Tips and Tools: Management Tips for Sore Throat

A sore throat is usually caused by a virus that causes the cold or a flu. The sore throat associated with mononucleosis is also caused by a virus. Since antibiotics don't have any effect on viruses, the best one can do is manage the symptoms of sore throat. An exception to this rule is strep throat. Streptococcus ('strep) is a bacteria and therefore can be treated successfully with antibiotics. Strep throat is often associated with swelling of the glands in the neck, a rash and a very sore throat. Additional causes of sore throat include allergies, cigarette smoke, and straining the voice. The following tips will help you to manage the symptoms of sore throat.

  1. Drink plenty of fluids that won't irritate the throat. At least six glasses per day.
  2. Gargle with salt water (1/4 teaspoon salt in 1/2 cup warm water) every one to two hours for temporary relief.
  3. Use a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier in the room where you spend most of your time.
  4. Don't smoke while you have a sore throat.
  5. Suck on hard candy or a medicated lozenge (as directed on package).
  6. Acetaminophen or aspirin can be taken to manage pain of sore throat. Do not give aspirin or any medicine containing salicylates to anyone 19 years of age or young unless directed to do so by a doctor.

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