How Do I Relieve an Inflamed Throat?

It's important to determine the cause of a sore throat when deciding how to treat it.
Licorice root may be used as an alternative treatment for an inflamed throat.
Gargling warm saltwater can soothe a sore throat.
Honey can help soothe an inflamed throat.
Cough drops provide temporary relief from an inflamed throat.
Getting antibiotics from a doctor may be necessary.
Proper hydration is a common home remedy for an inflamed throat.
Article Details
  • Written By: K. Testa
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

Inflammation or soreness of the throat is also known as pharyngitis, and there are a number of methods for providing relief. Prior to treating an inflamed throat, however, it often helps to determine the cause. Some possible medical explanations can include bacterial infections, viral infections, sinus problems, and acid reflux. Many people also experience throat irritation due to allergies or a sensitivity to air pollution. Home remedies, over-the-counter treatments, and prescription medications are all potential treatments for relieving an inflamed throat, depending on its origin.

Common home remedies for an inflamed throat include consuming fluids to stay hydrated and to soothe throat pain. For instance, eating broth-based soup is often recommended, as is drinking warm beverages such as hot tea. Adding honey to tea or warm water can also help. In some cases, however, people find that consuming cold items, such as ice pops, provides more relief than warm remedies.

In addition to taking in more water through foods and beverages, there are additional ways that moisture can help relieve an inflamed throat. For instance, medical professionals often recommend soothing a sore throat by gargling with warm salt water. At home, there are a number of other ways to relieve the effects of dry air, which can cause throat inflamation. One can use a humidifier to add moisture to the environment, for example, or seek relief through direct steam inhalation.

Ad

Some common over-the-counter remedies for treating an inflamed throat include throat lozenges and cough drops, which tend to provide temporary relief of symptoms without necessarily treating the condition that is causing the sore throat. For the common cold or similar ailments, some people prefer to take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain and fever relief, and both also help with throat inflammation. Alternative remedies are available as well, such as sage and licorice root; there is little scientific evidence, however, regarding their effectiveness.

Further recommendations for soothing an throat inflamation include resting and refraining from talking if doing so causes discomfort. A persistent sore or irritated throat should be diagnosed and treated by a physician since there are so many potential causes, ranging from the common cold or flu to potentially damaging conditions, such as swollen lymph nodes or throat tumors. A doctor can prescribe medications to treat serious conditions, such as prescribing antibiotics for bacterial infections. In certain cases, it might also help to consult an allergist or an ear, nose, and throat doctor — commonly referred to as an ENT specialist — to gain further insight into what is causing an inflamed throat.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

orangey03
Post 4

Has anyone here ever had a sore throat infection caused by inhaling too much dust? I have, and I didn't even know it was possible until it happened to me.

I was cleaning out the dirty utility room of a house I was about to move into, and the dust was so thick on the shelves that I should have thought to wear a mask before stirring it up. As soon as I began wiping the shelves, the dust flew up into my face, and though I didn't breathe all of it in right then, it lingered in the air for the whole hour that I cleaned, and I took in plenty of it during that time.

Later that day, I developed a cough, and by the next morning, I was coughing up phlegm. I had a rattling noise in my chest, and my throat had become scratchy and sore.

I treated the sore throat by taking an antihistamine. This combated the effects of the allergen on my throat and lungs, and it gave my throat some relief, since I was finally able to stop coughing for awhile. I took some cough syrup with an antihistamine in it until the sore throat and cough were totally gone.

wavy58
Post 3

I have a mild acetaminophen allergy. When I take it, I actually get an inflamed throat, so I can't use it to treat a sore throat.

Also, I can't take ibuprofen for relief from a throat infection. I have a kidney disease, and ibuprofen is bad for my kidneys. So, I can't take anything to treat the inflammation, but I can soothe my throat with lozenges.

I keep a bag of eucalyptus lozenges in my purse when I'm sick. I basically keep one in my mouth at all times. They are berry flavored, so they taste like candy, but the eucalyptus makes my sinuses open up, and this makes my throat feel better.

OeKc05
Post 2

@seag47 – I agree that anyone with strep throat symptoms should get medical attention as soon as possible. That is something you shouldn't be trying to treat at home.

However, sore throats caused by colds are fine to treat at home. Since a cold is caused by a virus, there is nothing the doctor can give you to fight it, anyway.

The thing I find most helpful for soothing an inflamed throat is drinking hot lemon echinacea tea. I sweeten it with honey, and it glides across my throat, providing relief like nothing else can. I drink about three cups of this a day when my throat is sore, so I get relief every few hours.

seag47
Post 1

Inflamed throat remedies work best for mild sore throats. I know that when I have strep throat, nothing I do at home will help, because the infection is so powerful and the inflammation so severe.

Strep throat starts as a mild sore throat, but within a few hours, it progresses to a throat so swollen that even saliva has trouble going through it when I swallow. Last time I had it, I was afraid that my throat might close up!

I also had a high fever, which is a sign of a bad infection. I had to go to my doctor for antibiotics and steroids, because strep is too intense for our bodies to fight on their own. The steroids gave me an instant boost, and the antibiotics slowly cleared out the infection.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email