Regardless of the cause of your sore throat, at-home care strategies usually provide temporary relief. Try these strategies:
May 07, 2013
- Rest. Get plenty of sleep and rest your voice.
- Drink fluids. Drink plenty of water to keep the throat moist and prevent dehydration.
- Try comforting foods and beverage. Warm liquids — broth, caffeine-free tea or warm water with honey — and cold treats such as ice pops can soothe a sore throat.
- Gargle saltwater. A saltwater gargle of 1 teaspoon (5 grams) of table salt to 8 ounces (237 milliliters) of warm water can help soothe a sore throat. Gargle the solution and then spit it out.
- Humidify the air. Use a cool-air humidifier to eliminate dry air that may further irritate a sore throat or sit for several minutes in a steamy bathroom.
- Consider lozenges. Lozenges can soothe a sore throat. Because lozenges are a choking hazard for young children, don't give them to children age 4 and younger.
- Avoid irritants. Keep your home free from cigarette smoke and cleaning products that can irritate the throat.
- Treat pain and fever. Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) may minimize throat pain. Aspirin has been linked with Reye's syndrome, so use caution when giving aspirin to children or teenagers. Though aspirin is approved for use in children older than age 2, children and teenagers recovering from chickenpox or flu-like symptoms should never take aspirin. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
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- Pharyngitis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec08/ch089/ch089e.html. Accessed Feb. 26, 2013.
- Gereige R, et al. Throat infections. Pediatrics in Review. 2011;32:459.
- Hay WW, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Pediatrics. 20th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=14. Accessed Feb. 26, 2013.
- Chiappini E, et al. Analysis of different recommendations from international guidelines for the management of acute pharyngitis in adults and children. Clinical Therapeutics. 2011;33:48.
- Regoli M, et al. Update on the management of acute pharyngitis in children. Italian Journal of Pediatrics. 2011;37:10.
- Frye R, et al. Which treatments provide the most relief for pharyngitis pain? The Journal of Family Practice. 2011;60:293.
- Honeysuckle. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed July Feb. 26, 2013.
- Huang Y, et al. Chinese medicinal herbs for sore throat. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004877.pub3/abstract. Accessed Feb. 26, 2013.
- Renner B, et al. Environmental and non-infectious factors in pharyngitis (sore throat). Inflammation Research. 2012;61:1041.
- Acute pharyngitis in children 2-18 years old. National Guideline Clearninghouse. http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=25757&search=acute+pharyngitis. Accessed Feb 26, 2013.
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