Sore throats are mainly caused by viruses, but can very occasionally be a symptom of severe acid reflux from the stomach. Reflux must be attended to as persistent acid rising up in the esophagus can cause damage to the lining and can lead to pre-cancerous changes developing.
Viruses however cause very little harm long term. They are a nuisance and can often take a day or two to develop, and normally on the second or third day you are worst. After this it should begin to settle down, as the bodies immune system kicks in.
If the sore throat persists beyond 5 days, especially if it is a young child or elderly person affected, or you have been abroad, you must consult your doctor, as it can be a sign of another more serious infection.
It is usually sensible to take a mild analgesic such as aspirin or paracetamol if over 12 years of age. Aspirin in its soluble form is quite good to gargle with then swallow, but you must not use Aspirin if you are on prescribed medicines such as Warfarin or other drugs that make Aspirin unsuitable, or if you are being treated for a Gastric ulcer.
Sucking ice lollies is a good way of easing a sore throat in a child, sucking an ice cube can also be effective for adults.
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