Friday, March 4, 2016

Treatment of a Sore Throat

If your sore throat is caused by a viral infection which is the most common cause, it will usually clear up on its own and will not require medical care. Over the counter pain management, bed rest and drinking plenty of fluids are advised. Bacterial infections such as strep throat will require antibiotics. See your doctor if your sore throat lasts longer than one week or if your pain is severe, you have a high fever, rash or bloody mucous, red tonsils or white spots on the back of your throat or changes in breathing, swallowing or you experience frequent sore throats. If you have any other medical problems such as asthma, heart disease, HIV, diabetes, or are pregnant as you may be at a higher risk for complications see your doctor. Make a note of when symptoms started. Have you been in contact with any recent, possible sources of infection, such as a friend or family member with a sore throat or a cold? If antibiotics are required (for a bacterial infection) they must be taken exactly as advised and completed (even if you are feeling better) or the infection may return. If your pain or symptoms are worsening even if you are taking antibiotics to let your doctor know. Get immediate care if you or your child are experiencing severe signs such as difficulty breathing or swallowing or unusual drooling (which may indicate an inability to swallow).
Pain Management at Home:
No matter the cause for your sore throat these at home strategies may provide you temporary relief from pain:
Treat pain and fever: Take over the counter pain relief medication. Only take as advised and talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
Rest: Get plenty of sleep and rest your voice.
Drink fluids: Drink plenty of fluids to keep the throat moist and prevent dehydration.
Salt water gargles: 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt to One cup of pure water can help soothe a sore throat. Gargle the solution and then spit it out.
Suck on a lozenge: Lozenges can soothe a sore throat, but you should not exceed the daily recommended dose as they can cause stomach upset. Lozenges are also a choking hazard for young children and shouldn’t be used for children under 4yrs.
Avoid aggravating your pain: Avoid harsh cleaning products and cigarette smoke.
Warm Drinks: Such as tea (caffeine free is best) warm water with honey, soup or broth may sooth a sore throat.
Try Ice blocks: This may soothe a sore throat.
Humidify the air: Use a cool-air humidifier to eliminate dry air that may further irritate a sore throat or sit for several minutes in a steamy bathroom.
Prevention -
Practice good hygiene and prevent the spread of germs:
Wash your hands: thoroughly and frequently, especially after using the toilet, before eating, and after sneezing or coughing.
Avoid sharing: food, drinking glasses or utensils.
Avoid contact: With shared surfaces: door knobs, kitchen benches, public handrails or drinking fountains.
Cough or sneeze: into a tissue and throw it away. When necessary, sneeze into your elbow.
Use alcohol-based hand sanitisers as an alternative to hand washing when soap and water aren't available. Wash your hands as soon as you can.
Regularly clean: telephones, TV remotes, keyboards, and phones.
Avoid close contact: with people who are sick (kissing, hugging, shaking hands).
Wear a filtering mask: when cleaning to avoid inhaling dust or airborne particles from cleaning products.
If you smoke, quit: Talk to your doctor if you need help quitting.
Avoid exposure: to secondhand smoke, pollen, dust, and mould.
Humidify your home: if the air is dry and, you frequently experience sore throats.

Source: POMGH