If you have a sore throat, you should get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids. You should consider visiting a doctor, especially if your sore throat worsens, has spots, or continues for days. A humidifier or cold vaporizer can help as well to make the air more moist and soothing.
One of the better home remedies for a sore throat is a salt water gargle. It is very soothing. Be sure that a child is old enough to know how to properly gargle before using this. It should not be swallowed. Try this for the gargle:
1 teaspoon of table salt to 8 ounces of warm water. Gargle the solution and then spit it out. Warm water (but not hot) is more soothing. Do this a couple of times a day.
There are many over the counter products for sore throats, too. Ask the pharmacist at your drug store for recommendations of the best products available for your specific symptoms.
The most common cause of a sore throat is a viral infection, such as a cold or the flu. A sore throat caused by a virus usually resolves on its own with symptomatic care. A bacterial infection is less commonly the cause, but if it is due to bacteria, you will need to see a doctor to determine if you need antibiotics.
According to Otolaryngologists, some indications in adults that you need to see a physician with a sore throat are:
- A very severe sore throat
- A sore throat that lasts longer than a week
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty opening your mouth
- Joint pain
- Fever over 101 F
- Blood in saliva or sputum (phlegm)
- Recurrent sore throats
- Lumps in your neck
- Being hoarse for more than two weeks
In children, if the sore throat is not gone by the next day, contact your pediatrician for advice. Also get urgent medical care if children have any of the following with the sore throat:
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Drooling (can indicate an inability to swallow)
Other helpful suggestions from Answers.com contributors:
- Bradosol Lozenge's are very good for relieving sore throats.
- Difflam Spray used for discomfort in the mouth and throat is also very good.
- If your sore throat condition gets worse speak to a pharmacist or your doctor for some advice.
- Take Advil and drink really cold Mountain Dew. The Advil alone does work a little but something cold also brings down inflammation.
- Honey and lemon... Can use concentrated lemon juice from supermarket.... Even better with whiskey in it
- Take a zinc supplement and 'gargle' warm salt water.
- I also enjoy drinking hot green tea mixed with honey.
- Use chamomile tea with cinnamon, eat licorice, eat ice cream or squeeze lemons and drink the sour juice, seriously.
- Warm salt water gargling and B complex vitamins will help. It may be necessary to give an antibiotic.
- Tylenol or throat sore medicine.
- Since sore throats are sometimes caused by bacterial infections, and because it can cause a mucus film to build up on the throat, you can gargle with warm salt water. This will help in two ways: 1. Salt has natural antibacterial properties, which can help clear the infection. 2. By gargling with warm salt water, it will help rid the throat of the mucus film lining the throat, and help promote faster healing and give temporary pain relief.
- If it's a post nasal drip sore throat the best thing to do is drink a lot of ice water to clear the excess mucous out.
- If it's itchy it might be allergies so you could use Benadryl. If it lasts a long time or you have spots on your throat you should contact a doctor. Also, throat lozenges or cough drops help a lot.
- Try a raw clove of garlic or raw ginger. They act like antibiotics and can clear up most sore throats. Make sure you eat something first and have something on hand to wash it down.
- Honey and lemon... Can use concentrated lemon juice from the supermarket instead of squeezed lemon.... Even better with whisky in it
- You can drink pickle juice or eat a few pickles.
- If it's a post nasal drip sore throat the best thing to do is drink a lot of ice water to clear the excess mucus out. If it's itchy it might be allergies so you could use Benadryl. If it lasts a long time or you have spots on your throat you should contact a doctor. Also, throat lozenges or cough drops help a lot.
- If the sore throat is that sore, you may have a bacterial infection, like strep throat, that needs antibiotic treatment. If is is not better after several days, if you see white spots on the back of your throat or swollen tonsils, and/or a high fever, you should get an examination by a health care professional.
- Ask your pharmacist to help you choose the best over the counter sore throat relief medicine if the warm salt water gargles do not help. Drink plenty of liquids and check your temperature often. Also rest your throat. That would mean, less talking/singing, etc.
- Whenever I get a sore throat, my dad makes me drink lemon juice, steam my face, eat oranges, drink tea, and gargle with salt water. I went to the doctor a month ago for a sore throat and he told me that I should keep eating lemons, gargling with salt water, and drinking non-caffeinated tea. Of course, I'm sure this depends on your exact symptoms. So, if these don't work, ask your doctor for more solid advice.