Not only colds but also coronaviruses can cause a sore throat. You can find out here what helps effectively and quickly. When your throat starts to scratch, you know you’ve got it: A sore throat is usually the harbinger of a cold approaching. Since sore throats are also one of the most common symptoms of an infection with coronaviruses, they are prevalent and often in a severe form. Here you can find out what causes a sore throat, why coronaviruses can cause different types of sore throat, and what effectively helps against the pain.
What Is The Cause Of A Sore Throat?
“Our pharynx, i.e., nose, mouth, trachea, and throat, is covered with a thin, smooth, susceptible mucous membrane that reacts to stimuli.” “If it is irritated by viruses or bacteria, it swells and small, hard foci of inflammation form, which can cause pain when swallowing, speaking, even breathing.” Allergy-triggering stimuli such as pollen can cause an unpleasant sore throat for allergy sufferers.
It becomes hazardous with pseudo croup attacks, mainly affecting children: the mucous membrane can swell so much that the trachea closes, and swallowing is no longer possible. Other causes can be tonsillitis, fungal infections, and reflux, in which stomach acid rises and burns the mucous membrane. However, the most common triggers for sore throats are cold and influenza viruses and coronaviruses.
Is A Sore Throat A Corona Symptom?
Sore throats are at least in the top 10 impairments mentioned, both in the wild corona type and in newer variants such as Delta and omicron. “Like cold and flu viruses, coronaviruses are designed to burrow into the mucous membranes of the nose and throat to enter the body from there and begin their ‘crusade’ against the host.”
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Why Has The Type Of Sore Throat Changed Throughout The Corona Pandemic?
Recently, infected people are less likely to report that their sore throat feels like tingling in the throat at the beginning of the infection but rather “very rough.” This is probably because the omicron variant, which has now almost wholly displaced other corona types from the wild type to the Delta, encounters a population that is now just over 70 percent vaccinated. “Tingling in the throat can mean that viruses multiply in the throat.”
Suppose the delta coronavirus encounters a vaccinated and ideally also boosted host. In that case, the immune system can already fight the virus during the replication phase so that fewer viruses get into the body cells. “Since the current vaccines are tailored to corona variants before Omicron, the immune system needs a few days longer to make enough antibodies available.” During this time, minor inflammations and pimples develop on the smooth, glassy surface of the pharyngeal mucosa.
When swallowed, they feel like a grater. But don’t worry: if you’ve been vaccinated and received a booster shot, your immune system will, in all likelihood, still be able to deal with the omicron virus quickly. The fact that omicron viruses generally, according to current knowledge, trigger less severe respiratory symptoms also contributes to this. They are more likely to stay in the upper and less often in the more dangerous lower respiratory regions, where they could infect the lungs more quickly.
What Helps Effectively With A Sore Throat?
A sore throat can be harrowing. Then you should know these practical tools and home remedies:
- Drink a lot: “The most important thing is to keep the mucous membranes moist,” preferably with warm drinks, for example, milk or tea with honey. When the mucous membranes are moist, food slides more easily. The mucous membranes do not stick together and do not rub against each other. Teas with sage, fresh ginger, mullein, verbena, thyme, and buckhorn are considered beneficial for sore throats.
- Keep noses clear: When the nose gets blocked, we automatically breathe with our mouth open. This often happens, especially at night. But by living with your mouth open, the mucous membranes in your throat dry out quickly. The result is that the viruses can penetrate there more rapidly and cause inflammation, which then triggers a grating sensation with every swallow and increases the pain.” Use nose drops and a nasal douche with saline solution in good time to ensure free nasal breathing.
- Gargling: Gargling with mouthwash for at least a minute has a calming and disinfecting effect on the irritated mucous membranes. Medicated mouthwash containing chlorhexidine. It would help if you did not gargle with a mouthwash more than 2-3 times a day.
- By the way: If you gargle with a mouthwash like chlorhexidine, you will temporarily reduce the number of viruses in your throat. This makes you less contagious. So if you have a sore throat and need to meet someone, always gargle first. However, it would help if you did not use mouthwash before an antigen test, as this could lead to a false-negative result.
- Sucking on candy: When you suck on a (preferably sugar-free) candy, a fine layer of mucus covers the mucous membranes, protecting them from drying out. Incidentally, Icelandic moss is also available as tea and is considered helpful for respiratory diseases, coughs, and bronchitis.
- Moist neck wraps: If the throat is harrowing, the pulmonary specialist from Ulm recommends wet neck wraps. Here’s how it works: You moisten a small cloth, e.g., a kitchen towel, and wrap it around your neck. A dry towel is wrapped over it. This creates a warm, moist skin climate around the neck, making swallowing, talking, and sleeping easier.
How Can We Prevent A Sore Throat?
Since sore throats are caused mainly by viruses and bacteria, make sure they don’t get into your body in the first place. It’s best to stick to the hygiene rules that you’ve been able to recite in your sleep since the pandemic:
- Keep your distance from others.
- Especially sick people.
- Always wear an FFP2 mask around them.
After staying in public places, be meticulous about hygiene: wash and disinfect your hands regularly and do not touch your face or nose so that no pathogens can get in through your nose or mouth. Also, keep warm: the warmer your body, the easier it is for your body’s blood vessels to dilate and the stronger your immune system is.
What Can We Do If The Sore Throat Is Beginning?
Ensure that the mucous membranes in the throat and nose always remain moist, as this makes it more difficult for the viruses and bacteria to settle. We have already mentioned the best tips for this: drink, suck, gargle!
Can We Exercise With A Sore Throat?
No. “When a virus is behind a sore throat, it triggers inflammation in the body.” “These inflammations travel through the body and can also reach the heart – with fatal consequences.” You hear about such cases repeatedly: If a perfectly healthy young athlete suddenly collapses during training or in a tournament, it is often due to an unresolved inflammation in the body. This can happen to you too. Therefore, the following applies in principle: If there is inflammation in the body, you take it easy and don’t do any sports.
When Should We See A Doctor For A Sore Throat?
Suppose there are additional complications or symptoms, such as severe earache or persistent fever. Even if the severe sore throat lasts longer than 5 days, you should visit a family doctor or an ENT practice. A sore throat is a typical symptom of the common cold. Due to the coronavirus, they are currently occurring more frequently and more severely. If you suddenly have a sore throat, you should do a corona test. Also, temporarily stop your sporting activities and stock up on pain-relieving sweets, teas and mouthwashes – then you will get fit again quickly.