A sore throat is a common symptom characterized by inflammation, irritation and difficulty in swallowing or speaking that can be relieved with the use of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs.
This type of pain may be temporary as part of a cold or the flu, 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 you have other symptoms present, such as oral thrush, swelling or very large tonsils, or even dots of pus as well as a red throat, it is recommended you go to a doctor for the most appropriate treatment, which can be done with anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics.
Remedies for a sore throat
Some examples of sore throat remedies are Ibuprofen, Amoxicillin, and Nimesulide, which may be prescribed by your doctor to get rid of a sore throat and fever if you get these symptoms.
These drugs can sometimes be bought without a prescription, but self-medication is not recommended because it can cause you more harm than good and taking the wrong medication can also aggravate the infection, worsening the symptoms. It is important to remember that every drug has side effects and so should only be taken with the knowledge of a doctor.
Home remedies like gargling warm saltwater and eucalyptus teas sweetened with honey can often help soothe 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, under medical advice;
- Gargle pomegranate peels twice a day: add 6 g of peels to 150 ml of water. Let it boil for a few minutes, then let it cool down before gargling with it.
If the sore throat doesn’t disappear after 3 days, or if you have a fever or the symptoms worsen, it is important you go to the doctor to be checked out.
When you are constantly getting sore throats and pus in your 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, as it can occur in any stage of a woman's life, however extra caution with medication is advisable during pregnancy. A sore throat can be treated with home remedies such as gargling with warm water, lemon and salt.
However, when you are always suffering from sore throats during your pregnancy, the obstetrician may indicate the ingestion of antibiotic medication, such as Cefaclor or Cephalexin, which don’t harm the baby and may be taken for up to 14 days in a row.
Common causes for sore throat
Some common causes of 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 checked out by a general practitioner to start a course 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 so you should consult an ear, nose, and throat doctor, or an ENT for short, to evaluate its cause, as anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Diclofenac, may be necessary.
3. Throat pain when speaking may be related to pharyngitis or laryngitis and should be checked out by an ENT for appropriate treatment with antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs.
4. Frequent throat pain is an important symptom of a weakened immune system and so you should see a general practitioner and eat more foods with vitamin C, such as oranges or kiwis, which help increase the body's defenses.