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A 19-year-old male asked:

what to do for a sore throat?

40 doctor answers43 doctors weighed in
Dr. Luis Villaplana
Internal Medicine 35 years experience
Lukewarm salt water : Cep astray or cepacol lozenges/spray. See a doctor if worsening site throat, fever and enlarged lymph glands, trouble swallowing or wheezing in the throat.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Remedies: If you have a significantly sore throat with swollen tonsils / lymph nodes – see your medical provider & get a streph throat test. Saltwater gargles are very helpful. Mix a teaspoon of salt in 8 oz of warm water – gargle with this several times a day. You can gargle with aloe vera juice a couple of times per day. A mixture of chamomile tea with honey & a small amount of lemon juice is good.
Dr. Pamela Pappas
Psychiatry 42 years experience
Sore throat: Along with ideas suggested: slippery elm lozenges can help, such as thayer's -- or also this can be combined with elderberry ; zinc in other preparations. It can be found in throat comfort tea. Licorice lozenges also -- licorice (dgl if hypertension is a worry) is soothing to mucus membranes. Sage throat spray can be helpful too.
Dr. Theodore Ritota
Dentistry 9 years experience
Be careful: Perisitant sore throats, lasting more than 2 weeks can be a red flag. If this is the case consult an ENT specialist. For sure if you smoke, stop.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Fok remedies: For significant sore throat with swollen tonsils / lymph nodes – see dr & get a streph throat test. Consider tylenol (acetaminophen) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Saltwater gargles: mix 1 tsp salt in 8 oz warm water – gargle several times a day. Or gargle with aloe vera juice twice a day. Add honey & a small amt. Of lemon juice to chamomile tea.
Dr. Martin Raff
Infectious Disease 56 years experience
Many possibilities: This could be from a viral or bacterial infection, from sleeping with your mouth open, and breathing through it so that it dehydrates. If you are concerned that this may be strep throat and need treatment, see a doctor.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Sore throat: If you have a significantly sore throat with swollen tonsils / lymph nodes – see your medical provider & get a streph throat test. Saltwater gargles are very helpful. Mix a teaspoon of salt in 8 oz of warm water – gargle with this several times a day. You can gargle with aloe vera juice a couple of times per day. A mixture of chamomile tea with honey & a small amount of lemon juice is good.
Dr. Phil Zapanta
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 21 years experience
Several things: 1. Gargle w/ salt water 2. Drink plenty of water 3. Avoid carbonated beverages 4. Topical throat sprays may be helpful 5. Avoid very hot food and spicy food 6. A soft diet may be helpful if you do not see improvement in 24 to 48 hours, you should see your doctor.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Options: For significant sore throat with swollen tonsils / lymph nodes – see physician & get a streph throat test. Saltwater gargles: mix 1 tsp salt in 8 oz warm water – gargle several times a day. Or gargle with aloe vera juice twice a day. Add honey & a small amt. Of lemon juice to chamomile tea. Pour boiling water over thinly sliced ginger. Steep 5 min. In a covered pot. Add 2 to 3 tbs honey & sip.
Dr. Mark Loury
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 39 years experience
Consider this: Tylenol, (acetaminophen) advil, hydrate, throatcoat tea, nasal saline rinses, afrin nasal spray to lessen mouth breathing, cepacol or other lozenges. Add honey to tea.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
You can.....: If you have a significantly sore throat w swollen tonsils / lymph nodes – see your medical provider ; get a strep throat test ; culture. Saltwater gargles are helpful. Mix a tsp of salt in 8 oz of warm water – gargle w this several times/day. You can gargle w aloe vera juice a couple of times per day. A mix of chamomile tea w honey ; a small amount of lemon juice is good.
Dr. Michael Ein
Infectious Disease 48 years experience
Symptomatic Rx: Most sore throats are viral pharyngitis. Check to see that you don't have an exudate on your pharynx or tonsils or enlarged lymph nodes near the angle of your jaws which could suggest need for a strep throat test. Viral pharyngitis should resolve without treatment in a few days. Take some over the counter throat lozenges and tylenol (acetaminophen) for pain relief. Antibiotics are not needed.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
To do...: For significant sore throat with swollen tonsils / lymph nodes – see physician ; get a strep throat test/ culture. If you have strep throat, antibiotic therapy is imperative to prevent future complications. Consider tylenol (acetaminophen) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Saltwater gargles: mix 1 tsp salt in 8 oz warm water – gargle several times a day. Or gargle with aloe vera juice twice a day.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Sore Throat options: For significant sore throat with swollen tonsils / lymph nodes – see physician & get a streph throat test. Consider tylenol (acetaminophen) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Saltwater gargles: mix 1 tsp salt in 8 oz warm water – gargle several times a day. Or gargle with aloe vera juice twice a day. Add honey & a small amt. Of lemon juice to chamomile tea. Pour boiling water over thinly sliced >>.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Provided original answer
thinly sliced ginger. Steep 5 min. in a covered pot. Add 2 to 3 tbs honey & sip. Try Thyme tea.
Apr 15, 2013
Dr. Michael Ein
Infectious Disease 48 years experience
Symptomatic Rx: Most sore throats are viral pharyngitis. Check to see that you don't havefever, pus on your pharynx or tonsils or enlarged lymph nodes near the angle of your jaws which could suggest need for a strep throat test. Viral pharyngitis should resolve without treatment in a few days. Take some over the counter throat lozenges and tylenol (acetaminophen) for pain relief. Antibiotics are not needed.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
What to do: If you have a significantly sore throat w swollen tonsils / lymph nodes – see your medical provider ; get a strep throat test ; culture. Saltwater gargles are helpful. Mix a tsp of salt in 8 oz of warm water – gargle w this several times/day. You can gargle w aloe vera juice a couple of times per day. A mix of chamomile tea w honey ; a small amount of lemon juice is good.
Dr. Tracy Lovell
Rheumatology 21 years experience
See your doctor: See your doctor and have it evaluated.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
What to do.: If you have a significantly sore throat w swollen tonsils / lymph nodes – see your medical provider ; get a strep throat test ; culture. Saltwater gargles are helpful. Mix a tsp of salt in 8 oz of warm water – gargle w this several times/day. You can gargle w aloe vera juice a couple of times per day. A mix of chamomile tea w honey ; a small amount of lemon juice is good.
Dr. Donald Alves
Emergency Medicine 24 years experience
Symptom care: Hard candy often safer than "cough drops" if not coughing. Can use cepacol/chloraseptic sprays if pain up high in back of throat. Hot tea with lemon & honey help coat/soothe and kill organism causing it. If becomes lop-sided pain, hard to swallow, or persists beyond 3-5 days, see dr.
Dr. Sunil Ummat
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 35 years experience
Depends on how bad : Sore throats are quite common. If you have a high fever and a very sore throat it might be an indication of bacterial infection. You may need antibiotics. If it is a relatively minor sore throat then it is more likely viral. Salt water gargles and antiseptics like listerine are helpful. Always seek medical if throat is getting worse. Rarely tumors can present with a sore throat as well.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
What to do: For significant sore throat with swollen tonsils / lymph nodes – see physician & get a strep throat test/ culture. If you have strep throat, antibiotic therapy is imperative to prevent future complications. Consider tylenol (acetaminophen) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Saltwater gargles: mix 1 tsp salt in 8 oz warm water – gargle several times a day. Or gargle with aloe vera juice twice a day.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
What to do.: If you have a significantly sore throat w swollen tonsils / lymph nodes – see your medical provider ; get a strep throat test ; culture. Saltwater gargles are helpful. Mix a tsp of salt in 8 oz of warm water – gargle w this several times/day. You can gargle w aloe vera juice a couple of times per day. A mix of chamomile tea w honey ; a small amount of lemon juice is good.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Dealing w a sore : Throat. If you have a significantly sore throat w swollen tonsils / lymph nodes – see your medical provider ; get a strep throat test ; culture. Saltwater gargles are helpful. Mix a tsp of salt in 8 oz of warm water – gargle w this several times/day. You can gargle w aloe vera juice a couple of times per day. A mix of chamomile tea w honey ; a small amount of lemon juice is good.
Dr. John Chiu
Dr. John Chiu answered
Allergy and Immunology 57 years experience
Depends on the cause: The treatment would depend on what is causing it. In a viral infection , it will go away in a few days. If you have a bacterial infection, then an antibiotic is needed. There are also other causes. In the meanwhile , a topical oral anesthetic lozenge may help but I am not sure if it is available in your area. Some people find gargling with salt water (0.9%) may be soothing.
Dr. Jovi Cacnio
Pediatrics 32 years experience
Comfort measures: Assuming you don't have a lot of other symptoms, the following may help: gargling with warm water with salt (1/4 teaspoon in 8 ounces); sore throat lozenges such as cepacol; sore throat spray such as chloraseptic; a teaspoon of honey as needed; and pain reliever such as Acetaminophen (tylenol). If your sore throat is accompanied by other significant symptoms, please seek medical attention.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Doctor can check: New throat pain can be from a strep throat infection (antibiotics are needed), a cold or influenza (antibiotics usually not used), or from some other cause such as allergies or irritants. Usually, a person sees the doctor if the sore throat is bothersome, recurrent, or doesn't go away quickly (mainly to check for strep throat). Throat lozenges and Tylenol or Motrin can help decrease symptoms.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Doctor can check: New throat pain can be from a strep throat infection (antibiotics are needed), a cold or influenza (antibiotics usually not used), or from some other cause such as allergies or irritants. Usually, a person sees the doctor if the sore throat is bothersome, recurrent, or doesn't go away quickly (mainly to check for strep). Throat lozenges and Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Motrin can help decrease pain.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Doctor can check: New throat pain can be from a strep throat infection (antibiotics are needed), a cold or influenza (antibiotics usually not used), or from some other cause such as allergies or irritants. Usually, a person sees the doctor if the sore throat is bothersome, recurrent, or doesn't go away quickly (mainly to check for strep). Throat lozenges and Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Motrin can help decrease pain.
Dr. Corey Clay
Allergy and Immunology 10 years experience
Depends on cause: If you have fever and no cough, rapid strep test may be needed (need antibiotic if strep). Otherwise likely viral. Tylenol (acetaminophen) or nsaid can help with pain. If congested, then Sudafed. If associated with nasal drainage, then antihistamine. If exacerbated by cough, then add cough suppressant. Pharmacist can help with these and advise for possible side effects. Good luck!
Dr. Franklyn Gergits
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 29 years experience
Sore throat: Greetings. This is one of those questions that my knee jerk response would be to say, "take Tylenol (acetaminophen) or ibuprofen and call me in the morning. " A sore throat could come from a a number of causes. But with the information you shared, I'd say try a pain relief medication and if it worsens or begins to worry you then seek further care in an ER or your doctor's office. Good luck.
Dr. Bruce Jacobs
Specializes in Family Medicine
Gargle: gargle w/cool salt water several times a day, use lozenges or throat spray..See a Dr if not better 4-5 ddays
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Doctor can check: New throat pain can be from a strep throat infection (antibiotics are needed), a cold or influenza (antibiotics usually not used), or from some other cause such as allergies or irritants. Usually, a person sees the doctor if the sore throat is bothersome, recurrent, or doesn't go away quickly (mainly to check for strep throat). Throat lozenges and Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Motrin can help decrease throat pain.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
Sore throat: For significant sore throat with swollen tonsils / lymph nodes – see physician & get a strep throat test/ culture. If you have Strep Throat, antibiotic therapy is imperative to prevent future complications. Consider Tylenol or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Saltwater gargles: Mix 1 tsp salt in 8 oz warm water – gargle several times a day. Can gargle with Aloe Vera juice twice a day.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Dr. can check throat: New throat pain can be from a strep throat infection (antibiotics are needed), a cold or influenza (antibiotics usually not used), or from some other cause such as allergies or irritants. Usually, a person sees a doctor if a sore throat is bothersome, recurrent, or doesn't go away quickly (mainly to check for strep throat). A couple days of throat lozenges and acetaminophen can decrease pain.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Doctor can check: New throat pain can be from a strep throat infection (antibiotics are needed), a cold or influenza (antibiotics usually not used), or from some other cause such as allergies or irritants. Usually, a person sees the doctor if the sore throat is bothersome, recurrent, or doesn't go away quickly (mainly to check for strep throat). Throat lozenges and Tylenol can temporarily decrease throat pain.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Doctor can check: New throat pain can be from a strep throat infection (antibiotics are needed), a cold or influenza (antibiotics usually not used), or from some other cause such as allergies or irritants. Usually, a person sees the doctor if the sore throat is bothersome, recurrent, or doesn't go away quickly (mainly to check for strep throat). Throat lozenges and acetaminophen can temporarily lessen pain.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Doctor can check: New throat pain can be from a strep throat infection (antibiotics are needed), a cold or influenza (antibiotics usually not used), or from some other cause such as allergies or irritants. Usually, a person sees the doctor if the sore throat is bothersome, recurrent, or doesn't go away quickly (mainly to check for strep). Throat lozenges and Tylenol or Motrin can temporarily help decrease pain.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Dr. can check throat: New throat pain can be from a strep throat infection (antibiotics are needed), a cold or influenza (antibiotics usually not used), or from some other cause such as allergies or irritants. Usually, a person sees a doctor if a sore throat is bothersome, recurrent, or doesn't go away quickly (mainly to check for strep throat). A couple days of throat lozenges and acetaminophen can decrease pain.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Dr. can check throat: New throat pain can be from a strep throat infection (antibiotics are needed), a cold or influenza (antibiotics usually not used), or from some other cause such as allergies or irritants. Usually, a person sees a doctor if a sore throat is bothersome, recurrent, or doesn't go away quickly (mainly to check for strep throat). A couple days of throat lozenges and acetaminophen can decrease pain.
Dr. Claudine nandi Lee
Specializes in General Practice
Stay home: Stay home, what are your other symptoms. GArgle with warm salt water or andolex c -do not go out. Use this platform to ask more questions.

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