Originally Answered: Any home remedies for a scratchy throat?
1.) Most sore throats are viral infections, not bacterial. Strep throat is a bacterial infection, which means that you could be prescribed antibiotics. Antibiotics are taken to prevent further medical problems, such as rhematic fever, from happening. When taking antibiotics, remember to:
Avoid consuming alcohol. The combination of alcohol and antibiotics can have a deleterious effect on your health.
Take your antibiotics with food. Food helps the body better digest the antibiotics.
Ask your doctor how antibiotics interact with the birth control pill. Some doctors believe that birth control becomes less effective when on antibiotics.
2.) Go straight to bed once you get home, and try to get some sleep. Sleeping gives your immune system time and resources to fight the bacteria with the help of antibiotics.
Try to sleep as much as possible, about four to five hours a day, not including your regular sleep time, which should be about eight to nine hours when you're sick. Cover up with blankets and try not to have any drafts or overhead fans on, as these can cause postnasal drip, worsening your sore throat.
3.) Gargle several times a day with a simple saline solution. Saline solution is a fancy name for salt water. Add 1 teaspoon salt to 1 cup warm water, stirring. Take the liquid into your mouth, tilt your head back, and gargle, being careful not to swallow the salt water. Repeat this several times per day.
4.) Suck on herbal cough drops of lozenges. Don't give small children candies or lozenges; they pose a significant choking hazard. Alternately, spray your throat with an OTC throat spray.
Don't use throat sprays and lozenges in tandem, as it may damage the lining of your throat. Use one or the other, wait for the effects to wear off — an hour is a safe bet — and then switch if necessary.
5.) Drink lots and lots of liquids. Drink mostly water, 100% fruit juices, chicken broth, and hot green tea with honey and lemon. The honey helps to soothe your throat while the vitamin C in the lemon galvanizes your body's antibodies to fight the strep bacteria.
Cold liquids or popsicles can help soothe the throat and provide temporary relief.
6.) Wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap and hot water often. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer with you at all times. The more germs and bacteria you kill on your hands, the less time you'll stay stick.
Take a bath or shower before you go to bed every night to help wash off germs. The fewer germs you bring with you to bed, the shorter your recuperation time will be.
7.) Use store-bought vaporizers or humidifiers to provide relief. Hot, dry air is hard on the lungs. Give your throat a little bit of relief by turning on the humidifier, adding moisture to the air.
If you don't have a vaporizer or humidifier, you can make your own in a pinch. Bring two or three cups of water to a boil. Remove from burner. Set the pan of steaming water on a heat-safe tray and put it in whatever room you intend to be in. Repeat as necessary.
Don't overdo the humidity in your room. While your throat certainly benefits from having a little bit of moisture in the air, it probably doesn't benefit from being in a hot and humid jungle. Don't keep your humidifier on just for the sake of it being on.
8.) Try OTC pain medications such as acetaminophen. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS, can help relieve pain and may be used together with antibiotics in the appropriate doses. Do not, however, give children under the age of 18 any aspirin. Aspirin use in children has been linked to an illness called Reye's syndrome, which is potentially fatal.
9.) Monitor your situation. With the help of antibiotics, most patients with strep throat find that symptoms and pain are gone after a few days. Continue taking your antibiotics as directed, even after you believe you have kicked the strep from your system.
In rare cases, strep throat can lead to other medical conditions. If you do not feel better after five days of treatment, or you develop any of the following conditions, see a doctor as soon as possible: