When an individual's throat feels scratchy and sore or there's a tingling sensation present then there may be some extent of inflammation of the tissue in this area. Other symptoms may include a burning sensation, irritation, and dryness of the throat. It may also hurt when one tries to speak or swallow and redness of throat and tonsils may be noticed.
Sores throats can be caused by infections as a result of streptococcal bacteria and viruses such as the flu and the common cold. Other viral infections may also include measles, mononucleosis (glandular fever), mumps, and chicken-pox. Signs and symptoms that may be associated with these causes include fevers, malaise, fatigue, muscle aches and pains, skin rashes, and swollen glands in the neck.
Environmental triggers such as dry air cause the mucous tissue of the throat to dry up causing the throat to become dry and scratchy. Other environmental factors affecting the throat may include exposure to tobacco smoke, air pollutants, cleaning products, and other chemicals.
Gastro-oesophageal reflux, where acid from the stomach flows back up the oesophagus, irritates the throat which also causes the mentioned signs and symptoms to occur.
Affected patients may only present with obstructive issues such as difficulty swallowing and breathing if these factors cause swelling of the throat, but they can also result in sneezing, a runny nose, nasal congestion, and teary eyes. Excess mucous from the nose may also drip down the back of the throat (post-nasal drip) irritating the tissue.
In the case of an infection, bed rest is recommended to allow the body to use its metabolic energy to rather boost the immune system in order to fight off the pathogen causing the problem.
The remedies that can be attempted at home include:
- Mixing half a teaspoon of salt in one litre of warm water and then gargling with the solution four to six times a day for a few days.
- Drinking warm liquids such as tea with natural anti-inflammatory products such as lemon and honey added to the beverage. Herbal teas such as red-bush, mint, and chamomile are especially soothing to the throat.
- For a burning throat, eating ice-cream or a popsicle may help.
- Add moisture to the air by turning on a cool mist humidifier.
Over-the-counter products that may be used include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen.
- Anti-histamines in the case of allergies.
- Local anesthetic sprays, lollipops, or lozenges.
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