Sore throat and cold: useful tips

The discomfort never comes alone: a perfect example is represented by colds and sore throats. Let’s see how to deal with them.

To suffer more often from colds are undoubtedly children who, up to 8-10 years, can experience it even 6-7 times a year, especially in the cold season and in the changes of season.

It is a disorder that does not spare even children and adults and that, at this age, can
interfere with study, work commitments, social life and the countless activities scheduled every day. Stuffy and inflamed nose, reddened and watery eyes, difficulty breathing and, not infrequently, headaches resulting from nasal congestion can really knock out.

As if that were not enough, if the cold is intense and lasts for more than a couple of days, in addition to the nose and eyes, it can also begin to give problems to the throat, further amplifying the discomfort. But why does it happen? And how to alleviate all these manifestations as soon as possible and return to life as usual?

Why colds and sore throats come together

The common cold is a respiratory disease that always has a viral origin and that tends to be more widespread in the period from early autumn to early spring, when the lower ambient temperature creates ideal living conditions for rhinoviruses, and the highly variable weather weakens the immune system a little.

Generally, when it occurs in isolation, the cold is not associated with fever or causes only minimal increases in temperature, while if the thermometer rises above 38.0-38.5 ° C in all probability the nasal symptoms fall within the context of a flu syndrome.

In both cases, when the nasal congestion is considerable and the production of clear mucus and consistent fluid, part of the secretions, instead of leaving the nostrils outwards, tend spontaneously to flow into the back of the mouth and pharynx, through the nasal choanae.

This phenomenon, in general, amplifies the discomfort because the mucus rich in viruses and inflammatory substances produced by the local immune system also inflame the mucous membranes of the throat, resulting in the appearance of the characteristic symptoms, namely burning, pain, difficulty breathing and swallowing.

In addition, viruses also rapidly colonize the mucous membranes of the throat, and the inflammation that the immune system produces in response, irritates the throat.

Remedies against colds and sore throats

Against colds you can use non-pharmacological remedies that help to free the nostrils and moisturize / flame the nasal and throat mucosa.

In particular, nasal washes with saline, fumigations (prepared with boiling water and baking soda and / or calming / balsamic substances such as chamomile, linden, thymeeucalyptus etc.) or aerosol are generally recommended: all first choice approaches in children, but also useful for colds in adolescents and adults.

Nasal decongestant drugs, on the other hand, should be used sparingly. If in drops or sprays, it is better to treat one nostril at a time (the most occluded), so as to respect the physiological alternation of air flows that occurs between the nostrils. Even if taken by mouth, it should be remembered to use them for 4-5 days at most and for no more than 3-4 times a day, otherwise at the end of the treatment there is a risk that nasal congestion will recur with greater intensity.

When along with the cold there is also significant sore throat, in addition to drinking often, eating soft and non-acidic or spicy foods and sucking sugar-free balsamic candies or licorice logs, you can resort to tablets based on anti-inflammatory principles to dissolve slowly in the mouth. Among the most effective are those based on flurbiprofen, ketoprofen and naproxen, also available in sprays, which can give relief in just over ten minutes and alleviate symptoms for a longer period of time (up to 6 hours) than products against sore throat based on antiseptics. In addition, local anti-inflammatory remedies are able to act directly on inflammation, relieving the most annoying symptoms, such as pain, difficulty swallowing and swelling in the throat.

Of course, these tablets must also be used wisely, that is, taking one at a time and waiting at least 4-6 hours before sucking the next, up to a maximum of 8 hours within 24 hours. Also in this case, self-treatment is allowed for no more than 4-5 days: if after this period the sore throat has not substantially improved, you should contact the doctor, who must be consulted from the beginning if cough and phlegm of a certain importance are also present.

A warning not to be overlooked is that both nasal decongestants and anti-inflammatory tablets for sore throat are indicated exclusively in adolescents (from 12 years) and adults, while they should never be used in children.

Joycelyn Elders is the author and creator of EmpowerEssence, a health and wellness blog. Elders is a respected public health advocate and pediatrician dedicated to promoting general health and well-being.

The blog covers a wide range of topics related to health and wellness, with articles organized into several categories.

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