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I have a sore throat, what do I do?

Common with the onset of fall and winter, sore throats are not all treatable by the same way. It all depends on their causes and the manifestations they generate.

A sore throat does not necessarily mean angina. It can be caused by a trivial nasopharyngitis, whose secretions irritate the pharynx, by laryngitis (inflammation of the larynx) or irritation due to coughing fits of bronchitis for example.

True angina is manifested by a sharp increase in the volume of the tonsils and sharp pain throughout the throat. It starts with scratching, then causes fever, difficulty swallowing and sometimes even glands in the neck.

Red throat, don't rush the antibiotics

In more than 80% of cases, the culprit is a virus. To defeat it, it is better to let our immune system fend for itself. Only a few throat infections are the result of a bacterial infection, often streptococcus A, which must be controlled with antibiotics.

Poorly treated, they can lead to complications:abscess, articular rheumatism, heart problems... The only way to determine if angina is of viral or bacterial origin is to perform a rapid diagnostic test (StreptoTest). Pharmacists have been authorized to perform this test again since August 2016, but few actually do it. It is therefore often necessary to go through the doctor's box.

Itchy throat, soothe irritation

Many lozenges and sprays soften the throat and reduce inflammation. Some even contain a local anesthetic (lidocaine) which relieves severe pain. To accelerate healing in a more natural way, you can also use honey.

An Israeli study, published in August 2012 in the journal Pediatrics , proved that swallowing 10 g of honey before going to bed was more effective than a classic syrup against sore throat.

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Another option:essential oil of tea tree (Tea tree) which soothes inflammation of the ENT sphere. "Swallow 2 drops in a tsp of olive oil 3x/d for 7 days," advises aromatherapist Thierry Folliard, author of the Petit Larousse of essential oils.

How to calm hoarseness?

When the vocal cords are affected, the voice derails and becomes duller. Talking as little as possible is then the best solution, otherwise the extinction of voice awaits. For the mucous membranes of the back of the throat to recover as quickly as possible, keep them well hydrated:drink at least 1.5 liters of water a day, hot if possible, and humidify the rooms of your house.

Of course, banish tobacco and alcohol because they irritate and dry out. If hoarseness is severe, take marshmallow root tea. "They contain a protective mucilage that soothes laryngitis and pharyngitis", explains phytotherapist Caroline Gayet, author of the Pocket Guide to Phytotherapy (ed. Leduc.s). A C. c. for 25 cl of boiling water. Leave to infuse for 10 minutes then filter before drinking. And if you are voiceless, opt for erysimum (or singer grass) like professional singers.

See if your throat swells a lot, if your neck becomes stiff and your jaws contract. Or if, in the child, sudden rashes appear (risk of scarlet fever).

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