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We have all had a lot of fun shouting and cheering at least once in our lives—whether the cheering was for our favourite cricket or football team or at a music concert or our best friend's wedding. What comes afterwards is not so much fun, though: the unpleasant pain in the throat. 

Throat pain is a very common ailment usually seen whenever there is a change in the weather or due to overuse of the voice box (larynx). However, it can also be seen in the case of a viral infection such as the flu or bacterial infection such as strep throat.

Other reasons for throat pain include postnasal drip, different allergies such as dust allergies or food allergies, irritation from dry air, laryngitis, tonsillitis and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Post-nasal drip is usually associated with a runny nose—when the excess and thin mucus drips back into your throat, it can cause pain or irritation.

If the pain in your throat persists, the doctor may prescribe anti-allergy medicines, antibiotics and other medicines to treat the underlying cause. 

Read on to know what is the first aid for throat pain.

  1. What is the first aid for throat pain?
  2. What to avoid when you have throat pain?
  3. When to visit a doctor for throat pain

You can deal with throat pain at home with the help of the following measures:

  • Gargles: Add a teaspoon of salt in a glass full of warm water and gargle with it as it would help in relieving the dryness and itching in your throat. Salt heals the throat while the warm water calms down the itchiness.
  • Herbal concoctions: You can make herbal concoctions using ginger, honey, holy basil (tulsi) and warm water to relieve throat pain as both ginger and holy basil have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, while honey helps in soothing the throat.
  • Apple cider vinegar: You can add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and honey to a glass of warm water to relieve throat pain as apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Hot soup: A bowl full of soup made with chicken, vegetables, fish or any other ingredients in your kitchen can help soothe your throat. The nutrients from these ingredients would help in faster healing of the throat as well. You can even make a simple lentil soup, with a little bit of dal and vegetables like carrots, crushed tomatoes, onions and a little bit of garlic (garlic has antibacterial properties that could also help).
  • Drink water: Drink water to flush out any mucus or toxins from your throat. Continuous drinking of water can help in moistening the throat, thus reducing the pain.
  • Hot beverages: Consume hot beverages such as black tea or green tea as it would help in soothing your throat and help in the healing.
  • Lozenges and decongestants: You may use lozenges to keep your throat moist most of the time—they are easily available over-the-counter. There are some decongestants such as saline decongestant which can also be used to get some relief.
  • Use a humidifier: You can switch on a humidifier at night to moisten your throat. A humidifier would help in converting water into moisture, thus slowly filling your room with humidity. This would allow your throat to heal faster.

There are certain things you should not do, to avoid making the throat pain worse:

  • Don't consume alcohol and carbonated beverages as they can dehydrate your throat, which would worsen the pain.
  • Try to stay indoors during autumn and spring, as there are pollen and dust in the air during these seasons which can worsen your pain.
  • Clean your house completely to avoid any damp areas as these may result in mould spores.
  • Those allergic to dust must wash their bedsheets and other beddings every week in hot water to avoid dust mites.
  • People with throat pain must quit smoking as it can dry the throat and worsen the pain.
  • Those with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) should avoid spicy and oily food to prevent reflux of stomach acid, at least until the throat pain subsides.

You must visit a doctor:

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