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A sore throat is an inflammation of the tissues in your mouth and neck, which gives a painful, dry, or scratchy feeling to the throat. Most sore throats are caused by infections or by environmental factors. Read on and find out all you need to know about sore throats and their best remedies! 

Can a sore throat be prevented or avoided? 

Preventing a sore throat starts before you even leave home! Here are three tips to keep yourself safe and to help prevent a sore throat:

  • Wash your hands frequently throughout the day.
  • Avoid sharing drinks and utensils.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing.
Sore throat: causes, symptoms and remedies
Young Asian woman feeling sick, suffering from sore throat, feeling sore and hurt, staying at home and resting in bed

What causes a sore throat?

To ease the pain, you need to understand what’s causing your sore throat in the first place. Causes of sore throats range from infections to injuries. Most sore throats are caused by viral infections, such as the cold or flu virus. Other causes include strep throat and other bacterial infections, allergies, dry air, smoke chemicals and other irritants.

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Symptoms of a sore throat

Symptoms of a sore throat can vary depending on the cause. A sore throat can feel: scratchy, burning, raw, dry, irritated, or it may hurt more when you swallow or talk. Your throat or tonsils might also look red. Signs might include: sore, swollen glands in your neck or jaw, swollen and red tonsils, and white patches or pus on your tonsils.

Sore throat: causes, symptoms and remedies
Asian woman sick and has sore throat in the bedroom

Remedies to soothe a sore throat

A sore throat is painful and may prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. Fortunately, you can use these at-home remedies to soothe the pain and irritation:

  • Gargle with saltwater – Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt with 1 cup of warm water and gargle every hour or two
  • Drink extra-cold liquids
  • Sip herbal teas (turmeric)
  • Suck on an ice pop
  • Take doses of Vitamin C
  • Fight dry air with a humidifier

Reach out to a pharmacist for help

When natural remedies just aren’t cutting it, you can ask your pharmacist about ways of relieving the pain and discomfort, such as:

  • Paracetamol or Ibubrofen
  • Medicated lozenges containing a local anaesthetic, antiseptic, or anti-inflammatory medicine
  • Anaesthetic spray
sore throat: causes, symptoms and remedies
Medicated lozenges containing a local anaesthetic, antiseptic, or anti-inflammatory medicine

Sore throats caused by a viral infection usually get better on their own in two to seven days. Yet some causes of a sore throat need to be treated. Call a doctor if you have any potentially more severe symptoms.

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