Tag Archives: throat infection

What causes Throat Pain? How to relieve it by Home remedies?

throat pain I have a scratchy feeling in the throat or Pain in throat, sometimes with difficulty in talking and breathing, I have feverish feeling too. Sounds similar to your throat symptoms this season?

Yes, it is sore throat or throat infection.

Image  Drcamachoent – Own work at wikimedia.org

Sore throat is commonly caused by viral, not bacterial infections where antibiotic is not required.   Further allergy and acid reflux can also contribute to throat pain. Thus, home remedies are increasingly advised to provide relief from mild throat pain such as gargling with warm salt water and over the counter pain killers.


However, if sore throat is not going away in 5-7 days or you are not able to maintain usual food intake than its time to visit your ENT Specialist for treatment.


 Causes of throat pain:

Infection by contagious viruses and bacteria are reasons of majority of throat infection.

Virus infection: Viral infections such as cold, flu, measles, chicken pox and infectious mononucleosis are often associated with throat infection . There could be runny nose, fever, muscle aches and swollen glands in the neck.

Bacterial infection: Strep throat caused by streptococcus bacteria. It is treated by antibiotic as same bacteria can cause scarlet fever or damage heart valves and kidneys. Sending throat swab for bacterial culture is the only way to confirm diagnosis.

Tonsillitis and sinus  infection can also cause a sore throat.

Epiglottitis: Epiglottitis is a dangerous type of throat infection and an emergency condition. Symptoms like painful swallowing, drooling of saliva, muffled speech and difficulty in breathing are a few of the symptoms indicating that throat pain could be epiglottitis.

Allergy to dust, pollen and mold are common causes of sore throats.

Irritation caused by dry heat/dry air, smoking, pollutants, chemicals can also result in sore throat.

Acid Reflux, or a regurgitation of stomach content into the throat is a common cause of throat pain, patients usually describe symptoms as feeling of some lump in throat or as if hair is stuck along with pain or raw sensation in throat

Tumors of the throat and tongue can also cause sore throat along with other associated symptoms, important being hoarse voice, difficulty in swallowing, difficulty in breathing , blood from mouth and weight loss.

HIV infection or lowered immunity can also cause a recurrent or chronic sore throat.


When to take appointment of an ENT Specialist?

  • Severe and prolonged sore throat more then 3-5 days or recurrent throat pain
  • Finding difficulty to breathe
  • Swallowing is Difficult
  • Difficulty in mouth opening
  • Blood in saliva or phlegm
  • Joint pain/rashes/High fever
  • Earache


Treatment of sore throat:

Home remedies for sore throat

Mild sore throat associated with runny nose/stuffy nose can be relieved with the following home  remedies:

  •  Proper rest
  •  Balanced diet with plenty of vitamin and minerals to boost immunity
  •  Vitamin c and zinc supplements.
  • Proper hydration /increase liquid intake
  • Warm soups like tomato soup, chicken soup to soothe throat , avoid too hot and too cold food.
  • Gargles with warm salt water
  • Use of steamer or humidifier
  •  Avoid smoking and Alcohol
  • Take over-the-counter pain killers


 Treatment of Throat pain:

If diagnosed as bacterial infection, ENT doctor will prescribe a suitable antibiotic along with supportive medications.

Viral infection lowers your immunity thus, making you susceptible to secondary bacterial infection. Thus doctor may recommend antibiotics at some stage of your viral throat pain.

Antibiotic Resistance and throat pain:

My common observation is patients stop using antibiotic as soon as there is slight relief or do not take it regularly in proper dosage. As a result, throat infection may recur. Thus always complete antibiotic course which could be 7-10 days and take in dosage as advised by your ENT doctor.

Once your throat pain is relieved by home remedies or antibiotics,  you can follow these quick tips for prevention of sore throat-Maintain good hygiene. Wash your hands regularly and keep your napkins, towel and soaps separately, do not share these with the person having throat infection.

                                   And Take Flu vaccine.


Home Care Tips for Cold & Sore Throat

Re blogged from my old post

Usually with winter respiratory and throat infection cases increases, but this year physicians and ENT clinics are witnessing increased number of Patients as Mumbai is experiencing unusual low levels of temperature.

With High level of pollutants and particulate matter allergic cold (rhinitis) and sore throat cases are on rise.

3157516906_2df91217faphoto by quirkyrocket at flickr creative commons

Here are few home care tips to fight with stuffy nose/sore throat:–

Though it does not replace proper diagnosis and medical management but it helps as supportive treatment in faster recovery and reduces sleepless nights. Personally I have advised these tips to patients and it works in lessening patient’s discomfort.

  •  Proper rest
  •  Take balanced diet with plenty of vitamin and minerals to boost defense mechanism.
  •  Vitamin c and zinc supplements.
  •  Keep hydration adequate as cold air has drying effect
  • Hot soups like tomato soup, chicken soup works wonder in thinning of secretions.
  •  Black pepper, basil leaves, cloves and ginger boil with water and drink at night time; it’s soothing and helps in mucus coming out.
  • Honey is age old miraculous natural cure from cough.
  • One pinch of turmeric with 1 cup warm milk helps in easy expulsion of mucus.
  • Researches show ginger, garlic and onion has medicinal properties and helps in cold and cough.


  • Gargles with warm saline (salt in warm water)
  •  Saline irrigation or nasal wash (1/4 teaspoonful of salt in lukewarm water)
  •  Humidification. Use of vaporizer (Steam inhalation) or humidifier can be done to increase the humidity in the air.
  •  Avoid smoking; active and passive.
  •  Avoid alcohol as it increases swelling of mucus membrane.
  •  Avoid dust, pollen, pets, deodorants, chemical irritants.
  • Do deep breathing exercises.

Get flu vaccine before season starts, it works.

  • Dress in layers wear woolen cloths
  • Protect hands and feet (30% of heat escapes through hands and feet
  • Cover head with hat or scarf (40% of heat lost through head)