If you have strep throat, you probably want to get rid of it as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, there is no magic cure for strep throat. However, there are some self-care measures that can help to ease your symptoms and speed up your recovery.
First and foremost, it’s important to get a strep throat consultation from your doctor. This is because strep throat is a bacterial infection, and as such, it requires antibiotics to clear up. Without treatment, strep throat can lead to serious complications, such as rheumatic fever.
Once you’ve started antibiotics, here are some things you can do to help relieve your sore or scratchy throat:
Drink plenty of fluids and eat light, healthy foods
When you’re sick, it’s important to stay hydrated. Drinking lots of fluids will help to thin out the mucus in your throat, making it easier to swallow. Stick to water, herbal teas, and other clear fluids. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can dehydrate you.
You may not feel like eating when you have strep throat. However, it’s important to eat enough to maintain your strength and energy levels. Choose light, healthy foods that are easy on your sore throat. Soups, smoothies, and yogurt are all good options.
Gargle with warm salt water
One of the simplest and most effective ways to soothe a sore throat is to gargle with warm salt water. The salt helps to reduce inflammation and the warmth can help to loosen mucus.
To make a saltwater gargle, mix 1 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water. Gargle for 30 seconds, then spit the solution out. Repeat as needed.
Use a humidifier
Dry air can aggravate a sore throat. Using a humidifier can help to add moisture to the air and reduce irritation. Be sure to clean your humidifier regularly to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.
Stay rested and relaxed
When you’re sick, your body needs time to rest and heal. Get as much sleep as you can, and try to limit your activity level. This will help your body to fight off the infection and speed up your recovery.
Stress can make strep throat symptoms worse. Try to take some time for yourself to relax. Listen to calm music, read a book, or take a warm bath.
Suck on lozenges or hard candy
Lozenges and hard candy can help to relieve a sore throat by stimulating saliva production. The saliva can help to lubricate your throat and reduce irritation.
Avoid mint-flavored lozenges, as the menthol can actually make your throat feel more sore. Choose lozenges that contain honey, which can also help to soothe a sore throat.
Drink warm liquids
Warm liquids can help to ease throat pain by reducing inflammation. Sip on hot tea with honey or chicken soup throughout the day. Avoid drinks that are too hot, as they can actually burned your throat.
Use a topical numbing agent
If your strep throat is particularly painful, you may want to use a topical numbing agent. These agents work by temporarily numbing the pain receptors in your throat. They come in the form of sprays, lozenges, and ointments.
Benzocaine and lidocaine are two common topical numbing agents. These agents are available over-the-counter, but they can also be prescribed by your doctor.
There are a number of things that can irritate your throat and make strep throat symptoms worse. These include smoke, alcohol, and spicy foods. You may also want to avoid talking or singing for long periods of time, as this can irritate your throat.
If you have strep throat, it’s important to take good care of yourself. These self-care measures can help to ease your symptoms and speed up your recovery. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions and finish your full course of antibiotics. If your symptoms persist or worsen, be sure to contact your doctor.