Return to ENT Disorders

Treatments & Procedures: Throat

Because antibiotics do not work against viruses, viral pharyngitis is usually dealt with by treating its symptoms, to make you feel more comfortable until your body's immune system defeats the infection. These measures include:

  • Getting plenty of rest (in or out of bed)
  • Taking ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol) or aspirin (adults only) to relieve throat pain
  • Drinking plenty of water to prevent dehydration
  • Gargling with warm salty water to ease throat pain
  • Drinking warm liquids (tea or broth) or cool liquids or eating gelatin desserts or flavored ices to soothe the throat
  • Using a cool mist vaporizer to relieve throat dryness
  • Using nonprescription throat lozenges (with or without zinc) or anesthetic throat sprays
  • Taking nonprescription decongestants and antihistamines to relieve nasal congestion and runny nose
  • Taking vitamin C supplements if recommended by your doctor

Surgery to take out the tonsils (called tonsillectomy) used to be fairly common. Now this surgery is only recommended in serious cases or if tonsillitis occurs frequently (called chronic tonsillitis). A tonsillectomy is usually an outpatient surgery, meaning you don’t have to stay in the hospital.

The Surgery Center of Charleston The South Carolina Sinus Institute