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How To Get Rid Of A Sore Throat Fast

Updated on October 24, 2011

How To Get Rid Of A Sore Throat Fast

There are a number of reasons why you've been hit with a sore throat. The most common reasons include coming down with the flu, a cold, strep throat, smoking or tonsillitis. It is always better to have a doctor diagnose your condition because while sore throat symptoms overlap for different root causes, treatment may vary.

In this article we're going to cover the most common ways you can treat your symptoms (easing the pain and discomfort) and the steps needed to ensure a speedy recovery. We'll also delve briefly into other illnesses which can lead to the manifestation of identical symptoms. Please remember that if your condition is persistent, or is actually getting worse, a trained physician is your best bet!

Sore Throat Symptoms

  • A persistent itch in the throat.
  • Fevers and chills.
  • A dry throat.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • White patches or marks.
  • Swollen tonsils.
  • Swollen glands.
  • Children may refuse to eat.

Common Causes

A sore throat, characterized by the inflammation of the throat, leading to pain, itchiness and difficulty swallowing is usually caused by a viral infection which clears up on it's own. Bacterial causes can be resolved with prescription anti-biotics.

The most common viral causes are:

  • The common cold.
  • An influenza virus strain (the flu).
  • Chickenpox and measles.
  • Mononucleosis.

Treating viral infections naturally will involve drinking plenty of water, getting enough rest and avoiding stress and other factors which can depress the immune system. Most viral infections clear up after roughly a week without the need for medical treatment.

The most common bacterial causes are:

  • Strep throat ( Streptococcus pyogenes).
  • Diptheria.
  • Whooping cough.

If you're condition isn't getting better on it's own given the viral guidelines, you may have a bacterial infection which can be treated with relevant antibiotic therapy. Acquiring the proper antibiotics from a doctor is essential for two reasons. Firstly, so you know that you aren't allergic to them and secondly because you will know how long to take them (not taking them long enough will worsen the condition in many cases).

Other Causes And Risk Factors

Here is a list of other causes that may have given rise to your sore throat:

  • Smoking. Long-term smoking habits can irritate the throat.
  • Allergies. Hay fever, and allergies to dust and other abundant particles can lead to cyclical bouts of sore throat.
  • Sinus Infections. If you're experiencing constant drainage from the nose it can irritate the throat.
  • Immune suppression: If you're immune system is naturally or artificially weak, you are more likely to experience sore throats.

A Speedy Recovery

There are a number of widely available methods to ease the pain and get you back on your feet. The ones with a proven track record are:

  • Getting lots of sleep allows the body to fight off the infection more rapidly.
  • Drinking a lot of water to prevent dehydration (often exacerbated by a fever).
  • Sucking on lozenges (such as strepsil -- pictured right) can help ease a sore throat. A visit to any pharmacy will provide you with a wealth of options.
  • Gargling with warm salt-water provides immediate cleansing and relief.
  • Aspirin, Tylenol and Ibuprofen can provide on-demand relief from fever symptoms.
  • Eating well can give the body the strength it needs to fight off infection, and don't forget the value of carbs in giving you a focus boost if you have to study or work!

When To See A Doctor

If the following advice has done little to address your symptoms, it may be a sign that something more severe or persistent is at work. If you feel a number of these symptoms in addition to the ones above, it may be time to visit a professional.

  • Breathing becomes difficult.
  • Swallowing becomes difficult, especially when eating becomes a problem.
  • Earache.
  • Inexplicable rashes.
  • A high fever.
  • Blood in mouth.
  • Painful joint pain.
  • Persistent symptoms, or frequently re-occurring symptoms.

This concludes this article on how to get rid of a sore throat fast, while there is no out-of-the-box quick fix solution, I hope you find that it helps you on your road to recovery as swiftly as possible!


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Infections of the throat are uslualy asymptomatic, but in some cases may cause a sore throat. This condition is diagnosed by a throat culture, utilizing a cotton swab; most cases of gonoccal pharyngitis are caused by oral sex with a partner infected with gonorrhea.The mainstay of treatment is the appropriate use of antibiotics. While penicillin was the most common antibiotic used to treat gonorrhea up until the 1970s, an increase in antibiotic resistance has led to a decline in its use. Recommendations for first choice treatment of gonorrhea must depend on local information on resistance patterns and it is not possible to make treatment recommendations that are applicable to all parts of the world.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on Thursday, April 12, 2007 officially adding gonorrhea to a list of super bugs that are now resistant to common antibiotics according to CDC.Possible Complications:-BOTH SEXES * Disseminated gonococcemia * Gonococcal arthritisMALE * Urethral scarring and stricture * Epididymitis * Orchitis * ProstatitisFEMALE * Pelvic inflammatory disease * Salpingitis * Perihepatitis * Infertility * Sterility * Increased incidence of tubal pregnancy (ectopic pregnancy)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Erica,It is my first time I leave my message here and I hope you will noicte. I understand a person as busy as you is really esay to get sick. I think the most important think is to get enough sleep no matter how busy you are. Eat healthy and keep exercise. Just that simlpe but not esay to put it in action. Don't worry, I will pray for you since I am a christian.

    • MM Del Rosario profile image

      MM Del Rosario 

      7 years ago from NSW, Australia

      Thanks for sharing this hub, I am sure a lot of people will find this article useful. well done.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      great advice thank you

    • carcro profile image

      Paul Cronin 

      7 years ago from Winnipeg

      Good advise, nothing worse than a sore throat - well almost nothing worse. I think the part about drinking enough water everyday is really important as a prevention, the salt water is an excellent point is soothing the throat, in fact gargling with a mix of water and apple cider vinegar also works wonders in soothing a sore throat. Thanks for the info!

    • john000 profile image

      John R Wilsdon 

      7 years ago from Superior, Arizona

      I think this would be a super hub to review if going on an airplane trip. You have good advice and something to think about when preparing to "fly". I have heard that zinc losenges in particular can help, and they are available at the drugstore. Just one option of many.

      I grade this an A. Thanks

    • Coeus profile image


      7 years ago from All over the world and then some.

      Great article, sensible tips.


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