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How to Fight a Sore Throat

A sore throat leaves you with a constant, uncomfortable pain that often increases in intensity with each swallow 1. The soreness frequently results from a cold, flu or similar viral infections. Relief methods ease the pain to some degree until your body fights off the virus. Sore throats caused by a bacterial infection, such as strep throat, subside with antibiotic treatment prescribed by a physician 1. Soothing remedies decrease the pain level until the antibiotics can eliminate the infection.

Moisten the air with a humidifier. The moist air can reduce irritation to your sore throat 1. Breathe in steam from a pot of hot water or a hot shower as an alternative way to moisten your throat.

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Gargle with a warm water and salt mixture. MedlinePlus recommends 1/2 tsp. of salt for 1 cup of warm water. Repeat the gargling throughout the day to relieve sore throat pain 1.

Drink water and other liquids to moisten the throat. Stir lemon into a cup of warm tea for soothing relief 1. Suck on ice pops or drink cool drinks for an alternative sore throat pain relief method 1.

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Suck on lozenges or candies to stimulate saliva. Avoid lozenges or candies with young children, who might swallow the hard disks and choke.

Take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Avoid aspirin for children because of the risk of side effects like Reye's syndrome.

Sleep and rest your body as much as possible. Avoid talking or eating foods that are difficult to swallow, which might irritate your throat more. Avoid other irritants like cigarette smoke or harsh chemicals.

Call your physician if you show symptoms of strep throat, including fever, headache, swollen tonsils, swollen glands and white spots on your throat or tonsils. Children sometimes experience vomiting and abdominal pain with these bacterial illnesses.

Seek medical attention if your sore throat doesn't go away on its own or if the symptoms worsen 1.