production of saliva, supporting the state of hydration and flow of mucus within your throat.
Don’t underestimate how much physical rest can help your body and voice. Keep in mind that lying flat can sometimes lead to swelling from a rise in pressure at the back of the throat. Instead, try creating a higher elevation for your bed or sitting propped up or in a chair to calm the pain and discomfort.
To Home Remedies for Sore Throat That Aren’t Recommended
Unfortunately, not all sore throat remedies are made equal. It is in your best interest to avoid the following remedies:
- Apple cider vinegar — While it may have certain antibacterial properties, it won’t do much for the sore throat itself.
- Essential oils — They have not been clinically proven for safety or effectiveness.
And avoid anything that may potentially irritate your throat, such as:
- Dry air
- Foods that are spicy or acidic
- Lying down right after eating, especially if you suffer from acid reflux
When To Be Seen by a Doctor for Throat Pain
Reach out to a doctor if you:
- Have throat pain that’s severe, prolonged or not getting better, or travels into your ear.
- Have a hard time whenever you try to swallow, breathe, or open your mouth.
- Are coughing up blood or have noticed blood in your saliva.
- Notice enlarged lymph nodes, or lumps, in your neck.
- Have white patches on the back of your throat or a rash, possible indicators of strep throat or scarlet fever.
- Have an intense fever.
- No longer have your voice for more than a week or two.
Kiss That Sore Throat Goodbye When You Visit the Glatz Group of Valley ENT
If after trying out these home remedies, your sore throat has worsened or persisted, don’t wait to book your appointment with our McAllen sinus doctor.
Don’t forget, when dealing with illnesses, an ounce of prevention is worthwhile. Wash your hands frequently. And if you do happen to get sick, it is highly recommended that you replace your toothbrush with one that is fresh and free of germs as soon as possible.