You can soothe a sore throat as follows:
- Drink hot tea with lemon and honey. Opt for herbal or decaf tea.
- Gargle with warm salt-water. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of regular table salt in 8 ounces (240 ml) of warm water, gargle for a few seconds, spit it out, then repeat a few times. Do this three times a day. Wondering if gargling really works? Read this brief New York Times article about a research study on the effectiveness of gargling.
- To relieve pain and reduce inflammation, take ibuprofen (e.g. Motrin, Advil), acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) or generic versions of these medicines, following package directions.
- Keep your throat moist by using a vaporizer or sucking on throat lozenges, ice or popcicles. Some lozenges also help relieve pain.
- Refrain from smoking. Smoking makes it hard to eliminate mucous and may predispose you to bronchitis or pneumonia. This would be a good time to consider quitting -- See Tobacco Cessation Help. If you choose not to quit, try not to smoke during your illness.
Call for advice if you have any of these:
- Difficulty swallowing liquids that prevents you from drinking
- White or yellow spots in throat
- Pain that is persistent, severe or increasing
- Difficulty breathing
- A new rash or fever
- Signs of dehydration
For U-M students and other UHS patients, call for Nurse Advice by Phone, day or night. Calling may save you a trip.
UHS can do rapid strep testing. Your throat and tonsils would be swabbed to collect a sample, which would be analyzed for strep (streptococcal) bacteria. Results would be available at your visit.
For currently enrolled U-M students on the Ann Arbor campus, there is no fee for phone advice, clinic visits or most laboratory tests.
For more information:
- I'm Sick! What Should I Do? Suggestions for Colds and Flu
- How to Get Health Care at UHS - Appointments are required for most medical services, although options are available for urgent problems
- Tips for Academic Success if You are Sick or Injured
- Strep Throat from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention