Sore Throat Relief Options

Fighting a sore throat is an common issue, especially in autumn and winter. Although the symptom often disappears on its own after several days, there are some effective sore throat relief options. Discover them in this article!
Sore Throat Relief Options
Leonardo Biolatto

Written and verified by the doctor Leonardo Biolatto.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

It isn’t easy to get sore throat relief. While there are several alternatives, it’s a symptom that can be persistent and can even cause discomfort for several days.

Plus, there are many possible causes of sore throats. However, we know that the most common cause is upper respiratory tract infections. Pharyngitis is very common in cold weather. Other respiratory infections that cause the same symptom are colds, sinusitis, and laryngitis. All of them are mostly caused by viruses. Therefore, antibiotic therapy isn’t indicated, and using antibiotics typically won’t soothe a sore throat.

Other causes of dysphonia, hoarseness, and a sore throat include:

  • A dry environment. Dry air dries out mucous membranes. Also, if you breathe through your mouth a lot without passing air through your nose, this may dry out your throat.
  • Allergies. People who are allergic to dust and mites, for example, often suffer from sore throat.
  • Vocal fatigue. Overusing your voice or vocal overexertion by shouting exhausts the vocal cords.
  • Irritants. Certain chemicals, when they’re in the air, can enter the body and irritate the pharynx. This includes tobacco smoke.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease. This consists of the rise of hydrochloric acid from the stomach into the esophagus, sometimes reaching the throat. This acid is highly irritating.

Sore throat relief options

Let’s take a look at eight sore throat relief options.

1. Gargling

Gargling is a great sore throat relief option. You should gargle with warm water and diluted salt. This mixture helps relieve pharynx swelling, reducing irritation.

The classic preparation is half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of water. If you can’t tolerate the salty taste, you can add honey to the preparation. Ideally, you should gargle several times a day.

2. Honey, one of the best sore throat relief options

As we proposed above, you can add honey to your water and salt preparation. You can also take it directly in tablespoons. However, you need to swallow it slowly so it can come into contact with inflamed cells.

When honey momentarily adheres to cells, it creates a mucosal barrier. This barrier prevents dehydration and drags the microorganisms that could be adhered to there.

However, remember that you can’t feed honey to children under the age of one. This is because there’s a high risk that the baby could get sick with botulism due to the honey intake.

Honey, one of the best sore throat relief options.
Due to its properties, honey is a great sore throat relief option. However, you shouldn’t give it to babies.

3. Hard candy or lozenges

Both kiosks and pharmacies sell hard candy that provides sore throat relief. They may even include natural ingredients such as eucalyptus. When you suck on them, they cause increased saliva production. This hydrates the mucosa and temporarily relieves symptoms. However, the problem with this treatment is that you often need to suck many lozenges a day.

4. Hydration for sore throat relief

Hydration is very important in the mucous membranes. In fact, having a sore throat may be synonymous with fluid loss. Therefore, you must replenish them externally. Ideally, you should drink water and avoid other beverages such as coffee.

We also recommend the use of hot drinks such as soups and teas. Broths provide micronutrients as well as hydration. Also, they include microelements such as sodium and potassium.

5. Applying heat

Applying warm cloths to your neck makes the temperature rise in the area, increasing blood circulation. Increased circulation increases the presence of anti-inflammatory cells and improves hydration.

6. A hot shower

This is because a hot shower generates steam, which can relieve a sore throat. The warm steam is anti-inflammatory when it enters through the respiratory tract and the mouth.

A woman taking a warm shower.
While taking a hot shower doesn’t relieve a sore throat, it can momentarily relieve the discomfort.

7. Avoid smoking at all costs

Cigarettes and the smoke they produce are irritating. In addition to causing a sore throat, smoking can worsen it if it’s caused by an infection. Not only the smoker is affected, but also those who nearby who inhale the smoke.

It’s been scientifically proven that smokers are more likely to suffer from respiratory infections. Also, smokers can suffer from chronic coughing, which alters the dynamic of their breathing.

8. Painkillers

A sore throat can go away on its own after a few days. However, sometimes you may need to accelerate this process due to work issues or activities you can’t miss. For these cases, it’s possible to treat your symptoms with medication.

The first option is acetaminophen. This is a fairly innocuous painkiller that can relieve symptoms. You can also administer it to small children. The second option is ibuprofen which, besides being a painkiller, is also anti-inflammatory. Also, both drugs fight fevers.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.