Sore Throat - Home Treatment
Home treatment is usually all that
is needed for a sore throat caused by a virus. These tips may help you feel
Gargle with warm salt water to help reduce
swelling and relieve discomfort:
Gargle at least once each hour with
1 tsp ( 5 g)
of salt dissolved in
8 fl oz (240 mL) of warm water. If you have
postnasal drip, gargle often to prevent more throat irritation. Prevent
dehydration. Fluids may help thin secretions and
soothe an irritated throat. Hot fluids, such as tea or soup, may help decrease
throat irritation. Use a
vaporizer or humidifier in your bedroom.
Warm or cool mist may help you feel more
comfortable by soothing the swollen air passages. It may also relieve
hoarseness. But don't let your room become uncomfortably cold or very
damp. Use a shallow pan of water to provide moisture in the air
through evaporation if you don't have a humidifier. Place the pan in a safe
location where no one will trip on it or fall into it. Do not smoke or use other tobacco products and
secondhand smoke. For more information, see the topic
Quitting Smoking. If you suspect that
stomach acid may be causing your sore throat, see the topic
nonprescription medicine for your symptoms.
Use nonprescription throat lozenges.
Some nonprescription throat lozenges, such as
Sucrets Maximum Strength or Spec-T, are safe and effective and have medicine
(local anesthetic) that numbs the throat to soothe pain. Regular
cough drops may also help. Use a
Decongestants make breathing easier by
shrinking swollen mucous membranes in the nose, allowing air to pass through.
They also help relieve a runny nose and postnasal drip, which can cause a sore
throat. Decongestants can be taken orally or used as
decongestant nasal sprays. Oral decongestants (pills)
are probably more effective and provide longer relief but may cause more side
effects. These medicines may not be safe for young children or for people who have certain health problems. Before you use them, check the label. If you do use these medicines, always follow the directions about how much to use based on age and in some cases weight. For more information about medicine safety, see the topics Over-the-Counter Medicine Precautions and Quick Tips: Giving Over-the-Counter Medicines to Children.
Be sure to follow these
safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:
Carefully read and follow all directions
on the medicine bottle and box.
Do not take more than the
Do not take a medicine if you have had an
allergic reaction to it in the past. If
you have been told to avoid a medicine, call your doctor before you take
If you are or could be
pregnant, do not take any medicine other
than acetaminophen unless your doctor has told you to.
Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than age 20 unless your doctor tells you to.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
May 24, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this
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