Sore throat or pharyngitis can begin as a simple inconvenience of minor itch and a bit of scratchiness at the back of the throat, and turn into an extremely painful complication that makes swallowing and talking difficult.
The most common, or 85 percent, cause of sore throat is viral infection. There’s also a less common type of sore throat, called streptococcal infection that is caused by bacteria.
In any type of sore throat, most people’s concern is easing the pain. But experts say there are some things that people think relieve the condition but actually worsen it.
Consuming cold food and beverages
While consuming cold food and beverages may help eliminate discomfort, some food items should be avoided as, instead of easing pain, they may even aggravate it.
Most cold food and drinks that are dairy-based such as ice cream, milkshakes, and yogurts should be avoided because they only thicken the mucus and may eventually worsen sore throat.
Antibiotics fight bacteria, but most of the time, sore throat is caused by viruses, which means antibiotics are not going to work. Taking up antibiotics when not needed may lead to antibiotic resistance.
This, however, changes if the sore throat is due to bacterial infection. Thus, it is important to consult with a doctor before taking any antibiotics.
Gargling with a regular mouthwash
A regular mouthwash is only effective in removing food debris in mouth, and does not help in killing viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Most mouthwashes which claim to have antibacterial properties may not suffice as well.
When treating sore throat, it’s important to reach for an oral gargle that is clinically proven to address the root of the problem quickly.
Munching on marshmallows
There’s this Internet urban legend that says marshmallows can help treat sore throat. But this legend is full of hot air. Those fluffy, sweet treats do not contain anything that can treat the condition. Made up of sugar, water, and gelatin, marshmallows are quite easy to swallow, but that does not mean that it does anyone any good.
Sugar is a super acidic food that causes an imbalance in body’s acid-base. Pathogens (infectious agents) love an acidic environment and thrive on such imbalances in the body. This means consuming marshmallows may make one’s body—throat included—a hangout of viruses and bacteria.
Trying out various home remedies
More often than not, self-medication will not make sore throat go away. Some can just soothe or provide relief for discomfort for some time, but not prevent it from getting worse. Hence, it is best to use clinically-proven products that can help kill viruses quickly as soon as one experiences the onset of sore throat.
Opting for temporary relief
Trying currently available over-the-counter throat lozenges can gently numb the tissues in throat but this temporary relief from pain and burning won’t last long. Though it can keep throat lubricated, it won’t be an effective and enough treatment for sore throat.
Antiseptic products, such as Povidone-Iodine (Betadine) throat spray helps stop sore throat with its antiseptic properties that claim can kill 99.99 percent of viruses. It also comes in oral gargle variant ideal for home use.
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