Pain, discomfort, scratchiness, irritating sensation or raw feeling of the throat (Oropharynx), especially when swallowing, sometimes provoking desire to cough. Can be caused by inflammation of the fauces and pharynx, infection, allergies, poisoning, GERD. The inner walls of the throat are covered with mucosal membrane containing nerves, which may be irritated by polluted air, food, medications, inflammatory or allergic reaction. Mucosal glands secrete mucus covering the throat walls, thus protecting them and allowing smooth passage of the air and food. When mucous glands do not secrete enough mucus (because of dry air, dehydration, medications), throat nerves become exposed and irritable. Gargling with salt water (1 teaspoon per cup of water) helps to not only hydrate thick mucus secretions, but also reduce inflammatory chemokines such as interleukin-8 (IL-8) and disrupt interactions with glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) thus reducing inflammation.
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