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How to fight a sore throat

Sore throat is a common symptom characterized by inflammation, irritation and difficulty swallowing or speaking that can be relieved with the use of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs.

This type of pain may be transient and be accompanied by an influenza, or it may be persistent, especially in people suffering from tonsillitis.

The images below show the difference between a healthy throat and a sore throat. When besides your throat being red there are other symptoms present such as thrush, swelling or very large tonsils or even dots of pus, it is recommended you go to a doctor for him to indicate the most appropriate treatment, which can be done with anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics.

Healthy throat vs sore throat
Healthy throat vs sore throat

Medication for a sore throat

Some examples of sore throat medication are Ibuprofen, Amoxicillin, and Nimesulide, which may be prescribed by your doctor to fight sore throat and fever that may emerge.

These medications can sometimes be bought without a prescription, but self-medication is discouraged because it can be harmful to your health. In addition, taking the wrong medication can aggravate the infection, worsening the symptoms. You should be aware that every medication has side effects and therefore should only be used with the knowledge of a doctor.

Home remedies like gargling warm salt water and eucalyptus teas sweetened with honey can often help relieve symptoms without side effects. 

What to take if you have a sore throat

You can relieve the discomfort of a sore throat with the following:

  • 2 tablespoons of honey enriched with 5 drops of propolis;
  • Ginger tea with cinnamon up to 4 times a day;
  • Analgesics, such as Benalet or Paracetamol tablets, under medical advice;
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs for a sore throat, such as Ibuprofen or Diclofenac, after medical advice;
  • Gargle pomegranate peels 2 times a day: put 6 g of peels together with 150 ml of water. Let it boil for a few minutes, then let it cool down before gargling.

If the sore throat does not disappear after 3 days or if there is fever or the symptoms worsen, it is important you go to the doctor to be evaluated.

When you have recurrent sore throats and there there is presence of pus in the throat, the doctor may recommend surgery to remove your tonsils.

How to cure a sore throat during pregnancy

A sore throat in pregnancy is common and can occur as in any stage of a woman's life, however due to the pregnancy there should be extra caution with the medication taken. A sore throat can be treated with home remedies such as gargling with warm water, lemon and salt.

However, when you have recurrent sore throats in pregnancy, the obstetrician may indicate the ingestion of antibiotic medication, such as Cefaclor or Cephalexin, which do not harm the baby and may be taken for up to 14 days.

Common causes for sore throat

Some common causes for a sore throat are allergies, flu, pharyngitis, stomatitis, excessive smoking, reflux, or tonsillitis. However, in some cases, it may also be a sign of laryngeal or throat cancer. Other common causes are:

1. Constant or persistent sore throat, which lasts for more than 4 days, is usually caused by an infection, such as tonsillitis, and should be evaluated by a general practitioner to initiate the intake of antibiotics such as Amoxicillin or Penicillin.

2. Sore throat and ear ache can indicate the presence of an inflammation of the middle ear and therefore it is recommended you consult an otolaryngologist to evaluate its cause, since it may be necessary to take anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Diclofenac.

3. Throat pain when speaking may be related to pharyngitis or laryngitis and should be observed by an otolaryngologist in order to initiate appropriate treatment with antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs.

4. Frequent throat pain is an important symptom of a weakened immune system and therefore the patient should consult a general practitioner and increase the intake of foods with vitamin C, such as orange or kiwi, which help increase the body's defenses. 

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