When it comes to drug-free treatment options, many people wonder if the effect of ice against sore throat is just a myth. Given the constantly changing weather in autumn and winter, the appearance of painful symptoms is not uncommon. As a rule, they improve by themselves within a week. However, there are other factors that could cause the pain and its duration, such as surgery, allergic reactions, flu or cold. Eating ice cream or sucking on ice cubes may cheer you up regardless of the cause of your sore throat. But are these indeed effective as treatment methods? Here is some useful information and resources that can help in the proper approach to such problems.
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- Is it recommended to use ice for sore throat?
Is it recommended to use ice for sore throat?
The answer to this question depends mainly on the cause of the symptoms that occur. For patients who have undergone throat surgery, there is evidence that ice cubes or ice cream may help to partially relieve a sore throat. Researchers have already found that ice cream can relieve some of the pain associated with tonsillectomy. Although more evidence is needed in this regard, enjoying a cold scoop of your favorite ice cream could relieve lingering symptoms and make your throat feel better.
But what would the situation be if you are just trying to cut down on sugar , have a dairy allergy or even dislike ice cream altogether? In such cases, what else could you eat and drink when you have a sore throat? It is common for people to wonder how to treat a sore throat and what home remedies, food or drinks are recommended in the process. In fact, some of them can cause difficulty in speaking and swallowing or improve the health condition. Below are some answers to these frequently asked questions.
Are hot or cold foods and drinks better for sore throats?
According to health experts, people with sore throats should stay well hydrated, although hot drinks tend to be avoided in the process. Instead, they point out that sucking on ice cubes, popsicles, or candy might ease the symptoms of a sore throat. So the answer to the question above can be either. Depending on the cause of your sore throat, cold and warm foods can lead to improvement or worsening of your condition.
In addition, cold food and drinks have a cooling effect on the nerve endings in the throat and reduce pain signals. Accordingly, cold food also helps reduce inflammation and swelling in the throat, which can minimize pain and discomfort. Eating cold foods can also still help if you have trouble swallowing or breathing through your mouth. Meanwhile, warm drinks promote salivation and lubricate the throat. Warm tea drinks, for example, also often contain healing ingredients such as honey and lemon. For this reason, it is common to recommend tea for sore throats. Some plant varieties such as slippery elm bark, licorice root, horehound, chamomile and turmeric are quite popular for their healing properties as a tea preparation along with green tea for sore throat.
Identify the causes and use hot or ice against sore throat
So when deciding what to eat and drink when you have a sore throat, the most important thing is to consider the cause. The causes of sore throat are varied and complex. Most of them are caused by viruses, although bacteria can also play a role. In some cases, however, there is no apparent reason. Usually, the inflammatory process begins mildly and symptoms gradually worsen over several days. In addition, symptoms typically appear suddenly and worsen within 24 hours. They tend to progress slowly and disappear quickly. Some sufferers experience pain in the palate or behind the ears.
Sucking on ice cubes or popsicles can be soothing and moisturizing. According to health experts, ice lollipops can be a good treatment for sore throats because they have a local cooling effect on inflamed tissues. Water ice can also still lower the temperature of nerve endings in the throat, reducing pain signals. Even after tonsillectomy, doctors advise patients to eat ice cream. The cold ice cream comes in contact with the inflamed tonsils and minimizes swelling. Here are some other more effective foods, treatment options and home remedies for sore throat that you can use at home.
What to eat or drink when you have a sore throat
If you don’t like ice cream or have a dairy intolerance, or lactose intolerance, there are some other ways to combat a sore throat. In general, it’s best to choose soft foods. As written before, you need to stay hydrated and should also avoid anything that might irritate your throat even more. If you have a sore throat, these are some of the best foods you can eat:
- Oatmeal – Oats are high in fiber, which makes them a good choice for people with sore throats. Oatmeal is also low in fat and calories, which also makes it a healthy option. Cook a serving of oatmeal and add some cinnamon and honey.
- Yogurt – Natural yogurt contains probiotics that can boost your immunity. You can add some vanilla extract for extra flavor.
- Chicken or vegetable broth – Broths are rich in nutrients and minerals, making them a great addition to meals.
- Other options include warm pasta, gelatin desserts, mashed potatoes and cooked vegetables. These foods include kale, broccoli and red onions, which contain an antioxidant called quercetin. The latter can help fight a cold. Although the research on this is relatively new, it may have some potential.
- Avocados are another great option if you have a sore throat. Not only are they rich in healthy fats and super soft, but they also contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
What foods to avoid when you have a sore throat?
If you have a sore throat, it is better to avoid foods such as meat, citrus fruits, spicy food, crackers, coffee and alcohol. Raw meats such as beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, fish, shellfish and offal contain bacteria that can cause a sore throat. If you choose to consume such foods, you should wash them thoroughly and then cook them.
Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, grapefruit, limes, tangerines and grapefruits contain citric acid, which irritates the throat. Accordingly, you should also reduce the amount of citric acid in your diet by drinking water instead of soda or juice. In addition, spicy foods and foods such as hot peppers, chili peppers, curry, cayenne bell pepper, paprika and horseradish can cause a burning sensation in your mouth and throat and make your sore throat worse.
Try home remedies instead of ice for a sore throat
You can also treat a sore throat yourself at home without having to visit a store or pharmacy. However, some options include taking over-the-counter pain relievers if your sore throat is unbearable. Taking antihistamines can also help with sore throats caused by allergies. Taking an antacid can relieve a sore throat that has occurred due to acid reflux. Before resorting to medication, talk to a doctor to determine the cause. Otherwise, the following methods and remedies can help relieve symptoms.
- Gargling salt water – Gargling with warm salt water can also help reduce inflammation in the throat. However, this treatment method is not suitable for children. To make your own gargle, dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of lukewarm or partially cooled boiled water. Then gargle with the solution and spit out. Repeat a few times during the day or as needed.
- Inhale steam – Steam inhalation involves breathing in water vapor, which helps open the airways. The warm, moist air loosens mucus in the throat or nasal passages, as well as the pharynx and lungs. Be sure to place the hot water vessel or electric steam inhaler on a suitable hard surface such as a table. Be careful with the process or you could be injured by the hot water.
- Get plenty of rest – Adequate sleep is essential for a good recovery and supports the immune system. Less sleep can decrease the number of white blood cells in the body that help fight the throat infection.
While home remedies can help with relief, it’s also important to consult your doctor if you notice any new symptoms. This is especially true if you have been suffering from it for more than a week. Using ice for a sore throat will definitely not cure it, but it can certainly relieve some of the pain. So, if you have this kind of inflammation, it is important to take care of your body, rest and seek the appropriate medical care in addition to self-treatment.