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Ways to Treat and Prevent Sore Throat
For the younger set a sore throat often means a day off from school, a television tuned to the Cartoon Network, and an extra bowl of ice cream. It almost makes the suffering seem worthwhile. Grown-ups, of course, don't have the time for such pampering. We go about our daily business, thinking we can tough out the rawness, burning, and scratchiness that make it painful to talk, much less swallow food. But by day's end, the sore throat has left us virtually speechless. We do tend to think that sore throat is kid stuff. But the fact is that every year about 40 million adults come down with one. Usually it is a symptom of a viral or bacterial infection. But, it can also be instigated by irritants such as stomach acid, tobacco smoke, smog, dry heat, dust, pollen, and other allergens. Overuse is also a factor. Here are some tips that you can consider to adopt to relieve your soreness.
1. Address Any Allergies
Common allergies can cause postnasal drip, which irritates the throat. A throat that is itchy, not just painful, points to an allergic condition. If you have an allergy, an over-the-counter antihistamine may help relieve your symptoms. Antihistamine can have a drying effect, so be sure to increase your fluid intake while you are on the medication. They can also make you drowsy.
2. Line Up A Lozenge
Not all throat lozenges are created equal. The best ones contain glycerine. It keeps the throat tissue well-hydrated. You may find these lozenges at health food stores or specialty drugstores. It is also recommended avoiding lozenges that contain either mint or menthol. Both ingredients tend to be drying and are bad for the larynx.
3. Treat Your Beak
A stuffed-up nose can force you to breathe through your mouth, which irritates your throat. So taking an over-the-counter decongestant may help ease your sore throat as well.
4. Get Steamed
You can also keep your throat tissue moist with the help of steam. It is recommended that you run hot water in your kitchen or bathroom sink, then drape a towel over your head to trap the steam and inhale. Or you could just turn up the hot water in the shower to create a steam bath.
5. Have Some Tea, Honey
Tea with honey is a traditional sore throat remedy. You can boost its therapeutic benefits with this spicy twist. Stir into your tea 1 tablespoon of honey and the juice of half a lemon, then add ground red pepper to taste. The pepper probably has a mild anesthetic effect. It also stimulates the immune system.
6. Turn Down The Volume
If you must talk, then refrain from using your voice in an unnatural way. Do not try to talk over the loud noises. And do not try to project your voice at a pitch that is out of your range.
7. Think Twice About Gargling
Gargling can actually aggravate and prolong a sore throat. Doing it once or twice with salt water might make you feel better by increasing blood flow to the throat area. But doing it regularly, especially mouthwash, can be very irritating. If you opt for an occasional saltwater rinse, then it is recommended to have a solution of ¼ teaspoon of salt in ½ cup of water. Just be sure to only rinse with, not swallow, the salt water.
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