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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Dry, irritated, bleeding throat

02/26/2007

Question:

I`m just getting over a severe cold. A few nights ago, I took some Afrin to clear my sinuses and slept, while the dry night air dried out my sinuses and the back of my throat.

Beginning yesterday, I felt severe irritation in a small portion of my throat and this morning I am now seeing blood in my sputum. What can I use to soothe my throat and at the same time begin healing the irritation/stopping the bleeding? I had been taking lozenges, but I`m wondering if that is a good idea. I`m starting to gargle with salt water. Is this a good solution?

Answer:

Salt water is an acceptable treatment at this time and so are lozenges.  It is not uncommon for people to experience persistence of the sore throat at the end of a cold.  It seems that there is often one symptom that takes a little longer to clear than the other symptoms.

If you are still experiencing some throat discomfort, over the counter medication pain relievers should be effective in relieving this soreness.  Continue with the salt water gargles and take a lozenge if that is helpful.  This problem should resolve within a 7-10 day period.

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Response by:

Keith M Wilson, MD Keith M Wilson, MD
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Head and Neck Division
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati