A sore throat is very annoying and can sometimes be itchy, making it difficult for you to swallow, drink, and talk. A sore throat is usually a symptom of a bacterial or viral infection. However, the disease usually goes away on its own within a few days to a few weeks. Meanwhile, you can relieve the pain in your throat using salt water.
Method 1 of 4: Gargle with Salt Water
Step 1. Determine the solution to be used
Most people prefer to mix 1 teaspoon of table salt or sea salt in 240 ml (a glass) of warm water. The salt will draw water from the swollen tissue and deflate it. If you can't stand the taste, consider mixing warm water and 1:1 apple cider vinegar. Although the reason is not clear, apple cider vinegar seems to be more effective than other vinegars for relieving sore throats. The acid content in vinegar is thought to kill bacteria. A third option is to add teaspoon of baking soda to your brine solution.
Step 2. Add honey or lemon to improve the taste
Honey is efficacious as an antibacterial that is useful against bacterial infections. Honey is also useful for soothing sore throats and improving the sharp taste of salt water. Lemon contains vitamin C to increase endurance as well as efficacious as an antibacterial and antiviral.
Do not give honey to children under 2 years of age. Babies are susceptible to botulism which may contaminate honey
Step 3. Gargle properly
The benefits of gargling can be felt by both children and adults. However, children should be supervised and ensured to expel the salt water so that it does not swallow it. If your kids have swallowed a little salt water, don't panic. Just ask them to have a full glass of water afterward.
- Give little salt water to children.
- Test your child's gargling ability with plain water before using salt water.
- Put the salt water in your mouth and tilt your head back. Make an "ah" sound so that your throat vibrates. As for children, you may need to ask them to make a "GGGAAAAARRRRRGGGGLLLE" sound. Do this step for about 30 seconds.
- You should be able to feel the fluid moving around the vibration, much like a bubble of boiling water in the back of your throat.
- Do not swallow salt water. Take it out and rinse your mouth when you're done.
Step 4. Gargle regularly throughout the day
The frequency of your gargling may vary according to the solution used.
- Salt water only: once an hour
- Salt water and apple cider vinegar: once an hour
- Salt water and baking soda: every two hours
Method 2 of 4: Spraying the Throat with Salt Water
Step 1. Make a brine solution
Making your own salt water spray is very easy. You don't need to buy it in the store. You only need cup of filtered water and mix it until it is completely dissolved.
Step 2. Add essential oil
A simple salt water solution will soothe the throat, but essential oils can speed up the healing process. Simply mix the essential oil with the salt water solution until evenly distributed. Two drops of the following essential oils can relieve pain as well as fight infections that cause sore throats:
- Menthol oil (pain reliever)
- Eucalyptus oil (antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory)
- Sage oil (antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory)
Step 3. Pour all the ingredients into a spray bottle
Ideally, use a 30 or 60 ml spray bottle. The small size of the bottle will make it easy for you to carry it throughout the day. You can keep one spray bottle at home and another for travelling.
Step 4. Use as needed
When your throat hurts so much, take out the spray bottle and use a small amount. Open your mouth and point the tip toward the back of your throat. Spray once or twice to relieve throat irritation.
Method 3 of 4: Using Other Treatments
Step 1. Use antibiotics to treat bacterial infections
Although viral infections do not respond to antibiotics, bacterial infections can be treated with these drugs. If your doctor diagnoses you with a bacterial infection, ask for a prescription for antibiotics. Be sure to take antibiotics as prescribed. Do not stop taking antibiotics until they are finished, even if you feel better because this will make you more susceptible to complications or recurrence of the disease.
Eat yogurt containing active bacterial cultures (probiotics) while using antibiotics. Antibiotics will kill healthy bacteria in the intestines while fighting disease-causing bacteria. Intake of yogurt containing active probiotic cultures will replace normal bacteria in the gut and help the body fight infection
Step 2. Meet the body's fluid needs
Drinking water will not only moisturize the surface of the skin in the throat, but also keep the body hydrated. Thus, drinking water can also relieve irritation in the tissues. Another way to moisten your throat is to increase the humidity of the air you breathe, especially if you live in a dry climate. Buy a humidifier or place a bowl filled with water in a room you use frequently.
Step 3. Eat foods that are easy to swallow
Not only are broths and soups easy to swallow, they are also known to increase the immune response, namely by slowing down the movement of immune cells so they are more effective at work. If you want to eat a wider variety of foods, be sure to choose foods that are soft and easy to swallow:
- Perfectly cooked rice or pasta
- beaten egg
- Perfectly cooked beans and peas
Step 4. Avoid foods that can irritate the throat
Avoid spicy food altogether as it will make your throat sore even more. The definition of spicy here is quite broad, you might not think pepperoni and garlic are spicy, but they can also irritate the throat. Also avoid sticky foods like peanut butter, or hard foods like crispy toast or crackers. Acidic foods like soda and citrus juices should also be avoided until your throat heals.
Step 5. Chew food until soft
Use a fork and knife to cut the food into small pieces and chew until soft. Chewing also gives saliva time to digest food, making it easier to swallow. If you have a very hard time swallowing, consider mashing food in a blender such as peas or boiled carrots into a puree.
Method 4 of 4: Diagnosing a Sore Throat
Step 1. Recognize the symptoms of a sore throat
The most obvious symptom of a sore throat is a sore throat that gets worse when swallowing or speaking. This pain may be accompanied by dryness and itching, and a hoarse or hoarse voice. Some people may also experience swelling and pain in the glands in the neck or jaw. If you still have them, your tonsils may appear swollen, red, or have white or pus-filled spots.
Step 2. Watch for other signs of infection
Most cases of sore throat are caused by a bacterial or viral infection. You should pay attention to symptoms of infection that may accompany a sore throat, including:
- Body pain
- Nausea or vomiting
Step 3. Consider asking a doctor for a diagnosis
Most cases of sore throat clear up on their own within a few days to a week with home treatments. If your sore throat is quite severe or doesn't go away, you should consider seeing a doctor and getting it checked out. The doctor will examine the throat, listen for breathing, and may take a sample from the throat to test in a laboratory. Even if you don't feel pain when the throat sample is taken, you may feel a bit uncomfortable as this will trigger the gag reflex. A sample from the throat will be taken to a laboratory so that the cause of the infection can be determined. Once the cause of a sore throat is known, viral or bacterial, the doctor will give the medicine.
- Medications used to treat sore throats due to bacterial infections include penicillin, amoxicillin, and ampicillin.
- Your doctor may also order you to have a complete blood count or allergy test.
Step 4. Know when you need to seek emergency medical attention
Most cases of sore throat do not indicate a serious medical condition. However, in children, this condition should always be checked by a doctor if it does not improve after drinking a glass of water in the morning. You should also call the doctor immediately if your child is having trouble breathing or swallowing. An odd flow of saliva accompanied by a sore throat should also be checked by a doctor as soon as possible. Meanwhile, adults are better able to predict whether they need medical help. You can wait at home for a few days, but see your doctor immediately if you experience:
- Severe sore throat or sore throat for more than a week
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty opening your mouth or feeling pain in the jaw joint
- Joint pain, especially new ones
- Fever over 38.3 C
- Bloody phlegm or saliva
- Sore throat that often recurs
- A lump or mass in the neck
- Hoarse voice more than two weeks
- Take the prescribed medication and have follow-up checks with your doctor as needed.
- Most people find their sore throat relieved by drinking hot liquids, but that's not always the case. If you feel better after drinking lukewarm water or cold tea, do so. Cold drinks can also be helpful, especially if you have a fever.
- Be sure to see a doctor if you don't get better within 2-3 days.
- Do not give honey to children younger than 2 years. Although rare, infant botulism is a risk because honey sometimes contains bacterial spores, while a baby's immune system is immature.