There are numerous reasons that one may be suffering with a sore throat. Some may have a sinus infection, cold, general sore throat or the flu. Maybe you had throat surgery such as a tonsillectomy. Maybe you shouted to long and too hard at a concert. There are many more reasons for sore throats and most of the reasons are not serious.
If a sore throat is accompanied by a fever then you should see your doctor for a throat culture, to determine if you have a strep infection. If this is the case then the doctor will prescribe an antibiotic. Throat cultures are obtained by using a long Q-tip to the back of the throat. All the doctor or nurse will do is swab the back of your throat briefly with the cotton tip. It does not hurt and is not uncomfortable. For 2-3 seconds it may trigger a gag reflex and this is the worst. Strep throat is highly contagious until you have been on an antibiotic for 48 hours. A fever with a sore throat needs to be watched carefully. The doctor may also order Motrin or acetaminophen every few hours. It is difficult for children to state how they feel. If they are running a fever and they say their throat hurts and also complain of their stomach hurting it is a good clue that they may have a strep infection and should be see right away by the doctor.
If you know the reason for your sore throat and you know it is not serious such as a strep infection then there are several remedies that you can take to help ease the discomfort. If sinus drainage is causing your sore throat then try an over the counter allergy relief medication to help slow down the sinus drainage. Also, the steam from a hot shower will also relieve sinus inflammation and sore throat.
Drink, drink, and then drink some more. Drink water and lots of it. If you do not like to drink water then try vitamin water or flavored water packets. Avoid carbonated beverages as this will irritate the mucus membranes in the throat. Some people find relief from ice water and others from warm water, so whatever makes your throat feel better is ok. A warm water gargle is helpful. Mix the warm water with a small amount of salt (1 tsp) and add 3-4 drops of lemon juice. Salt has good healing qualities and is good for you, but in very small amounts. Too much is never good at anytime and someone with high blood pressure should not use salt at all.
A warm cup of tea such as green tea or lemon tea with a couple teaspoons of honey is helpful especially at night. As a caution, children under the age of 3 years should not have honey; their systems are not ready to handle honey. Warm a cup of apple juice in the microwave and mix it with some honey. No milk should be drunk when you have a sore throat, although some ice cream or popsicles help to relieve a sore throat.
Throat sprays, like chloraseptic bring instant relief as does acetaminophen, Motrin or throat lozenges. Be sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night to give the body a chance to heal.
Speak with your pharmacist for the best over the counter remedy, especially for children, unless they have been seen by the doctor.