The fall and winter can bring with it changing leaves, cooler weather, the first snowfall – and unfortunately lots of opportunities to develop a sore throat. From allergy irritation to colds and flus to infections like strep throat, there are plenty of things out there that are going to make swallowing difficult and painful. Fortunately, there are also a number of ways to treat this ailment, including those below.
To make your own saltwater gargle at home, simply dissolve a half-teaspoon of salt in a cup of water, adding honey if you have problems with the salty taste. Gargling with this solution 2-3 times a day during the course of your illness is natural way to reduce inflammation in the throat as well as breaking up mucous and making it easier to cough it up and get bacteria and other irritants out of your system.
Cough drops, especially those with soothing ingredients like menthol or eucalyptus, can really tamp down throat pain and just the action of sucking on a lozenge helps to stimulate the production of saliva, which can help moisturize a throat that is dry and irritated. Many cough drops also contain suppressants to help ease the discomfort of a hacking cough and allow you to rest and recuperate.
Even if you have a sore throat without a cough, cough syrups can help ease pain, too, as many of them contain analgesics like acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. If you do have a cough, a combination of an expectorant and a cough suppressant will help your coughs be more productive so you can get the phlegm out of your system more efficiently.
It may sound old-fashioned, but pushing fluids can also help if you have a sore throat. Keepign hydrated will loosen mucous and phlegm and make it easier to cough up and remove from your body and it can also help keep the mucous membranes of your throat moist and thus better protected from bacteria and other irritants. When pushing fluids, remember water, clear tea and clear juices are best and to avoid dairy products like milk.
Sore throats, whether with or without a cough, can really make life miserable for you during the course of a cold, flu or other infection. However, the simple remedies above can go a long way towards treating your symptoms and helping you get back on track as soon as possible.
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