Sore Throat (cont.)

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What are the symptoms of a sore throat?

Symptoms of sore throat usually include a painful burning or scratching sensation in the back of the throat, pain when swallowing, and sometimes tenderness in the neck.

Other symptoms that may accompany a sore throat include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Hoarseness or laryngitis
  • Runny nose
  • Mild fever
  • General fatigue
  • Swollen lymph nodes (glands) in the neck
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Ear pain

How long should a sore throat last?

A sore throat, depending on the cause, should last for no longer 7 to 10 days. If sore throat symptoms last for more than 10 days, see a doctor to diagnose the cause and start treatment.

What are home remedies for a sore throat?

Generally, sore throats just run their course and resolve on their own (the exception, strep throat, will be addressed further.)

  • Home remedies include salt water gargles, herbal teas, hard candies, sprays (for example, Chloraseptic) and lozenges, which can provide temporary pain relief. Caution: Lozenges and hard candy are a choking hazard for children. Avoid use in young children.
  • A humidifier may be helpful in relieving symptoms, especially in sore throats caused by mouth breathing dry air.
  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help control the pain.
  • For adults, if the nose is plugged, nasal sprays such as Afrin may be used for two to three days to prevent mouth breathing. It is not recommended to use these products for more than a couple of days; the nasal passages may become dependent on them and worsen the problem.
  • Other decongestant products, such as those containing pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, Mucinex D, Claritin D), may be helpful. If the affected person has health problems such as heart disease, glaucoma, or high blood pressure, contact a health care professional before using these products.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/16/2014

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Sore Throat - Length Symptoms Lasted Question: How long did the symptoms of your sore throat (pharyngitis) last? Was there anything in particular that helped with pain/symptom relief?
Sore Throat - Treatments Question: What treatments or home remedies have been effective for a sore throat?
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