One of the most common symptoms people feel when sick is a sore throat. Ranging from an uncomfortable tickle to pain that hinders swallowing, sore throats can be caused by a number of conditions, including a dry throat, post nasal drip, and an infection. Most cases of sore throats are minor and will resolve on their own, but knowing the possible causes and types of treatment can help you get better more quickly!
Common causes of sore throats:
- Allergies – Much of the time, sore throats from allergies are caused by post nasal drip. The mucus that drains down the back of the throat causes irritation.
- Viruses – Many viruses can cause a sore throat, including the common cold.
- A dry environment – Dry air, inside or outside, can contribute to a sore throat. This is especially true if breathing through your mouth, either due to allergies or a stuffy nose.
- Bacterial infections – Some common bacterial infections are strep throat and tonsillitis. Bacterial infections need to be diagnosed by a doctor.
Treatments for sore throats:
- Gargle with warm salt water.
- Treat any post nasal drip with a neti pot, decongestant, or antihistamine, depending on the cause of the post nasal drip.
- Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
- See a doctor if your sore throat continues or if you also have a fever. If the cause is viral, you can treat the symptoms by taking pain relievers and soothing your throat with warm tea or a cold popsicle. If the cause is bacterial, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic.
Though uncomfortable, most sore throats are not serious and will get better on their own. Be sure to contact your doctor if your sore throat continues to get worse or is accompanied by more serious symptoms.
Source: Complete Wellness Solutions. Completely Well Newsletter, January 2022.