Sore throats are a common but painful problem that millions of people around the world face regularly.
Let’s see together what causes a sore throat, what are the signs and symptoms of sore throat, how to cure a sore throat, and how to prevent angina.
- 1 Simple throat anatomy
- 2 What causes a sore throat?
- 3 What are sore throat symptoms?
- 4 Warning signs of a sore throat
- 5 Predisposition to angina
- 6 How does the doctor diagnose angina?
- 7 How long does a sore throat last?
- 8 How to get rid of a sore throat?
- 9 Home remedies for sore throat
- 10 What essential oil is good for a sore throat
- 11 Prevention of sore throat
Simple throat anatomy
The throat is made up of the pharynx, epiglottis, and larynx.
The pharynx is connected to the mouth to allow food and hydration but also breathing.
The epiglottis acts as a valve to prevent food or fluids from going to the lungs.
The larynx houses the vocal cords to enable language.
What causes a sore throat?
There are two distinct categories of throat irritation: infectious and non-infectious causes.
The infectious cause is generated by bacteria and viruses.
Viruses targeting the throat are rhinoviruses that cause common colds, influenza virus, mononucleosis virus, measles virus, and chickenpox virus.
Some bacterial throat infections can also be caused by streptococci ( streptococcus pyogenes ) and trigger what is called strep throat.
But some sore throats are not caused by any pathogens, so they fall under the category of non-infectious causes.
They are often generated by allergies and in particular allergies to pollen, dust, animal hair, irritation from tobacco smoke, excessive alcohol consumption, and too spicy food.
A sore throat can also develop under the influence of tension in the vocal cords caused by excessive use of the voice, screaming, speaking too loudly, or too long.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease which is a well-known disorder of the digestive system causes acid reflux which affects the larynx and vocal cords thus triggering pain in the throat.
Breathing too much through the mouth can also trigger sore throats caused by dry mucous membranes.
What are sore throat symptoms?
The signs of angina are very characteristic and easily recognized:
- pain or itchy throat that gets worse when swallowing or talking
- difficulty swallowing
- painful nodes in the neck
- white dots forming on tonsils
- hoarse voice
- runny nose (rhinitis)
- body aches
- nausea, vomiting
Warning signs of a sore throat
Some symptoms should still alarm you, although in most cases the sore throat is mild.
See a doctor if:
– a sore throat that does not go away and lasts longer than a week
– difficulty breathing
– pain and joint pain
– sore throat to your ears
– a rash occurs
– blood in saliva
– abnormal swelling of the neck or face
Predisposition to angina
Although everyone is susceptible to a sore throat, some factors can favor this condition.
– Children and adolescents are more prone to throat conditions than adults.
– Exposure to cigarette smoke – smoking or being a passive smoker irritates the throat.
– Chronic sinus infections (sinusitis) – bacteria that grow in the nose spread to the throat
– Public places which are vectors of viruses and allow the proliferation of epidemics
– A deficient immune system – the most common causes being a treatment for diabetes, AIDS, treatment with steroids or chemotherapy, stress, fatigue, and an unbalanced diet.
How does the doctor diagnose angina?
Sore throats are easily identified by the person but let’s see how the doctor diagnoses this condition.
He explores the throat, ears, and nose as well as palpation of the lymph nodes in the neck.
Then it checks you to evaluate your breathing.
The specialist ends by inserting a test swab in the throat to take a sample of secretions which he sends to a laboratory for analysis to know if it is a streptococcal infection.
How long does a sore throat last?
A sore throat caused by a viral infection lasts on average 5 to 7 days and does not require medical treatment.
To relieve pain and fever, simple analgesics such as paracetamol or ibuprofen are prescribed.
But if this angina is due to bacteria, the doctor will prescribe an antibiotic like amoxicillin for sore throat.
How to get rid of a sore throat?
Whatever the cause of the sore throat, you can still apply natural remedies to soothe it.
Let’s start with the basics to apply:
– restful sleep
– voice preservation
– intense hydration
– avoid coffee and alcohol which lead to dehydration
– hot drinks in the form of tea without caffeine, hot water with added honey
– gargles with salt water (one teaspoon of salt for 200ml of water, 8 to 10 times a day)
– humidify the air (place a pot of boiling water in the room and let it cool) or use an air humidifier
– avoid smoking
Home remedies for sore throat
There are many natural sore throat remedies. Here is a list of the most effective.
– Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea (#ad) is a great way to soften and soothe the throat.
It has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and analgesic action.
Add a teaspoon of honey to further increase its effect.
The combination of honey and chamomile significantly reduces the symptoms of angina.
– Saltwater gargle
This natural remedy is passed from generation to generation as it is effective.
The reason for this effectiveness is that this combination of water and salt is a hypertonic solution that helps bring the liquid from the cells to the surface.
So if your cells contain viruses or bacteria, they are carried to the surface for elimination.
Of course, this is not a radical miracle cure, but this saltwater also provides pain relief that will allow you to swallow and talk without pain.
– Marshmallows help a sore throat
Marshmallow root is widely used for its medicinal properties.
It helps reduce inflammation and soothes the lining.
It is so effective that some people use it in prevention, especially people who use the voice a lot in their profession and prepare a tea with marshmallow root to lubricate the vocal cords before their intervention.
– Honey for the throat
Honey can be used as-is to relieve a sore throat.
It is very effective in reducing pain due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties.
It is advisable to favor eucalyptus, thyme, lavender, or best manuka honey (#ad).
– Turmeric milk for sore throat
Milk with added turmeric is excellent for health and is very popular for treating colds, coughs, and sore throat.
Rich in iron, magnesium, and b6 vitamin, saffron is antioxidant and helps reduce inflammation.
– Ginger tea
All hot drinks, whether tea, milk, or coffee help soften the throat with a sore throat.
You will make them even more effective by adding ginger.
It primarily reduces pain but is also and above all antiviral.
– Lemon honey sore throat
The recipe is simple:
– squeeze a fresh lemon
– add 2 teaspoons of honey
– take a teaspoonful of this mixture every two hours
Lemon has antimicrobial properties when the antibacterial honey also softens the throat.
– Apple cider vinegar, cayenne pepper, clover honey
Combining these 3 ingredients makes a very effective concoction.
The recipe is simple:
– 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
– 3 teaspoons of clover honey
– 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Mix everything with a glass of lukewarm water and drink it slowly.
This drink will help quickly eliminate the pain that prevents swallowing normally.
– Licorice root
Licorice root is widely used to treat colds and angina.
Its properties allow for reducing inflammation and thinning out secretions.
Studies have been conducted to assess its impact on a postoperative sore throat.
They conclude that licorice root gargles are effective in reducing symptoms.
We are talking about intubated patients during surgery who experience terrible throat irritation when they wake up.
In herbal tea (a teaspoon of licorice roots for a cup) or as a gargle, licorice is an ally of angina.
What essential oil is good for a sore throat
Several essential oils help a sore throat.
3 of them are recommended to treat it effectively:
Tea tree essential oil
Tea tree has antiseptic, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.
To enjoy its benefits, just mix 2 drops with a teaspoon of honey and keep it in your mouth for one minute before swallowing.
Thujanol Thyme essential oil
A complete essential oil with anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties that softens the throat while attacking bacteria in the respiratory tract.
Again, dilute 2 drops of thujanol thyme essential oil (#ad) on sugar or in a teaspoon of honey 4 times a day for 3 days.
Peppermint essential oil
In addition to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, peppermint oil (#ad) brings rapid relief due to its cooling effect.
Also, adopt the teaspoonful of honey with a drop of peppermint, keep it in the mouth a minute before swallowing it.
Do not abuse this essential oil because it is hypertensive.
I reiterate here the precautions for the use of essential oils which must be tested on the skin before any other use and are not recommended for pregnant women and young children.
Prevention of sore throat
The best way to prevent a sore throat is to do everything you can to avoid the germs that cause it through careful hygiene :
– wash your hands thoroughly and regularly
– cough and sneeze into a disposable tissue
– use hydroalcoholic gel to disinfect your hands if you cannot wash them with water
– regularly clean phones, remote controls, and computer keyboards
– when traveling, clean phone and remote control in hotel rooms
How about you?
What are your tips for dealing with a sore throat?
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