Having a sore throat can be one of the most miserable symptoms of an illness. You may be in too much pain to talk, breathing might hurt, and eating or drinking makes you flinch. A sore throat seriously interferes with going about your daily activities, and those topical sprays and over-the-counter pain medications don’t really do much to ease the pain.
Luckily, a large number of sore throats are caused by running the heating system in your home. When fall and winter begin, most of us switch on the heat and end up with a scratchy, dry sore throat. This is simply a reaction to the dry, warmer air being pumped through your home. Using a humidifier by your bed at night will help to keep your nasal passages and throat from drying out and getting sore. It will also help to prevent an infection from settling into your throat.
Another very common cause of sore throats is a simple cold. While these viral infections are annoying, antibiotics will not help. A cold will usually go away on its own within a week, especially if you get plenty of rest and fluids. Eating healthy foods and taking vitamin C supplements will help to boost your immune system so that your body can fight off these types of infection more quickly.
If a sore throat is very severe or persists for more than two or three days, you may have something more serious than the common cold. Knowing the symptoms of mono can help you to decide if you need to visit the doctor. A sore throat that persists for more than a few days may also be a sign of strep throat, a bacterial infection that can become more serious if not treated with antibiotics.
The bottom line to remember is that a scratchy, dry sore throat is often caused by dry air or a simple cold, but if the pain is severe and lasts for more than three days you should see a doctor. This is especially true if you are experiencing other severe symptoms beyond what is expected for a cold or sinus infection.