Throat Pain basics
When the throat becomes irritated or inflamed, this can lead to pain with swallowing or talking. The irritation can also cause a scratchy feeling in the throat and even hoarseness. A sore throat is a very common symptom of upper respiratory infections or colds, which are caused by viruses. Other things like acid reflux and allergies can cause throat soreness, too.
- Experiencing pain or fever? Take 400mg of ibuprofen (Advil) or 650mg of acetaminophen (Tylenol) every 6 hours with food, as needed.
- Experiencing heartburn? Over-the-counter medicines like Famotidine can help decrease the amount of acid in your stomach.
- Experiencing allergy symptoms? Over-the-counter allergy medicines like Loratadine can help dry up secretions that may be running down the back of your throat and causing irritation.
- Eat easy to swallow foods like popsicles, applesauce, and soup.
- Drink tea with honey or suck on a cough drop to help soothe a sore throat.
- Gargle salt water to help soothe a sore throat. Just add half a teaspoon of salt to 8 ounces of warm water and gargle the water as long as you can in the back of your throat, then spit it out.
- Stay hydrated with non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic fluids—drink at least 8 cups a day.
- Get plenty of rest (at least 8 hours of sleep each night).
- If you are having hoarseness, try resting your voice.
- If you’re experiencing heartburn, avoiding certain foods like citrus, fatty, and spicy foods may help. Be sure to stay upright after eating for at least several hours.
- If you have seasonal allergies or other known triggers for allergies such as pet dander, avoiding exposure to those triggers as much as possible can help.
See a doctor in person if…
You develop worsening pain despite pain medication, pain in one side of your throat, problems with swallowing, drooling, a muffled voice, or continued high fevers. These are signs of a worsening or more severe infection.
Check in with K Health if…
You’re not feeling better within 3-4 days.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.