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Irritated Throat

Madhumita Shivade
Irritated throat is a condition of the throat (consists of pharynx and larynx, protects the trachea, and is involved in sound production) and tonsils when they get affected by bacteria or viruses.
You have an important presentation in a day's time and you suddenly notice that you have an irritated throat, and the very thought of having to talk for 3 hours during the presentation makes you feel extremely helpless. The first thing that comes to your mind is 'how to soothe the throat irritation?' Well, read the upcoming article to acquaint yourself with the causes, symptoms, and remedies of this problem.
Probable Causes

➜ There are many causes of throat irritation that include dust, pollution, allergies, cold and flu, etc. Many people are allergic to dust. The inhaled dust enters our air passage and causes irritation in the throat. In order to get rid of these dust particles, we tend to cough.
➜ The action of frequent coughing causes irritation in the throat and makes it sore as the muscles get strained while coughing. A simple cold will also lead to this problem as the post-nasal discharge gets accumulated in the throat.
➜ Smoking kills! You may have heard this phrase many times or read it on the pack of cigarettes each time you slid one out from it. While smoking, the tobacco smoke enters our throat and makes it dry and causes smoker's cough.
➜ Smoker's cough is caused when the cigarette smoke damages the cilia that removes the phlegm through coughing. Cilia are fine, hair-like projections coating the trachea and bronchitis tube leading down into the lungs. This results in throat irritation because every drag of the cigarette makes the throat drier.
➜ Avoid drinks such as chilled beer, soft drinks, cold water from the refrigerator, etc., as cold water can also damage the vocal cords.
➜ Infections caused by bacteria or viruses can also affect the throat. Sometimes, when we are in deep sleep and wake up feeling thirsty, a slight pain may be felt in the throat while drinking water. This is because during sleep, the acids present in the stomach leak up into the esophagus.
➜ This happens because the throat remains dry for a long time, and at the same time, the acid reaches the throat and causes irritation. This condition is known as an acid reflux sore throat.
➜ A person who shouts loudly or talks in a very high volume may also suffer from sore throat, because the muscles in the throat get strained and harm the vocal cords.
➜ People working in chemical factories also suffer from throat problems, because they inhale chemicals most of the time. This harms the throat and makes it sore.
Symptoms Observed
➜ One of the common symptoms is swallowing saliva frequently. Swallowing helps the throat to get lubrication, which in turn curbs the feeling of dryness.
➜ A sore throat causes coughing. During coughing, the body makes a blowing out sound to get rid of the unwanted irritants in the air passages. Sometimes, a pain may be felt in the throat while swallowing food or yawning.
➜ Trying to clear the throat continuously is also another symptom. These symptoms should not be ignored and seeking immediate help will prove to be beneficial.
➜ There are some remedies that can soothe the throat and clear the phlegm so that the patient can breathe freely. Phlegm is an almost transparent or greenish-yellow colored, sticky liquid produced in the respiratory system that gathers in the throat.
Some Natural Remedies
There are many medicinal remedies for throat irritation, but a few easy home remedies could help you get some relief naturally.
► Gargling is a very common remedy. In 1 glass of lukewarm water, add a quarter tablespoon of salt, 2 pinches of turmeric powder, and gargle. Turmeric has many antiseptic properties. Repeat this 2 to 3 times a day.
► The easiest way is to drink warm water frequently. Warm water helps to melt the phlegm that is saturated in the throat and blocks the air passages. It dissolves the phlegm and pushes it down.
► You can increase your fluid intake by having a cup of hot herbal tea or hot milk with a pinch of turmeric powder; however, avoid fluids that contain anything citric, such as lemonade, orange juice, etc., as they might aggravate the problem of soreness.
► A cough syrup will be just fine and is one of the easiest remedies for this problem.
► Boil 1½ glass of water with sliced ginger and add 4 to 5 leaves of holy basil. Let it brew for 15 to 20 minutes and drink it hot.
► Lemon grass also helps to soothe the throat because of its medicinal properties. You can boil it in 1 pint of water and add 4 to 5 strands of the grass-like plant. If you want to make it sweet, you can add 1 tablespoon of honey and drink it hot.
► Ginger tea is one of the best remedies for sore throat. 1 tablespoon of grated ginger juice mixed with the same amount of honey can soothe a sore throat.
► Put any vapor rub in hot water and inhale the steam. This will open up the air passages. Also, mix 1 tablespoon of honey in lukewarm water and drink it.
These remedies will help cure your throat either completely or to a certain extent depending on the severity of the condition. However, you need to visit a doctor in the following conditions:
  • Coughing does not stop even after following the home remedies
  • Throat infection is followed by fever
  • Pain in the ears while swallowing
  • When lots of phlegm gets collected in the throat
  • In case of a hoarse throat

If you observe any of the symptoms becoming worse, consult your doctor so that you are prescribed proper antibiotics. Always remember that 'prevention is better than cure', so act quickly on observing the initial symptoms and protect yourself from further complications.
Disclaimer: This story is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.