What is Sore Throat?
- Throat is a part of the human anatomy which runs from the back of the mouth to the top of the digestive and respiratory tracts.
- It is a passage for food, drink and air and also for bacteria, virus and any pathogen trying to enter the human body through the mouth.
- These pathogens can cause irritation to the throat and inflammation. Any pain or irritation in the throat is called a sore throat.
- Sore throats are common in cold climate and amongst children and young adults due to their immature immune system.
What is cough?
The throat naturally tries to prevent pathogens and foreign particles from entering the human body. Cough is a body’s natural way to keep the throat and airways clear and prevent foreign matter from entering the lungs. It helps the body heal or protect itself. Cough is often a result of a sore throat. Prolonged coughing may cause unpleasant side effects, such as chest pain, tiredness, light-headedness and loss of bladder control. Coughing also can interfere with sleep, socializing and work.
Causes of sore throat
Infection of the throat
- Common cold
- Upper respiratory tract infections like flu, pneumonia and whooping cough.
Inflammation of the throat due to Irritants and Allergens
- Asthma – –a long-term lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways.
- Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – acid from the stomach backs up into the throat.
- Bronchitis – -condition in which the lining of the airways is constantly irritated and inflamed.
- Postnasal drip– refers to mucus that runs down the throat from the back of the nose which inflames and irritates the throat. A sinus infection, cold, or ongoing contact with irritants and allergens can cause postnasal drip.
Symptoms of Sore throat
- Pain from swallowing
- Raspy voice
- Runny nose
- Persistent cough
- Swollen glands
- Headaches, muscle aches & pains
Types of cough - Based on the nature, cough may be of two types
- Dry cough – Dry coughs are felt in the throat as a tickle and are caused when the throat and upper airways become inflamed. This type of cough is non-productive and does not produce any mucus.
- Chesty cough – Chesty coughs are caused in response to infection and produce mucus. However, the cough may be productive, producing mucus or non-productive. In the latter case, mucus is present but may not be loose enough to be coughed out.
To treat cough and sore throat
Symptomatic relief for cough and sore throat can be obtained by following a few self-help tips and an over the counter medicine.. Antibiotics and a visit to the GP are not essential for most sore throats if treated at the beginning. Herbal cough drops, tinctures and syrups prepared from the extracts of traditional medicinal herbs also provide effective symptomatic relief from cough. They possess all the actions typical of the conventional treatments. In addition, Herbal preparations are unique in that they are completely natural and are better absorbed by the body and are safe and devoid of the sedative side-effects caused by the common cough medicines.
Self – help tips
- Drink plenty of warm liquids
- If your nose feels congested, inhaling the steam from hot water or using a cool-mist humidifier will provide relief.
- Get plenty of rest.
When to consult your doctor
- Sore throat accompanied by fever more than 101°F (38.3°C)
- Pain in chest
- Blood in sputum
- Cough associated with difficulty in breathing and retention of fluids
- Symptoms do not improve within a week