Although quite common, sore throats are most of the times upsetting, as they create a mild, or sometimes even strong discomfort. While this condition usually resolves on its own in a few days, there are several choices you have for sore throat treatment, from analgesics and antibiotics to herbal remedies.
A sore throat is a physical symptom frequently triggered by acute pharyngitis, also known as throat inflammation. 80% of pharyngitis cases represent acute viral infections of the throat. Other infections that could lead to throat pain are bacterial ones, such as the streptococcal infection, which is more common to the children. Sore throat may also appear in several other situations, in post trauma cases or in diphtheria ones.
The sore throat treatment normally depends on the cause. For instance, viruses do not have a certain treatment and they clear up on their own, even if this process sometimes takes up to a month, like in the case of mononucleosis. Antibiotics are used to fight bacterial infections and special situations, such as chronic infections, involve surgery. Other causes of throat pain, due to their less invasive nature, may require a softer sore throat treatment. For example, the pain caused by gastroesophageal reflux can be treated with antacid medications, while sinus drainage can be handled with nasal sprays or decongestants, which do not even need a prescription. The discomfort created by dry mouth has the easiest sore throat treatment, although it may be perceived by many people as the hardest: changing several habits, like smoking or sleeping positions. Last, but not least, analgesics are really important in throat pain management, no matter what the source of the pain might be.
Apart from drugs, there are a couple of home remedies that could be considered as sore throat treatment. These natural solutions include, but are not limited to, salt water gargles, plant sprays, herbal teas and even humidifiers. The most common herbal remedies are the following five plants. First, there is the slippery elm, which substances reduce throat irritation. Second, a plant with great anti-inflammatory properties is the licorice root; this is used especially with patients who go under general anesthesia to prevent a sore throat after surgery. Still, licorice has a few contraindications, such as high blood pressure or low potassium levels, which is why special attention has to be paid to the dosage. Third, herbalists consider marshmallow roots as an efficient sore throat treatment, but it should not be used by persons with diabetes or by pregnant women. Honeysuckle flowers, the fourth herbal remedy, are mostly used in traditional Chinese medicine. Last, an old natural sore throat treatment is a herbal tea made from a mix of ingredients: lemon, red pepper, apple vinegar and honey. Other home solutions for throat pain are: sore throat lozenges, drinking sufficient fluids and even getting some rest. A room humidifier can also work wonders, calming the dryness sensation which usually accompanies a sore throat.
In the end, whenever your throat pain bothers you, you should know that there are plenty of remedies you can choose from. No matter what sore throat treatment you prefer, medication or herbal compounds, you can get rid of that annoying discomfort.