Health hack: 10 ways to cure a sore throat
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Sore throats can be painful and irritating, but they never usually hang around for more than a week. With the pandemic still hanging over us, it can be difficult not to jump to conclusions and catastrophize about an illness. Express.co.uk reveals how to get rid of a sore throat – the eight things to try, according to the NHS.
Sore throats are what they say on the tin, a painful feeling in your throat when you swallow.
Sore throats can also feel dry and scratchy and cause redness in the back of your mouth.
If you’ve got a sore throat, you may also have bad breath, a mild cough and swollen neck glands.
Children with sore throats typically have a temperature and low energy.
A sore throat is not one of the three main symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste).
However, a sore throat could potentially be an early symptom of coronavirus.
Healthline explains that because Covid is a respiratory illness like the common cold, it is inhaled and enters your nose and throat first.
That’s why a sore throat could be an early indicator of the illness because it starts there and may replicate in the throat early on.
However, a sore throat isn’t a very common symptom of coronavirus.
The World Health Organisation study in China found that out of more than 55,000 confirmed cases, only 13.9 percent of people reported a sore throat.
Most of the time, sore throats are caused by contagious viruses such as cold or flu, but they can also be caused by smoking.
Laryngitis, tonsillitis, strep throat and glandular fever are all examples of illnesses that cause a sore throat.
In rare cases, sore throats are caused by bacteria and this is the only time you’ll be prescribed antibiotics for a sore throat.
So how can you fix a sore throat?
You can soothe a sore throat and shorten how long it lasts with the following five tips:
- gargle with warm, salty water (children should not try this)
- drink plenty of water
- eat cool or soft foods
- avoid smoking or smoky places
- suck ice cubes, ice lollies or hard sweets – but do not give young children anything small and hard to suck because of the risk of choking
If these don’t help, a pharmacist can offer you one of the following three treatments for a sore throat:
- using paracetamol or ibuprofen
- using medicated lozenges containing either a local anaesthetic, antiseptic, or the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine
- using anaesthetic spray (although there’s little proof they help)
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