7 Sore Throat Remedies for Adults

how to get rid of a sore throat

A sore throat is a common symptom that can affect anyone, especially during cold and flu season. It can be caused by various factors, such as viral or bacterial infections, allergies, acid reflux, smoking, or dry air. A sore throat can make it hard to swallow, talk, or eat, and it can interfere with your daily activities and quality of life. Fortunately, there are many home remedies that can help you soothe your sore throat and speed up your recovery.

sore throat remedies

Here are some of the best sore throat remedies for adults that you can try at home.

sore throat remedies: Lozenges

Lozenges are small candies that you can suck on to moisten and coat your throat. They can help reduce the pain and irritation caused by a sore throat. Some lozenges contain ingredients that have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, or anesthetic effects, such as honey, lemon, menthol, eucalyptus, or benzocaine. These ingredients can help kill germs, reduce swelling, and numb your throat. You can buy lozenges over the counter at most drugstores1.

sore throat remedies: Honey

Honey is a natural sweetener that has many health benefits. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties that can help fight infections, reduce inflammation, and heal wounds. Honey can also soothe your throat by forming a protective layer and drawing out water from the inflamed tissues. You can take a tablespoon of honey twice a day to ease your sore throat2. You can also mix honey with warm water, lemon juice, or tea to make a soothing drink.

sore throat remedies: Hot or Cold Fluids

Drinking hot or cold fluids can help hydrate your throat and ease the discomfort. Hot fluids, such as tea, soup, or broth, can help loosen the mucus and phlegm in your throat and chest. They can also warm up your throat and reduce coughing. Cold fluids, such as water, juice, or popsicles, can help numb your throat and reduce the pain. You should drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to keep your throat moist and prevent dehydration3.

sore throat remedies: Pain Relievers

If your sore throat is severe or persistent, you may need to take some pain relievers to reduce the inflammation and discomfort. You can use over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen to relieve your pain. You can also use numbing throat sprays that contain local anesthetics such as benzocaine or lidocaine to temporarily numb your throat. However, you should be careful not to exceed the recommended dosage and avoid using these medications for more than a few days without consulting your doctor4.

sore throat remedies: Saltwater Gargle

Gargling with saltwater is a simple and effective way to soothe your sore throat. Saltwater can help flush out the bacteria and viruses that cause infections in your throat. It can also reduce the swelling and inflammation in your tissues by drawing out water from them. To make a saltwater gargle, you need to dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. You should gargle with this solution for a few seconds and spit it out. You can repeat this process several times a day until your sore throat improves.

Other Tips to get rid of sore throat

In addition to the above remedies, you should also follow some general tips to prevent further irritation and damage to your throat. These include:

  • Avoid smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke, as it can dry out and inflame your throat.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can dehydrate and irritate your throat.
  • Avoid spicy and acidic foods, as they can worsen your sore throat.
  • Use a humidifier or vaporizer to add moisture to the air in your room.
  • Rest your voice and avoid talking too much or too loudly.
  • Get enough sleep and rest to boost your immune system.

When to See a Doctor

Most cases of sore throat are mild and resolve on their own within a few days. However, sometimes a sore throat can be a sign of a more serious condition that requires medical attention. You should see a doctor if you have any of the following symptoms along with your sore throat:

  • Fever higher than 101°F (38°C).
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
  • Severe pain that does not improve with home remedies.
  • Swollen glands in your neck or jaw.
  • White patches or pus on your tonsils.
  • Rash on your skin.
  • Blood in your saliva or phlegm.
  • Hoarseness or loss of voice for more than two weeks.

These symptoms may indicate that you have a bacterial infection such as strep throat or tonsillitis, which may need antibiotics to treat. You may also need to see an ear-nose-throat specialist (otolaryngologist) if you have chronic or recurrent sore throats that affect your quality of life.

A sore throat is a common and usually harmless symptom that can be treated with simple home remedies. However, you should also take care of your overall health and hygiene to prevent infections and complications. If your sore throat does not improve or gets worse, you should seek medical help as soon as possible.