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Home Remedies for a Nagging Sore Throat

Home Remedies for a Nagging Sore Throat

What began as a slightly itchy or raspy sensation at the back of your throat has transformed into an intense, burning pain that makes it uncomfortable to swallow and talk. You have a bad sore throat, and its presence makes itself known every second of the day.  

Throat pain is one of the most frequent reasons patients of all ages seek urgent care at our walk-in clinic in Orangevale, California. Luckily, most sore throats come from a virus, meaning you can expect the pain to improve gradually until it resolves, usually within a week. 

Here, our American River Urgent Care team closely examines common causes of throat pain, including how you can soothe a sore throat at home — and when you should see a doctor. 

Why do I have a bad sore throat? 

That scratchy or burning pain in your throat (pharynx) makes it feel raw, tender, and irritated — especially when you eat, drink, or talk. As a top sign of infectious illness, most sore throats are the product of a virus like the common cold, influenza (flu), or COVID-19

Not all sore throats are the same; in fact, they’re categorized into three types based on which part of your throat is swollen, red, and sore: 

Along with oral tissue swelling and redness, a sore throat may also be accompanied by visible white patches at the back of your throat, swollen neck glands, a cough, a runny nose, nasal congestion, or sneezing, among other symptoms.  

More serious potential causes of a sore throat include bacterial infections (i.e., strep throat), an infection that could be viral or bacterial (i.e., tonsillitis, sinusitis), and infectious mononucleosis (mono).  

Other possible causes of a sore throat include environmental allergies (i.e., pollen, dust mites, pet dander), acid reflux (heartburn), mouth breathing during sleep, and smoking.   

Soothing your throat pain at home 

When you have a nagging sore throat, all you want is relief. If you also have a fever or other symptoms of illness, it’s a good idea to rest for a few days — and we recommend staying home from work and postponing other activities until your fever is gone. 

To soothe your sore throat and help it improve faster, try these at-home remedies:

A cup of warm herbal tea with lemon can be especially soothing to a sore throat; adding a bit of honey can help relieve any raspy sensations that may trigger an associated cough.

For intense throat pain that doesn’t feel better with these go-to remedies, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like ibuprofen may provide relief. Medicated lozenges that contain anesthetic, antiseptic, or anti-inflammatory medicine can also help.  

When a sore throat requires care

Most sore throats get better on their own and are nothing to worry about. However, stop by our walk-in clinic if your sore throat persists for longer than a week — especially if it isn’t improving or seems to be feeling worse.

We also want to see if your throat pain is intense, even if it started a few days ago. Intense or persistent throat pain can be a sign of a bacterial infection like strep, especially if you have other symptoms like swollen lymph nodes, fever, and severe oral tissue redness. 

A simple throat culture can tell us if you have strep throat. If you do, antibiotic treatment is the only way to eliminate the infection, alleviate your symptoms, and prevent complications like ear infections, sinus infections, or rheumatic fever

Ready to get over that nagging sore throat? American River Urgent Care can help. Stop by our walk-in clinic in Orangevale, California, today — we’re open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm every weekday and from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on weekends. You can also call our office or click online to schedule an appointment at your convenience anytime.  

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