Public Health

Sore Throat Remedies for the Whole Family

A man with a sore throat sips a cup of hot tea.

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What starts as a bothersome sore throat can quickly progress into a full-blown illness. When a mild tickle in your throat turns into throat pain, how can you tell what’s causing it? Is it a cold? The flu? COVID? Allergies?

Whatever the cause for your throat pain, we don’t want you to suffer. That’s why our experts are here to recommend the best remedies to cure sore throat — so you can get back to feeling your best.

Home Remedies for Sore Throat

What’s the cure for throat pain? There are many natural ways to soothe a sore throat. Try one or more of these sore throat remedies for adults:

  • Gargle: Try this solution for throat pain. Gargling with a salt water or baking soda solution can help reduce irritation, break up mucous, reduce bacteria and prevent the growth of fungi.
  • Get steamy: Dry air can further irritate a sore throat. Breathing warm, humid air can open airways and alleviate soreness. Run a hot bath or shower with the bathroom door closed, allowing the room to fill with steam. Just sitting in a steamy room works, too.
  • Sip on fluids: Drinking liquids can help clear mucous that’s irritating your throat, and both hot and cold liquids can provide relief. Consider hot tea or lemon water as well as chilled sports drinks or plain water.
  • Sweeten things up: One of the more enjoyable sore throat remedies is honey. Honey is a natural solution for throat pain with antibacterial properties and a sweetness that can calm nerve endings and relieve your cough. Try adding honey to hot tea or drizzle it over toast or yogurt.

These treatments can also work as sore throat remedies for kids.

Medical Remedies for Sore Throat

When the natural throat pain remedies aren’t helping, consider trying the best over-the-counter medications for throat pain, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like acetaminophen, naproxen and ibuprofen. These medications reduce inflammation and can address pain in your lymph nodes and glands deeper in your neck. Antihistamines like cetirizine or loratadine can also help dull or relieve throat pain that may be caused by seasonal allergies and post-nasal drip.

If these throat ache remedies don’t provide relief after 5 to 7 days, or you’ve had persistent throat pain with other symptoms, like a fever, chest pain or a cough, it’s time to see your doctor. It’s possible your sore throat might be a symptom of a virus such as the common cold, the flu or COVID-19, or it could even be caused by environmental factors, like seasonal allergies. Your provider can determine the cause of your sore throat and recommend treatment options that can help you feel back to whole again.

Here When You Need Us

If you’re feeling under the weather, schedule an appointment with a primary care provider.

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