Y: (WHISPERING) Today, on a Moment of Science--
D: Yael, why are you whispering?
Y: My throat hurts.
D: Guess what? Today's segment just happens to be on why sore throats hurt.
Y: Because otherwise they wouldn't be sore?
D: The pain seems to have made you bitter.
Y: Just a little.
D: Anyway, a sore throat happens when the mucus membranes that line your throat are either inflamed or infected. Your body's response is then to send a lot of blood rushing into that area. That way, the white blood cells and antibodies have more access to the area so that they can fight off infection while the damage is repaired. The problem is that in order to get the blood rushing to those cells, your body releases chemicals that make the blood vessels in the surrounding tissue swell. Unfortunately, all this swelling puts pressure on the nerve endings in your throat and causes pain. And, as you know, pain is your body's way of alerting you that there's something wrong.
Y: Yeah, what a cruel joke. You'd think there would be a way to turn off that pain response once we get the message. I mean, I know my throat is sore, so why does my body have to continue reminding me?
D: Well, you could try gargling with salt water. Because salt water is more concentrated than the fluids in your throat, it pulls those fluids right out of the swollen area and reduces the swelling. And less swelling means less pain.
D: Well, look at that. We're out of time!
Y: (IN NORMAL VOICE) Good. All that whispering was making my throat sore.
D: Yael! Don't tell me you were faking!
Y: Me? Never.