Due to fluctuations in weather especially in the night and early mornings, most people are experiencing seasonal flu. Many complain about a sore throat. This is more commonly seen amongst school going children and infants.
Here are few dos and don’ts to treat a sore throat and prevent other respiratory infections.
Avoid morning walks: If you start your day with morning walks, then it is better to avoid going in for a walk early in the morning. This is because of the dust and dew in the morning air, especially around 5 am, which increases the risk of cold and seasonal flu including a sore throat. Instead, one can go a bit late at around for a walk ie; post 6:30 or 7 am in the morning.
Do not take antibiotics: Most often than not, we tend to pop an antibiotic for every infection without even knowing the cause of it. However, this is not a good idea, especially if you have a sore throat as it is mostly caused by a virus. Also, there is no need for antibiotics unless the temperature is high or if a person experiences breathlessness and high-grade fever. In this regard, it is best to visit your doctor for guided treatment. Do not self-medicate.
Ditch the junk food: One must avoid junk food, fried food, and cold drinks as these not only lower your immunity and make you susceptible to infections but also lead to indigestion. Also, drinking cold drinks in winter can further worsen your sore throat. Stay away from oily food if you have throat pain and stick to eating hot, home-cooked food.
If you feel that itchy, scratchy feeling in your throat, it’s most likely it is the onset of a sore throat. While it might seem minor, it is best to stop its progression to a cough. But a sore throat on its own can be quite irritating and affect your daily life. So, to help you tide over the symptoms of a sore throat, here are a few tips to relieve the discomfort and stop its progression to a cough.
Gargle with salt and warm water
Boil water and mix in a little rock salt into it. Cool down to a temperature that feels comfortably warm to your throat and gargle with this water. Almost immediately, you will find relief from the scratchy sensation in the throat. Sometimes, if there is a little phlegm lodged within the throat cavity, you’ll find that it becomes easier to bring it up and spit out after a salt water gargle. If you feel a slight pain in the throat along with the itchy sensation, gargling with a dispersible aspirin tablet dissolved in water may also help. Aspirin has anti-inflammatory action and this will reduce the swelling in the throat that is responsible for the pain to give you relief.
Stay sufficiently hydrated
When the mucous membranes in your throat dry out, they tend to cause irritation which may later turn into a cough. So make sure you drink enough fluids to keep the membranes sufficiently moist.
In some people, a cold can result in excessive secretions from the nose trickling down the throat – a condition called as a postnasal drip. If these secretions are thick, they tend to lodge within the tissues in the back of the throat and can lead to a cough.
Fluids help reduce the viscosity of these secretions, making it easier for them to drain down the throat into the alimentary canal and out of the body.
Drink warm liquids
Heat is great to dislodge the mucus collected in your nose and throat and reduces the inflammation that is responsible for a sore throat.
So any warm liquid will work to help keep a cough away.
Things like hot water, rasam, hot soup, tea or your grandmother’s kashaaya – all work on the same principle.
Soup, tea, and kashaaya are better than plain water because their action is fortified by the healing herbs used in the preparation.
Ginger, pepper, honey, garlic, tulsi, and turmeric are known to have antibacterial and expectorant properties that help prevent a sore throat from progressing to a cough.
Stay away from irritants
When exposed to irritants, a person who has just a mild sore throat will quickly develop a cough.
To avoid this, stay away from irritants such as cigarette smoke and avoid exposure to polluted air.
Cut down on the use of bathroom sprays, air fresheners or perfumes that can irritate the sinus membranes and lead to increased mucus production that in turn causes a cough.