If you have a sore throat, this could be a sign that you are sick or there may be something in your environment that is irritating your throat. Your throat may be painful, red and swollen, sometimes you will get itchy throat cough due to the infection. The sore throat may be caused by an infection, an allergic reaction, or irritation from smoking, alcohol use or chemical fumes. You may also have a fever, swelling in your neck glands, a runny nose, a cough, itchy eyes or hoarseness.
Instructions for care
- Gargle with a mouthwash or warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water) several times a day. DO NOT swallow the mouthwash or salt water. You may also want to suck on throat lozenges or hard candy.
- Use a cool-mist humidifier (vaporizer) at home to increase air moisture. This will help relieve the tight, dry feeling in your throat. Do not use hot steam.
- Do not smoke or drink alcoholic beverages while your throat is sore.
- You may be more comfortable only eating soft foods or just drinking liquids.
- Do not share eating utensils or drinking glasses with anyone else while your throat is sore.
Call your doctor if:
- Your throat pain gets worse or is not better in a few days.
- You have a temperature over 102 degrees.
- You get a rash anywhere on your skin or inside the mouth.
- You get swollen glands in your neck.
- You have thick discharge from your nose.
- You have a severe headache.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You cough up green, brown, or bloody mucous.
- You have trouble breathing or swallowing.
- You get severe throat pain or drooling.