Many people assume that they have a sore throat because of the common cold, which makes sense, however, this is not always the case. If you are experiencing pain or difficulty swallowing, then there may be another reason behind your ailment.
Your doctor will be able to help you with your self-diagnosis after asking you some questions about your symptoms and performing a quick physical examination. In the meantime, you can take a look at these common reasons for a sore throat and if they apply to you, attempt to treat them.
Your diet plays the greatest role in the health of your throat, so it is important to understand what can damage it and therefore lead to a sore throat. If you drink excessive amounts of alcohol or coffee, then this will irritate your throat. Smoking leads to inflammation and irritation to the tissues lining the inside of your mouth and throat, which contributes to the discomfort.
Refined sugars and acidic foods such as orange juice, vinegar, and tomatoes can cause damage to your teeth and gums which in turn will make swallowing even harder, therefore increasing the chance of a sore throat. A diet high in fat and low on fruit and vegetables is also likely to lead to inflammation around your throat area, so change your eating habits to help reduce the occurrence of inflammation.
Gastroesophageal reflux, known as acid reflux or heartburn, is one of the most common causes of a sore throat and it’s caused by stomach acids traveling into your esophagus. The digestive acids are intended to break down food in your stomach, but they can also damage the layer that protects tissues around your throat and mouth.
Reduce acid reflux-inducing foods. Chocolate, coffee, fizzy beverages, and fatty or greasy meals are all examples of this category. Both acid reflux and healing from it may take some patience to deal with. To avoid acid reflux from occurring again, you can use acid-reducing medications and acid blockers.
Infections such as strep throat or mononucleosis are also common causes of sore throats. If you are experiencing a fever along with your symptoms, it’s likely that you have either strep throat or the flu virus. Infections are contagious, so if you have contracted either one, then you can expect it to pass on to someone else.
A throat infection usually consists of a red and inflamed throat accompanied by pain when swallowing, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck region, white or yellow spots on your tonsils or inner cheeks, headache, fatigue, coughs, and a fever. If your sore throat is due to an infection, you’ll need antibiotics to treat it.
Allergies to food items such as nuts can cause similar symptoms to infection because of swelling and irritation in the throat. If you feel like your symptoms are worsening, it’s best to head to see your doctor as soon as possible.
Allergies to pollen are common during the springtime. You might experience inflammation in your throat if you are allergic to pollen. The best way to avoid allergies is by preparing for them, so always carry antihistamines and allergy medication with you when heading outdoors.
Irritants such as harsh chemicals and fumes also lead to a sore throat because they irritate the lining of your throat and cause inflammation. If you work in an environment where air pollutants are common, then you will be at an increased risk of developing a sore throat.
Once your primary issue is taken care of, you can help to ease your throat discomfort by avoiding irritants such as pollution and smoking, drinking plenty of fluids such as water and warm tea, increasing rest and relaxation, and incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet.
This occurs when mucus slowly drips down the back of your throat, making it difficult to breathe and swallow because of the increased mucus in your throat. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s best to keep yourself well hydrated with water or tea that doesn’t contain caffeine.
This will help to thin out the mucus that is irritating your throat. Also, avoid dairy products if you are experiencing increased mucus or nasal drip as they can cause more trouble for you. When all else fails, use cough drops to ease your discomfort, and if your symptoms get worse after using them, consult with a doctor immediately.
A sore throat can be caused by many different factors, so you need to try and narrow down the cause in order to treat it properly. If your symptoms are severe, then you should see a doctor right away. You can also try to aid relief by drinking plenty of fluids such as water and warm tea, reducing stress, avoiding irritants, increasing rest and relaxation, and eating more whole foods. If you feel like your sore throat is worsening after trying any home remedies or cough drops, then get checked out by a doctor immediately.