How Long Does A Sore Throat Last? Natural Home Remedies For Relief


A sore throat is one of the most common minor health issues that affect most people at some point. It can be caused by viral or bacterial infections, allergies, dry air, smoking, excessive yelling, or irritation from gastric reflux.

While sore throats often resolve on their own within 3-7 days, the pain and discomfort can disrupt daily life. Thankfully, there are many natural remedies to help soothe a sore throat and speed up healing time.

How Does Sore Throat Occur? 

A sore throat occurs when the back of the throat, including the tonsils and adenoids, becomes inflamed or irritated. This inflammation causes the cells in the throat to swell, resulting in pain, scratchiness, and difficulty swallowing.

Sore Throat Home Remedies

Viruses are the most common cause of sore throats, with the flu, common cold, mono, and covid-19 all producing throat pain and discomfort. Bacterial infections like strep throat can also lead to very painful sore throats.

Symptoms Of Sore Throat 

The most prominent symptom of a sore throat is a constant, dull pain or scratchy irritation at the back of the mouth and throat. It often feels worse when swallowing. Other symptoms may include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Pain that worsens at night
  • Fever
  • Coughing, sneezing, runny nose
  • Hoarse, muffled voice
  • White or red patches on the tonsils
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

Natural Remedies To Prevent Sore Throat

  • Stay Hydrated Drinking plenty of water helps thin out mucus and prevents dehydration, which can irritate the throat. Warm liquids like herbal tea with honey are especially soothing.
  • Gargle With Salt Water Gargling with warm salt water can help ease throat pain and flush out irritants. Dissolve 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water and gargle a few times a day.
  • Suck on Lozenges Sucking on medicated lozenges provides temporary pain relief and moisturizes the throat. Menthol, anesthetic, or antiseptic lozenges may provide more targeted relief.
  • Use a Humidifier Dry air can irritate the throat. Running a humidifier, especially at night, adds moisture to the air and helps ease discomfort.
  • Have Soothing Foods and Drinks Eating soft, cool foods like popsicles, ice cream, smoothies, and chilled soups can be gentle on the throat. Avoid spicy, acidic, or scratchy foods.
  • Take Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers Oral pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can temporarily reduce throat pain and inflammation.

Precautions & Tips To Avoid Sore Throat

  • Stay home and get extra rest if you have a sore throat associated with cold or flu symptoms.
  • Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke, which irritate the throat.
  • Use proper technique and avoid overuse when singing or yelling to reduce strain.
  • Rinse your nose and gargle your throat after exposure to irritants like chlorine or dust.
  • Maintain humidity levels between 30-50% in your home.
  • See a doctor if severe pain lasts over 2 weeks or is accompanied by high fever, difficulty breathing, or swallowing.


Most sore throats are caused by viral infections and tend to resolve within 3-7 days with proper care. Trying natural remedies like saltwater gargles, throat lozenges, humidifiers, and anti-inflammatory foods and drinks can help soothe irritation and relieve discomfort until the throat heals.

Seeking medical treatment is recommended if severe throat pain or difficulty swallowing lasts more than two weeks. With some tender loving care for your throat, you’ll be feeling better soon!


1. How long does a viral sore throat last?

Most viral sore throats resolve within 3-7 days, but some can last for up to 2 weeks.

2. When should you see a doctor for a sore throat?

Seek medical care if the pain is severe or accompanied by high fever, breathing difficulty, worsening symptoms, or persists for over 2 weeks.

3. What is the fastest way to get rid of a sore throat?

While there is no instant cure, gargling with salt water, drinking warm fluids, taking OTC pain relievers, and resting your voice can help speed healing.

4. Is a sore throat a sign of COVID-19?

It can be. A sore throat, along with fever, cough, fatigue, and headache are common COVID-19 symptoms. Get tested if you have any symptoms.

5. Can allergies cause a sore throat?

Yes, postnasal drip from allergies can irritate and inflame the throat, causing soreness. Treating the allergies helps reduce throat discomfort.

Dr. Jun Ren is a dedicated and experienced registered dietitian and nutritionist who is committed to helping people achieve their health goals through personalized nutrition plans. With a passion for promoting healthy eating habits and preventing chronic diseases, Dr. Ren has been able to assist numerous clients in improving their overall quality of life.

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