There are many causes of a persistent or reoccurring sore throat. It is often due to the common cold, the flu (influenza) or a bacterial infection (strep throat). Finding out the cause is important so that the correct treatment plan can be put into place.
Facts and Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
|Natural Remedy||What experts say about them|
|For explanation and recommended doses to use, see our detailed article Natural Remedies for Sore Throat.|
|Apple Cider Vinegar||Helpful|
Many natural remedies do not directly provide pain relief from throat soreness but they aer used to boost the immune system.This is a necessary step to allow the mucous membrane in the throat area to heal quickly.
These natural remedies have antiviral and antibacterial properties that can be helpful in killing off the germs that cause throat soreness.
See the article on Immune System Boosters to discover the best natural remedies can be used to support healing throat soreness.
Symptoms of soreness in the throat can include:
Most people can easily tell if they have soreness in the throat. It may feel like it's coming for the entire back of the throat or just one-sided or on one spot only.Often soreness in the throat may indicate possible bacterial or viral infections (see table below) so watch out for signs and symptoms such as sinus problems, ear ache, swollen glands (tonsils), post nasal drip, cough and fever.
It may be acute (short-term) or chronic (persistent and long-term). Acute throat soreness usually last anywhere from three to seven days for most people. Acute throat soreness is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Chronic throat soreness is usually caused by other health problems (see table below).
If it last longer than three weeks, then it may indicate something else such as an allergy problem. Seek medical advice if this is the case.
The two main causes of throat soreness are from viruses and bacteria. By far, viruses cause over 90% of all cases of sore throat.
|Viral||Common types and their description|
cases (over 90%) of soreness in the throat can be traced to a viral
infection. It is often a result of the common
cold or the flu (both of which are caused by a virus).
Once these viral infections are cured, the throat soreness will resolve completely within 7 days for most people.
|Mononucleosis (Kissing Disease)||This is a common viral infection causing
soreness in the throat in adults. This condition commonly causes severe
virus can cause sore throat as well as ears and lungs infection.
This infection typically last up to seven days and may also include
symptoms such as runny nose, coughing, diarrhea, vomiting and rashes.
|Bacterial||Common types and their description|
is the most common bacteria (Streptococcus) that causes soreness in the
throat. It accounts for up to 10% of all cases.
This infection seems to attack children of school age. This condition most likely requires a visit to your family doctor since, in a small percentage of people, they may develop an infection that damages the heart valves (rheumatic fever) or cause other health problems.
Antibiotic (usually penicillin) is prescribed to cure this infection.
sexually transmitted disease (STD) can result from the
gonorrhea bacterial that is
transmitted by an infected person performing fellatio (oral stimulation
of the penis). Antibiotics will
be required to cure this infection.
|Other non-contagious types|
There are numerous possible causes for a sore throat. If bacterial or viral infections are ruled out, below is a list of other causes of throat soreness.
Many of these causes tend to cause chronic, reoccurring and persistent (usually low-grade) sore throat.
In addition to using natural remedies, here are some helpful home remedy tips and suggestions you can also try to get pain relief from throat soreness.
Gargle with lukewarm salt water. Mix about 1 teaspoon of table salt in a cup (250 mL) of water and gargle several times a day.
Drink water to prevent dehydration. Avoid acidic juices and soda beverages.
If it's due to the cold or flu, get sufficient rest to allow your body (and throat) to heal
Humidify the room you sleep in with a cool mist or warm mist humidifier. (A warm mist humidifier tends to heat the room up.) 30% to 50% humidity is the most comfortable range and closer to the 50% humidity provides the best comfort.
Eat light meals and drink soup that is not too spicy (although a bit of spice might help to give some relief from pain). Definitely avoid chilly and very spicy foods.
Avoid deep-fried foods such as fried chicken and french fries. They can further irritate the throat.
Keeping your immune system in top condition is one of many ways to prevent this from happening. As well the following suggestions can be helpful in preventing you from developing a sore throat from a variety of causes.
Maintain hygiene by washing hands.
Don't share spoons, forks and knives.
Try to keep your distance with someone who has infections or a sore throat.
Get enough rest (to ensure your body and immune system is in a healthy state).
Eat nutritious foods and increase intake of fruits and vegetables.
Keep the air you breathe as high quality as possible. Avoid the smoke from smokers and exhaust from vehicles.
Keep the humidity (in your bedroom especially) at a comfortable level by using a humidifier. The best range is between 30% and 50% of moisture. In the winter, the humidity in the air you breathe can drop to an uncomfortable level (below 30%). Buy a humidity monitor if necessary to find out.
Updated: May 29, 2010