Feb 19, 2015 6:00 AM

Author: Office of Public Affairs

You wake up with a scratchy, dry and irritated throat. “A sore throat could be caused by a number of things from dry air to acid reflux to a cold or virus,” says Johanna Greenberg, a physician assistant specializing in family medicine at University of Utah Health’s Stansbury Health Center, located in Tooele County. “But supportive care, or home remedies, can help soothe a sore throat so you feel better.” Here are four treatments to try: 

sore throat

Sore Throat

Use a humidifier

Cold, dry, winter air can irritate a sore throat. Polluted air also contributes. Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Greenberg suggests using one with a filter that can be changed or cleaned.

Gargle with saltwater

“Saltwater provides weak antiseptic properties, which can soothe a sore throat,” says Greenberg. Mix 1 cup of water with ½ teaspoon of salt. Microwave it until the salt dissolves and the water is warm. Gargle, then spit the water out; do not swallow.

Drink fluids

From cold popsicles to hot tea, get plenty of fluids. “It doesn’t matter if it’s hot or cold, drink whatever feels good on your throat,” Greenberg says. “Lozenges or hard candy are also good ways to keep your throat moist.”

Rest your voice

Voice strain aggravates a sore throat. “Avoid talking excessively, and try to rest your voice as much as possible,” Greenberg says. “Smoke can also irritate your throat, so avoid smoking and being near people who do.”

“If your sore throat gets worse, if you have a fever or if you have difficulty swallowing, schedule an appointment to see your primary care provider,” Greenberg says. To find a University of Utah Health Care provider near you, visit this page or call 866-850-8863

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