Top Remedies to Soothe a COVID-19 Sore Throat
Waking up to a scratchy, sore throat is not an ideal start to your day. Sore throats are caused by various illnesses such as the common cold, postnasal drip, strep throat, flu, allergies or COVID-19. While the symptoms of COVID vary from person to person, according to the CDC, a sore throat is one of the most dominant symptoms and top complaints of COVID. Sore throats can cause discomfort and severe pain in some instances. Read below to find out if your sore throat is COVID-19 and how you can ease your discomfort.
Is your sore throat due to COVID-19?
A sore throat by itself, is typically not a cause for concern. Since sore throats stem from many illnesses, it is important to know if your sore throat is COVID or something else. One way to confirm if the pain in your throat is COVID is to take a test. You can do this a few different ways:
- You can purchase an over-the-counter at-home COVID-19 test at your local drugstore. View the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s list breakdown to ensure you buy the correct at-home test for your symptoms and age.
- Schedule an appointment with your primary care physician.
- Visit an Ochsner Urgent Care to receive a test.
- Visit a testing site within your community. To find a COVID-19 testing site near you, visit the Louisiana Department of Health's website.
If you cannot take a COVID-19 test, you can refer to our symptom chart below to determine the cause of your achy throat.
Symptoms of a COVID-19 sore throat
The symptoms of a COVID sore throat may be similar to a sore throat you would experience with the common cold or allergies. Here are a few distinct signs to look out for:
- Relentless pain in your throat
- A thick feeling in your throat, especially when you swallow or speak
- Inflammation or redness in the back of your throat
- Dry, scratchy or itchy sensation.
- Swollen neck glands
- Earaches or pain in the ears
Along with the above symptoms if your sore throat is caused from COVID-19 you may experience loss of taste, loss of smell, fatigue, body aches or any of the symptoms listed above in the symptom chart.
Remedies for your COVID-19 sore throat
While there is no cure for a COVID-19 sore throat, you can use numerous treatments to ease your pain and discomfort, ranging from home remedies to over-the-counter medications. A few recommended cures to soothe your throbbing throat are:
- Take over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol. This will help to ease the pain and take the edge off.
- If your sore throat is accompanied by congestion, sneezing or a runny nose, try an over-the-counter decongestant such as Claritin D. Be aware that this medication can cause palpitations and high blood pressure.
- Make sure to stay hydrated. Staying hydrated boosts your body’s immune system and helps to flush bacteria out.
- Gargle with salt water by mixing in one teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of warm water. Gargle the saltwater mixture for a few seconds and then spit the mixture out. Remember to disinfect your sink afterward.
- Try sucking on a cough drop or medicated lozenge. This will help to keep your throat moist.
- Drink warm tea or broth to soothe your throat.
- Take a hot shower or plug in a humidifier. The warm, moist, steaming air will help to soothe a sore throat.
- Get lots of rest because your body does its best healing when you are at rest.
How long does it last?
Typically, a sore throat can last up to seven days, but a sore throat caused by COVID-19 can persist until the infection has cleared or it can linger for a few weeks or months. In this case, the pain will grow intensely in the beginning and reduce as your body heals. If your aching throat remains a few weeks or months after your COVID infection or if your symptoms are severe, contact your physician or visit an urgent care location.