Sore throats are common. A sore throat is often a throat infection or pharyngitis.

    Sore throats are usually caused by 2 types of germs—viruses and bacteria. Most sore throats are caused by viruses. Only 10% of sore throats are caused by bacteria. 

    You or your child has seen the doctor and is likely to have a sore throat caused by a virus.


    Do I need antibiotics?

    If your sore throat is caused by a virus, you do not need antibiotics. A sore throat caused by viral infection gets better on its own with at-home care, usually within five to ten days.


    What medicines will my doctor give me? 

    Your doctor will most likely give you medication and lozenges to relieve your throat pain or discomfort. Depending on your symptoms, doctor may also give you medicines to relieve running nose and cough.

    What about alternative remedies?

    There are limited evidences on what works and what does not for common alternative remedies. Some of these remedies may not be safe. Check with your doctor before using them.


    What are the things I can do at home to feel better?


    •      Get plenty of sleep and avoid talking

    •      Drink plenty of fluids to keep your throat moist. This helps with swallowing and prevents dehydration

    •      Drink soothing beverages and eat soft foods

    •      Gargle with salt water several times a day to help relieve throat pain

    •      Add moisture to the air in your home. Use a cool-mist humidifier or vaporizer. Be sure to clean it daily



    •      Avoid spicy foods or acidic foods that irritate your throat

    •      Avoid smoking or secondhand smoke


    How much salt should I put in my salt water gargle?

    About 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon (1.5 to 3.0 g) of salt in one cup (250 ml) of warm water.


    When can I return to work? When can my child return to school?

    You can resume your usual activities as soon as you feel better. Wear a mask if the air pollution is bad to prevent further throat discomfort.


    How can I avoid getting a sore throat again?

    Reduce your chance of having a viral infection by exercising regularly and eating healthily.

    Also practice good hand washing habits, washing your hands with soap and water to prevent the spread of infection.


    When should I see my doctor again?

    Please contact your doctor if your sore throat does not improve within two days or if you have a fever. 

    Also contact your doctor if you have the following symptoms: 

    •      Difficulty swallowing

    •      Drooling (especially for children)

    •      Trouble talking or opening your mouth

    •      Hoarseness lasting more than two weeks

    •      Body aches, joint pain, or earache

    •      Skin rash

    •      Nausea or vomiting

    •      Constant sleepiness or tiredness

    •      Increased thirst or dry and sticky mouth with less urine than usual (one wet diaper or void in six hours) or total lack of tears when crying


    When do I need to go to the hospital or emergency department?

    Call the ambulance or go to the nearest hospital right away if you have: 

    •      Chest pain

    •      Difficulty breathing

    •      Shortness of breath

    With reference to

    Click the link for more information on E.N.T Clinical Service

    Click the link for more information on Family Medicine Clinical Service

    Click the link for more information on Emergency Medicine Clinical Service



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