Sore throat refers to pain, scratchiness or dryness or irritation in the throat. It most commonly occurs due to pharyngitis (inflammation of the throat). The pharyngitis is usually caused by a viral infection (e.g. common cold, flu, measles, etc.) or bacterial infection (e.g. Strep Throat). Other relatively rare causes of sore throat are allergies, heartburn (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), initial stages of HIV infection, breathing polluted air, cancers of throat and larynx, etc.
Treatment of the sore throat will depend upon the cause. Pharyngitis due to viral infection usually requires only supportive home remedies and no medications are needed for it. However, pharyngitis due to bacterial infection requires treatment with antibiotics. Oral penicillin for 10 days is commonly prescribed in people who are not allergic to penicillin. Like any other antibiotic regimen, complete prescribed course should be taken even if the symptoms completely subside within few days. Treatment of sore throat due to other causes will depend upon the primary condition.
If sore throat is accompanied by other symptoms like pain and fever, NSAIDs like acetaminophen and ibuprofen are also prescribed to provide symptomatic relief.
How to cure a sore throat? Home remedies provide immense symptomatic relief. These are the only treatments recommended in the sore throat caused by viral pharyngitis and recommended as an adjunctive therapy in bacterial pharyngitis.
How to cure sore throat? With proper treatment, sore throat usually resolves completely without any sequelae.
Sore throat caused by streptococcal infection in children may occasionally result in rheumatic fever (fever, pain and swelling in the joints, heart failure, skin nodules, etc.). Repeated infection may permanently damage heart valves resulting in rheumatic heart disease in adults. Therefore, prolonged prophylactic treatment with antibiotics is necessary to prevent any future recurrence of streptococcal pharyngitis and thus the rheumatic heart disease.