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This helps against a severe sore throat

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  • What is the cause of a sore throat?
  • Is a sore throat a corona symptom?
  • What effectively helps with a sore throat?
  • How can I prevent a sore throat?
  • What can I do if the sore throat is just starting?
  • Can I exercise with a sore throat?
  • When should I see a doctor if I have a sore throat?

When your throat starts to scratch, you know you’ve been hit: a sore throat is usually a harbinger of an impending cold. A sore throat is also one of the most common symptoms of a corona virus infection, and is often particularly painful. Here you can find out what causes a sore throat, what effectively helps against the pain and how you can prevent it in the future.

What is the cause of a sore throat?

“Our pharynx, i.e. nose, mouth, trachea and throat, is covered with a thin, smooth, very sensitive mucous membrane that reacts to all kinds of stimuli,” explains pulmonologist and allergist Dr. Michael Barczok from Ulm, “If it is irritated by viruses or bacteria, it swells and small, hard foci of inflammation form, which means that swallowing, talking, even breathing can cause pain.”

In allergy sufferers, allergy-triggering stimuli such as pollen can cause an unpleasant sore throat. Things become really dangerous with attacks of pseudocroup, which particularly affect children: the mucous membrane can swell so much that the windpipe closes and swallowing is no longer possible.

Other causes can include tonsillitis, fungal infections and reflux, in which stomach acid rises and burns the mucous membrane.

Is a sore throat a corona symptom?

Yes, in the vast majority of studies such as the British ZOE study, which collects and evaluates data from infected people using an app, sore throats are at least in the top 10 of the impairments mentioned. This also applies to the current variants Eris (EG.5) and Pirola (B.2.86), according to current results from the US health authority CDC, despite the large number of mutations compared to the predecessors BA.2 and XBB 1.5.

“Like cold and influenza viruses, corona viruses are designed to burrow into the mucous membranes of the nose and throat in order to invade the body from there and begin their ‘crusade’ against the host,” explains Dr. Barczok.

A sore throat is the 6th most common reason people visit a family doctor, according to the German Medical Journal. But in the vast majority of cases this is not necessary, as there are rarely reasons behind it that, for example, require the administration of antibiotics. It’s better to try our 5 tips against a sore throat first.

What effectively helps with a sore throat?

A sore throat can be very painful. Then you should know these 5 effective tools and home remedies:

  • Drink a lot: “The most important thing is to keep the mucous membranes moist,” says Dr. Barczok, preferably with warm drinks, for example milk or tea with honey. The reason: When mucous membranes are moist, food slides more easily. The mucous membranes do not stick together or rub Each other. Teas with sage, fresh ginger, mullein, verbena, thyme and ribwort plantain are considered healing for sore throats.
  • Keep noses clear: When our nose is blocked, we automatically breathe with our mouth open. This happens often, especially at night. Dr. Barczok: “By breathing with your mouth open, the throat mucous membranes dry out quickly, with the result that viruses can penetrate there more easily and cause inflammation, which then triggers a rubbing feeling every time you swallow and increases the pain.” Use nasal drops and/or a nasal douche with saline solution in a timely manner to ensure free nasal breathing.
  • Gargle: Gargling with a mouthwash for at least a minute will have a calming and disinfectant effect on irritated mucous membranes. Dr. Barczok recommends medical mouthwashes with chlorhexidine (e.g. in Dynexidin Forte). You should not gargle with a mouthwash more than 2-3 times per day. By the way: When you gargle with a mouthwash like chlorhexidine, studies show you reduce the number of viruses in your throat. This makes you less contagious. So if you have a sore throat and have to meet someone, you should always gargle beforehand. However, you should not use mouthwash before an antigen test, as this could lead to a false negative result.
  • Sucking candy: When you suck a candy (preferably sugar-free), a fine layer of mucus forms over the mucous membranes, which protects them from drying out. Tip from Dr. Barczok: Isla moss pastilles. Incidentally, Icelandic moss is also available as a tea (e.g. from mynatura) and is considered helpful for respiratory illnesses, coughs and bronchitis. Also good for acute sore throats: lozenges from GeloRevoice or Dobendan, the latter is also available as a spray.
  • Moist neck wraps: If your throat hurts a lot, the pulmonologist from Ulm recommends using moist neck wraps. This is how it works: You moisten a smaller cloth, such as a kitchen towel, and wrap it around your neck. A dry cloth is wrapped over it. This creates a warm, moist skin environment around the neck, which makes swallowing, talking and sleeping easier.

How can I prevent a sore throat?

Since sore throats are usually caused by viruses and bacteria, make sure that they cannot enter your body in the first place. It’s best to stick to the hygiene rules that you’ve been able to recite in your sleep since the beginning of the pandemic: keep your distance from others, especially sick people, and always wear an FFP2 mask when you’re around them. Pay close attention to hygiene after spending time in public places: wash and disinfect your hands regularly and do not touch your face or nose so that no pathogens can enter through your nose or mouth.

Also keep yourself warm: the warmer your body, the better your body’s blood vessels can dilate and the stronger your immune system.

Your body can launch its best immune defense when it is supplied with sufficient nutrients. Declare war on viruses with our nutrition plans!

What can I do if the sore throat is just starting?

Make sure that the mucous membranes in your throat and nose always remain moist, as this makes it harder for viruses and bacteria to take hold. We have already mentioned the best tips for this: drink, suck, gargle!

Can I exercise with a sore throat?

No. “If a virus is behind a sore throat, it triggers inflammation in the body,” explains Dr. Barczok, “These inflammations travel throughout the body and can also reach the heart – with fatal consequences.” You hear about cases like this again and again: When a seemingly extremely healthy young athlete suddenly collapses during training or in a tournament, it is often due to unresolved inflammation in the body. This can also affect you. Therefore, the basic rule is: If you have inflammation in your body, take it easy and don’t do any sports.

When should I see a doctor if I have a sore throat?

“If complications or symptoms arise, for example severe ear pain or persistent fever,” says Dr. Barczok. Even if the severe sore throat lasts longer than 5 days, you should visit a family doctor or an ENT practice.

Regardless of whether your sore throat is caused by a cold, flu or coronavirus, temporarily stop your exercise and stock up on pain-relieving candies, teas and mouthwashes – i.eThen you’ll get fit again quickly.

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