Treatment of Sore Throat

Patient

Q: I have had had a sore throat for the last four weeks which is getting worse. I have been to my doctor three times and today he has given me antibiotics. He said that it is not red or swollen and I have had a blood test which has come back with no problems. I had Mono when I was fourteen and had my tonsils removed. The pain is going down my throat rather than at the back of my mouth where a normal sore throat hurts and only hurts when I swallow.

Doctor

A:   Sore throats are very common and is often relieved by lots of fluids, warm teas and other liquids like thin soup, using a humidifier at night, etc. In addition to this, sometimes the throat lozenges or sprays that are available over the counter might help for a short period of time. Ultimately, however, treating the cause of the sore throat is the best way to help relieve your symptoms. If you have a virus, the best treatment is time, fluids, etc. If you have post nasal drip that is falling onto the back of your throat while you sleep, then it is usually better to try something aimed at decreasing or thinning the postnasal drip. One of the favorites is to spray salt water into your nose a couple of times a day. If you are having a bitter taste in your mouth or heartburn symptoms, it could be gastric reflux that is burning the back of your throat and making it sore, in which case you may require antacids.

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