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Strep Throat: Home Treatment - Topic Overview

There are many ways that you can make yourself feel better while you are waiting for a strep throat to go away.

Fluids and moisture

To increase fluids in the body:

  • Prevent dehydration by drinking fluids. Fluids may help thin secretions and soothe an irritated throat. Hot fluids, such as tea or soup, may help reduce throat irritation.
  • Gargle with warm salt water to help reduce swelling and relieve discomfort.
    • Gargle at least once each hour with 1 tsp (5 g) salt in 8 fl oz (237 mL) of warm water.
    • If you have postnasal drip camera.gif, it's good to gargle even more often. It can help prevent throat irritation.
    • Most children can learn to gargle around age 8.
  • Use saline nasal sprays and nose drops to moisten the inside of your nose.

To increase moisture in the air (humidity):

  • 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.
    • If you don't have a humidifier, use a shallow pan of water to provide moisture in the air through evaporation. Place the pan in a safe location where no one will trip on it or fall into it.
  • Take frequent, steamy showers.
  • Drape a towel over your head and breathe the steam from a pan or sink of hot water. Be careful to avoid burns from the hot water or steam.

Nonprescription medicine

Nonprescription medicines that relieve pain may help relieve some symptoms of strep throat, but they will not make you better any faster. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. slideshow.gif

  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen, for example, can help relieve throat pain and reduce fever.
  • Anesthetic throat sprays numb the throat area to help relieve pain.
  • Nonprescription throat lozenges can also help you feel better. These are okay for people age 4 and older.
    • Some have medicine (local anesthetic) that numbs the throat to soothe pain.
    • Regular cough drops or hard candies help some people.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: October 30, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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    Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

    You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

    You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

    Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

    SOURCES:

    American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

    This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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