A sore throat can be an uncomfortable and painful part of any illness and can be treated in a variety of ways. Often a sore throat can be due to a common cold but can also be a symptom of a more serious underlying illness. Here are some tips to help you know when to see your doctor for additional treatment and how you can treat your sore throat at home to alleviate its discomfort.
Seek Professional Treatment
Whenever you have a sore throat, it is a good idea to watch for certain accompanying symptoms to know when you need to see your doctor. Most sore throat are caused by a virus, and there is no treatment to stop a virus. When you have a virus, you will need to let it run its course in your body, but you can treat it with Tylenol and Ibuprofen to help ease its symptoms. When your sore throat has more serious symptoms, you will need to make an appointment with your family doctor as soon as possible to begin an appropriate treatment.
There are several signs your sore throat is likely linked to a bacterial infection, such as strep throat, tonsillitis, mononucleosis, or scarlet fever. When your sore throat is accompanied by a fever, chills, or nausea, see your doctor immediately, as you may need to be a prescription for an antibiotic to treat the bacteria. Also see your doctor if your sore throat comes along with a red rash on your chest and neck or you can see white or yellowish-colored pus on your tonsils. Then, anytime your sore throat is extremely painful or it causes your throat to close up or you are having difficulty breathing, you should seek immediate medical treatment.
After you have been to see your doctor and have begun taking an antibiotic, it is important you clean any items that have come in contact with your saliva or mucous. Even though you are treating your infection with an antibiotic, you can become infected again from the same bacteria by reusing items, such as your toothbrush, a cup, straw, or previously used utensil, and even chap stick. A recent study has found that Streptococcus bacteria can live outside a human host for weeks or even months.
Use Home Treatments
When your sore throat is accompanied by a runny nose, cough, and hoarseness when you talk, you most likely have a virus and can use some home remedies to help treat the symptoms. Along with taking over-the-counter pain relievers to help reduce the pain, you can use some natural ingredients you already have in your kitchen.
A salt water gargle can help make your sore throat feel better. Mix a small spoonful of salt into a cup of warm water and combine it, using it to gargle in the back of your throat. The hotter the water is, but without injuring your mouth, the better it will help heal your sore throat. The salt water helps rinse away and neutralize the acid in your throat that is causing the soreness. The salt water also helps promote healing of the mucous membrane in your throat.
Turmeric is another ingredient you can use to help your sore throat. It contains properties to promote healing and reduce inflammation. Add an equal amount of turmeric to the salt in your salt water gargle solution and use it to further help your throat.
You can use these natural gargle recipes to gargle as many times as you need throughout the day. Be sure you mix up a fresh batch of gargle solution each time to prevent the growth of bacteria and to get the full health effects of its ingredients. For more information, have a peek at this website.