Viruses and colds: some remedies for annoying sore throat

Bacteria are the cause of 10% of cases of sore throat in adults, and in children this figure rises to 30%.

A sore throat is normal. Apart from being one of the most common health problems in children, adults are also not free from these inconveniences.

A problem that is generally not too serious, but is very annoying, especially when we do everyday things like swallowing or talking. The good news is that we have many ways to get rid of it or at least relieve it for a few hours.

Why do our throats hurt?

The reasons are numerous. The cause of the sore throat we wake up with could be a viral infection, an allergy, exposure to tobacco smoke, or even a bacterial infection, such as that commonly caused by streptococcus.

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Bacteria are responsible for 10% of sore throats in adults, but in children this figure rises to 30%, and only in these cases will we need to take antibiotics.

Can you suffer from the cold?

The cause of a sore throat can be what is commonly known as a “cold”, which is nothing more than exposing our body to low temperatures without using appropriate clothing to protect it.

The cold, dry air of winter dries out the lining of the oropharynx and pharynx, causing inflammation and pain. This is why it is so important to try to breathe through the nose whenever possible, since the corridors through which this cold air will circulate in our sinuses before descending into the throat will be responsible for warming and humidifying this air.

Are eucalyptus candies healthy?

This is perhaps one of the most classic remedies, those same mint or eucalyptus lozenges that are used to soothe the throat, but their effectiveness is poor and limited. By sucking on them, we will indeed feel relief, but the secret is that they increase the production of saliva, and this will momentarily lubricate a dry or irritated throat. In addition, menthol or licorice will give a feeling of freshness, which will help us feel better for a while.

What about herbal or honey sweets?

The effect is similar to that of menthol lollipops or any other candy. Even those that actually contain herbal extracts or honey, to name a few, will have a very short-term effect, limited to temporary throat lubrication.

Do lozenges work?

The lozenges that we find in the pharmacy are preparations containing various elements that can help us relieve a sore throat. Unlike candies, lozenges from the pharmacy are medicines, and therefore we must respect the time between taking one dose and the next.

They usually contain sedatives, analgesics and antiseptics such as chlorhexidine, lidocaine or enoxolone. We can also find some that contain limited antibacterial agents.

Can rinsing help?

Of course yes, and by doing them, we, firstly, moisturize the oropharynx, and secondly, we help remove possible traces of infection. Gargling with salt water may be a good option as it acts as a slight disinfectant.

Does drinking honey relieve a sore throat?

We have some scientific evidence on the healing properties of honey, so it may be a good option for soothing irritated and sore throats. You shouldn’t overindulge in it as it has a high sugar content, but it is certainly a recommended option.

Throat sprays

In pharmacies we will find this option that should be taken into account because of its effectiveness: spraying with an applicator allows you to inject the medicine directly into the oropharynx. They are a recommended option because they help relieve sore throats due to the antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory compounds they contain.

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