Health and Lifestyle for the over 50s

6 Ways to Soothe a Sore Throat

Posted by The Best of Health
Categories: Health and Wellbeing /

sore-throat-206475901A sore throat is something we all experience from time to time, whether because of a cold, allergy, strained vocal cord, or some other source of irritation. Thankfully, there are plenty ways you can ease the pain at home. Try some of the following:

1) Anti-inflammatories
Anti-inflammatories are one of the most effective ways to deal with the symptoms of a sore throat, and you probably already have some in your medicine cabinet. Ibuprofen and aspirin are a couple of the most commonly used anti-inflammatory painkillers. They’ll reduce any swelling as well as offering you relief from the pain.

2) Salt Water
Salt water also reduces swelling in the throat and loosens mucus, helping to flush out irritants or bacteria. Simply dissolve half a teaspoon of salt into one cup of warm water, gargle, then spit it out. The taste may be unpleasant, but doing this a few times a day is likely to get rid of your sore throat faster.

3) Lozenges and Throat Sprays
There are plenty of lozenges and sprays which aim to offer fast relief from throat pain. Sucking on lozenges stimulates saliva production which helps to keep your throat moist, lessening the pain. Many of them also contain antiseptics to kill any germs causing throat problems, and sometimes a nasal decongestant to relieve any stuffiness – helpful if your sore throat is the result of a cold which is making it difficult to breathe out of your nose. Throat sprays also include antiseptics and a numbing agent to offer instant, though temporary, relief.

4) Cough Syrup
Even if you don’t have a cough, it might be worth tackling your sore throat with an over-the-counter cough syrup. These coat the throat, temporarily making it less sore. Remember to choose a non-drowsy formula if you’re going to be leaving the house.

5) Fluids
Staying hydrated is always important, so a sore throat is just one more reason to drink plenty of fluids. If you’re dehydrated, your body won’t produce enough saliva and mucus to keep your throat naturally lubricated, so make sure you’re getting plenty of fluids. In fact, you should be drinking even more than you normally would, in order to minimise the pain. You don’t have to stick to just water – hot drinks can be just as helpful as cold ones. Tea, for example, can be very soothing, and many types contain antioxidants which are thought to help ward off infection.

6) Soup
Eating can be difficult when you have a sore throat, so try swapping some solids for soups. As well as being easier to swallow, some soups contain levels of salt which are believed to have an anti-inflammatory effect. Chicken soup in particular is considered to have mild anti-inflammatory properties which help people to overcome sore throats and colds.

The aim of most of these methods is to keep your sore throat lubricated. This will reduce the pain and, in many cases, help it to heal faster. Most sore throats come and go quickly without the need for medical help, but you should make an appointment with your GP if your symptoms have not improved for over a week.

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