What is sore throat?
A sore throat is a feeling in which one feels a stinging sensation. It is an inflammation, redness and swelling in the throat. The throat feels irritated, hard and it may hurt when you swallow things. When the soreness become severe, it may even be difficult to swallow the saliva.
Sore throat can be either acute or chronic. An acute sore throat will heal within a few days (3 to 7 days), while a chronic sore throat may take a lot longer. Chronic sore throat could be due to some serious underlying medical conditions and may need immediate medical attention. According to an estimate by the National Center for Health Statistics, there around 62 million cases of chronic sore throat each year that require medical attention!
According NHS UK, the bacteria or virus that causes sore throat is normally caught from someone who already has them. It could be through coughing, sneezing and speaking.
Causes of sore throat
There are many causes of sore throat. The most common of these causes is cold, virus, bugs and bacteria. If the throat has a bacterial infection, it may become painful and one may feel very tired. Bacterial infection is often accompanied with fever, headache and fatigue. Most commonly it is the cause of bacterial or viral infection due to common cold. 90 to 95% of sore throat is the cause of viruses, and there are more than 200 viruses causing the ailment.
There are also some non-infectious causes. Hay fever is one of the most general among the non-infectious causes. It is an allergic reaction to pollen or spores and may make the throat sore. Other non-infectious causes include: irritation from smoking, irritation from alcohol, gastro-esophageal reflux etc.
Symptoms that accompany a sore throat
- Inflammation in throat
- Running Nose
Using Honey as a treatment for sore throat
The anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial property of honey has a very good effect on healing sore throats. If you have honey at home, it should be the first step to grab the jar and take a tablespoon. It soothes the inflammation and kills bacteria causing infection. It is said that professional singers take honey to sooth their throats and vocal cords before performance.
Top 10 easy ways to use honey to fight cold and sore throat
Here are some easy home remedies while using honey for sore throat. You can combine a few or just stick to one your like.
- Just take a tablespoon of honey and let it slowly trickle down the throat. The best choice is organic, raw or manuka honey.
- Add one spoon of honey into warm water. Squeeze a fresh lemon into it. Sip it slowly. You may repeat it several times a day.
- Take a pinch of salt in warm water and gargle. Then take a tablespoon of honey and mix with it with the solution and sip it.
- Mix 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar into 3 tablespoon of honey. Gargle several times a day, especially before going to bed.
- Mix 1/4 cup of honey and apple cider vinegar to make syrup. Take 2 tablespoon of this syrup every 2 to 4 hours.
- Put the kettle on and once the water boils, pour it into a cup. Put some green tea leaves and a tablespoon of honey into the cup. Cover the cup and leave for 10 minutes. Drink the tea slowly. Green tea and honey both have anti-oxidants and the combination works wonders.
- Grate a piece of ginger root and put it in a cup, squeeze a lemon in to it and add honey and hot water. Leave it for 5 minutes and enjoy.
- Take a tablespoon of honey and add fresh lemon juice. Hold the spoon over the stove till it is going to bubble. Let it cool down and drink it.
- Mix an equal amount of raw honey and extra virgin olive oil. Take twice a day.
- Mix black pepper into a tablespoon of honey and warm it in the microwave and then take it.
Other home remedies for sore throat
- Simply gargle with sea salt several times a day. Do not forget to gargle before going to bed at night.
- Drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated and the throat moist.
- For immediate relief suck ice pops. It helps to sooth the soreness and inflammation.
- Zinc lozenges work great in sore throats.
- Take 2 tablespoons of extra virgin oil. It is anti-inflammatory and its anti-oxidant properties help relieve the inflammation.
Do I need to see the doctor?
Generally, you do not need to see a doctor for a sore throat. It may go away within three to seven days and heal on its own. If you take the home remedies, you make it heal faster. However, in some cases there may be a serious problem behind the apparent sore throat. For example, if your throat does not respond to medication or does not heal within a few days, you should see your doctor. Sometimes, the infection may get severe and spread to other areas, in which case, your doctor might prescribe antibiotics to fight infection. In rare cases, it could be a serious problem such as sever sinus infection and cancer.
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