Falling in the autumn, the temperatures and with them the first leaves, it starts: scratching the throat, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness. Sore throat is a real folk disease that regularly torments almost every person for a few days of the year. However, the causes can be manifold. Sore throat is not a disease in itself, but a symptom that can have very different causes. By far most common, however, is a virus-related pharyngitis behind it.
Causes of sore throat
Typical triggers of acute sore throats are colds, tonsillitis or other inflammation in the mouth and throat - usually triggered by viruses, more rarely bacteria. Even more severe infections such as scarlet fever or diphtheria announce with a sore throat. Hoarseness is a sign that the inflammation also affects the larynx with its vocal cords.
In addition, for example, severe inflammation in the esophagus or lymph node swelling in the neck can lead to sore throat. Dysphagia without a sore throat can in turn have an allergic cause or be triggered for example by a thyroid disorder.
Sore throat treatment - 6 tips
A mild cold with a sore throat can even be addressed with home remedies. If the symptoms do not improve significantly after two to three days, you should absolutely go to the doctor. Chronic or recurring strep throat and hoarseness attacks should also be clarified by a doctor.
These tips help to quickly get rid of a sore throat:
- Drink a lot: In order for the sore throat to disappear soon, it is always recommended to drink plenty. The liquid keeps the mucous membranes moist, cold viruses can not multiply so well. Medicinal plants have an anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and decongestant properties and are therefore suitable for tea or gargling. Herbal teas such as sage, thyme, chamomile and mallow or the famous "hot lemon" are recommended. Whether hot or cold is not crucial and depends on your personal preference.
- Gargling with lukewarm salt water (1/4 teaspoon of salt in 0.2 liter of warm water) is also one of the proven home remedies. Chamomile and sage tea (in strong concentration and long drawn) are also suitable.
- Neck wraps are used by many people to provide relief. For this purpose, a kitchen towel with cool to warm (depending on need) water soaked, wrung and placed around the neck, wrapped over a dry cloth or a wool scarf. Between 20 and 30 minutes, the wet wrap should act. Lemon juice or oil, quark or Retterspitz ® are also suitable instead of water.
- Even a sweat after a hot bath is beneficial. Keeping yourself warm - especially your feet and neck - is an important step towards recovery anyway.
- Homeopathic remedies help depending on the type of ailments. Here is a selection: Belladonna for burning sore throat, difficulty swallowing and swollen tonsils, Phytolacca for pain radiating to the ears, Lycopodium for the right side of the neck and Lachesis for the pain on the left side.
- A home remedy helps in the truest sense of the word: Anyone who has a sore throat and does not feel well or even has a fever, stays best at home and treat yourself to rest. This is often neglected.
In the case of sore throats, many people resort to freely available medical painkillers from the pharmacy in order to be back in action quickly. Without medical consultation none of these remedies should be used for more than three days.
When to the doctor with a sore throat?
You should go to the doctor if ...
- Sore throat lasts more than three days,
- the symptoms are associated with shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or heavy dysphagia,
- Pain mainly occurring on one side of the neck or after strain of the voice,
- the lymph nodes are heavily swollen,
- it's hard to open your mouth wide,
- body temperature is persistently elevated (38 degrees Celsius for longer than three days) or fever is measured above 39 degrees Celsius in adults or over 40 degrees Celsius in children,
- Sore throat associated with rash on the face or body or raspberry red discoloration of the tongue,
- You suddenly or very strongly become hoarse or
- Sore throat is very common (in adults more than four times a year) and home remedies do not work.
Do infants have a sore throat, a doctor early visit is recommended.
4 facts about sore throat - © istockphoto, PIKSEL