Cold and flu season is still upon us and one of the most common symptoms of winter illness is a sore throat. Sore throats are commonly caused by viral, not bacterial, infections. As a result, antibiotics won’t alleviate symptoms. For mild sore throat pain you may be able to effectively treat symptoms at home.

If your sore throat is mild and associated with a stuffy or runny nose, try these home remedies to relieve symptoms and ride out the virus:

  • Get lots of rest
  • Eat a balanced diet with fruits and vegetables to get lots of vitamins and minerals, which will boost your immune system’s natural defenses
  • Increase liquid intake, including warm (not hot) broth soups
  • Use a humidifier to keep the nasal passages and throat lubricated
  • Gargle with warm (not hot) salt water
  • If needed, take over-the-counter pain relievers according to the directives on the box
  • Avoid smoking and alcoholic beverages

However, visit your Orlando ENT specialist for care if you experience:

  • Persistant sore throat for more than 5 days
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty opening your mouth
  • Blood in salvia or coughed-up phlegm
  • Earache
  • Joint pain
  • High fever

If your Orlando ENT specialist determines that your sore throat is the result of a bacterial infection, he or she will likely prescribe antibiotics. Be sure to take the full course of prescribed medications, not stopping as soon as you feel some relief, as some antibiotic medications take 7-10 days to take full effect.

To keep yourself healthy, remember to wash your hands regularly. Avoid sharing towels and drinking or eating utensils with someone with a sore throat.

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