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Solutions for Combating Sore Throat During Pollution

Solutions for Combating Sore Throat During Pollution

Max Lab

Nov 07, 2023

Air pollution poses major health risks and can exacerbate respiratory diseases, lung conditions, cardiovascular disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). While air pollution affects hair and skin, its impacts on the respiratory system are more severe. In recent times, changing weather coupled with rising pollution and dust levels has negatively impacted health, particularly for those prone to allergies or chronic throat irritation. The respiratory effects of air pollution are especially concerning as they can lead to chronic, long-term health consequences.

What is a Sore Throat?

Sore throats are often caused by viral infections like colds and flu, but can also be triggered by bacterial infections, allergies, acid reflux, and other factors. With high pollution levels and weather changes, respiratory tract infections become more likely.

Sore throats can be frustrating with painful swallowing that disrupts eating, drinking, and sleep. Depending on the cause, sore throat may occur with cold, cough, or fever.


Symptoms of a sore throat due to pollution can vary depending on its cause. The signs and symptoms may include:

  • Discomfort or an itchy sensation in the throat
  • Pain that worsens with swallowing or talking
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swollen, red tonsils
  • A hoarse or muffled voice

It is essential to note that the symptoms can be different for each person and may also vary based on the severity of the condition.

Solutions for Combating Sore Throat due to Pollution

Home remedies with antibacterial and therapeutic qualities can treat sore throat caused by air pollution in old age homes. These include: -

Drink Ginger and Honey Tea

A traditional remedy for sore, irritated throats is ginger tea with honey. Steep 20-40 grams of freshly sliced ginger root in hot water for 5 minutes. Then stir in honey to taste.

Ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds that can soothe respiratory tract membranes and suppress coughing. Honey has antibacterial properties and coats the throat, easing pain and irritation. Together, ginger and honey make a comforting home remedy for sore throats.  Sipping warm ginger honey tea is an easy way to get soothing relief using ingredients from your kitchen.

Saltwater Gargle

Gargling with warm salt water is another easy home remedy that can alleviate sore throat pain due to pollution and irritation. Dissolving half a teaspoon of salt in a full glass of warm water creates a saline solution that helps reduce throat swelling and thins mucus when gargled. The saltwater can also aid in removing harmful bacteria from the throat.  Just a basic saltwater rinse without swallowing can offer the benefits of lowering swelling, clearing mucus, and fighting bacteria to subdue a sore throat irritation due to pollution.

Drink Warm Liquids

Warm, non-caffeinated drinks can provide soothing relief for sore throats. Options like green tea, herbal teas, broth-based soups, turmeric milk, and more add hydration and can calm irritation. Caffeinated beverages like coffee and black tea may feel comforting initially but can ultimately dehydrate, further aggravating a sore throat. Opting for decaffeinated, non-astringent beverages that are heated provides hydration and temporary pain relief as the warm liquid washes over the inflamed tissues. Sipping warm, herbal drinks regularly can aid sore throat from poor air quality.

Wear a Mask While Stepping Out

Face masks are an effective way to minimise the health impacts including sore throats of air pollution when going outside. Masks work by filtering out particulate matter that can damage the respiratory system. Those rated N95 filter out around 95% of dangerous particles and offer the best protection. While surgical, medical, and cloth masks aren't as effective as N95s, they still provide a physical barrier to reduce inhalation of pollutants.

Try Ginger Syrup

Ginger is a natural way to soothe sore throats irritated by poor air quality. Its anti-inflammatory properties can provide relief from throat infections due to pollution.  An easy home remedy is mixing fresh ginger juice with honey and optional black pepper to create a syrup. Consuming this once or twice daily can instantly alleviate inflammation depending on soreness severity.

Use a Humidifier

Utilising a humidifier is an effective way to ease a sore throat by maintaining proper respiratory tract hydration and moisture levels. This prevents the drying out of mucus membranes in the throat and respiratory tract, which can worsen coughs and pain. The increased humidity from a humidifier eases inflammation in the throat, providing hydration to soothe scratchiness and reduce coughing urges. The moist air delivered by humidification helps preserve the throat's mucus lining, avoiding further irritation, and allowing the tissues to heal.


The herb tulsi, also known as holy basil, can provide a natural remedy for sore throats when combined with honey. Boiling fresh tulsi leaves in water helps release the plant's soothing compounds. Allowing the tulsi tea to cool and mixing in some honey creates a sweetened drink that can ease throat discomfort.


Mulethi, also called liquorice root, is an Ayurvedic herb that can naturally relieve sore throat discomfort. It contains anti-inflammatory and demulcent properties that reduce swelling and thin mucus when directly applied. Sucking on 1 or 2 pieces of mulethi root releases its soothing juices and coats the throat. This ayurvedic remedy diminishes congestion while lessening coughs and throat clearing. The liquorice-flavoured mulethi root works to minimise throat irritation.

While these natural remedies can alleviate sore throat discomfort, proper rest and hydration are also key to recovery. Use home treatments to find relief but seek medical attention if the pain persists longer than a week or worsens despite care. Consulting a doctor is recommended for severe, ongoing throat problems not improving with self-care.

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