Perhaps one of the most uncomfortable parts of having a cold or flu is a the dreaded sore throat or in medical term, pharyngitis which means a painful inflammation felt in the tonsils, pharynx, or the larynx.
A sore throat is a symptom of many illness but the major cause of sore throat is infection. These infections can be caused by viruses like the flu and common cold or by certain types of bacteria such as strep, mycoplasma, or hemophilus that cause the inflammation.
Viral sore throats typically accompany flu and colds and are highly contagious and spread quickly. Sore throats can also go along with other viral infections like measles, chicken pox, whooping cough, and croup.
Streptococcus is the most common bacterial cause for sore throat. This is a serious infection that can also damage not just the throat, but also heart valves and kidneys as well as cause tonsillitis, pneumonia, sinusitis, and ear infections.
Pollens and molds that irritate the nose when inhaled and cause sneezing and colds can bring on a sore throat as well. Cat and dog danders and house dust are common causes of sore throats to people with such allergies.
Pollutants and chemicals in the air irritate the throat and the nose leading to sore throat. The most common air pollutant is the smoke from tobacco. Other irritants are alcohol beverages, and spicy foods.
A person who strains his or her voice from yelling and shouting gets a sore throat not just because of muscle strain but also because of the rough treatment of his or her throat membranes. Sometimes a sore throat also occurs due to regurgitation of the stomach acids up into the back of the throat.
It is a good idea to go to your doctor whenever you have a sore throat. You need to determine the cause so as to rule out those that are serious. In the event that your sore throat is deemed to be a common cold or flu variety, here’s some home remedies that you might find useful.
For mild sore throat associated with cold and flu symptoms, increase fluid intake if necessary. Warm tea with honey is good.
You may also use a streamer or humidifier in your bedroom.
Gargle with warm salt water several times daily.
Lemon juice squeezed into a glass of lukewarm water is good for a sore throat.
The juice of fresh pomegranates is good to gargle with then to drink.
Add 1 dessert spoon of hydrogen peroxide to ½ tumbler of warm water and gargle.
Consulting a physician is necessary for sore throat infection.
The most effective way of combating sore throat infection is through proper personal hygiene. These are important things to keep in mind. Remember that as always, prevention is better than cure.