Most viral sore throats can be treated with home care. Home care also is a good supplement to the antibiotic treatment given for bacterial infections to relieve pain. These are some home care measures to try:
- Gargle every few hours with salt water (1/4 teaspoon salt in 8 ounces warm water).
- Drink a cup of weak tea with lemon or honey.
- Increase fluids to 8 to 12 glasses a day.
- Try over-the-counter throat lozenges containing local anesthetics.
- Cough drops or hard candy can moisten the throat.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Try acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen for pain and fever. (Do not give aspirin to children under 18.) Follow the label for correct dosage.
- Using a vaporizer to moisten the air may help moisten the throat.
- Avoid smoking or being around smoke and other throat irritants.
- If stomach acid is contributing to the sore throat, take precautions for heartburn.