What Is a Good Household Cure for a Sore Throat?


Quick Answer

Treat a sore throat by gargling; preventing dehydration; using a humidifier or vaporizer; and taking nonprescription medicines, says WebMD. A sore throat is usually caused by a virus, but inflammations of various parts of the throat, bacterial infections and injuries or irritants also cause a sore throat.

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Full Answer

A sore throat caused by a virus is treated by gargling with warm salt water to reduce swelling, advises WebMD. Hot tea and soup decrease throat irritation, and fluids help thin secretions and soothe the throat. Breathing moist air soothes swollen air passages and relieves hoarseness. Medicated throat sprays and lozenges contain a local anesthetic that numbs the throat. Postnasal drip and a runny nose that cause a sore throat are alleviated with steroid nasal sprays and decongestants.

Treatment of a sore throat depends on the cause, explains WebMD. It is important to avoid using antibiotics to treat viral illnesses because antibiotics kill beneficial bacteria and encourage the development of resistant bacteria. Their unnecessary use may cause allergic reactions and side effects such as diarrhea and vomiting. Bacterial infections such as strep throat or tonsillitis may require antibiotics or other treatments. Sore throats that last longer than a week are caused by injuries and irritants such as smoking or air pollution; backed-up stomach acid due to heartburn; breathing through the mouth; chronic fatigue syndrome; and cuts or punctures in the back of the throat.

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