FROM DR. DAN HUSSAR
Let’s face it, with the holidays comes Cold and Flu season. Dr. Daniel Hussar, pharmacist and editorial director of Pharmacy Times, has put together a list of tips and information for the cold and flu season to help combat the dry, itchy throat and more.
- Suck On Lozenges & Spray Away The Pain — If your sore throat is caused by a viral infection, antibiotics won’t help it. But nonprescription products such as Chloraseptic® Lozenges and Sprays may be beneficial. Phenol in the Chloraseptic® Sprays and Benzocaine in the Chloraseptic ® Lozenges will numb the pain and discomfort. Allow lozenges to dissolve slowly in the mouth.
- Gargle With Saltwater — If your throat hurts when you swallow, gargle with a saltwater solution. Mix 1 teaspoonful of table salt in a full glass of warm water. You can repeat the saltwater gargle in an hour.
- Increase Fluid Intake — Increasing the amount of liquids, such as tea and other fluids will help to hydrate your throat and body.
- Ask Your Pharmacist/Seek Medical Attention — Discuss your symptoms with your pharmacist and ask for his/her recommendations. If your sore throat is severe, accompanied by a fever, or lasts for more than several days, contact your physician’s office.
- Open Clogged Nasal Passages — Part of the reason you may end up breathing through your mouth is a stuffy nose. Using an over-the-counter nasal decongestant will help open your nasal passages. Be sure to follow dosing/usage instructions carefully to prevent further nasal problems.
- Pain Relievers — If your sore throat pain persists, a nonprescription pain reliever such as Acetaminophen will reduce or eliminate discomfort.
- Humidify The Room — If you awaken to a sore throat, it may have been caused by sleeping with your mouth open. Ordinarily, your nose moistens air headed for your throat and lungs. Breathing through your mouth bypasses that step, which leaves your throat parched and irritated. Keeping a bedside humidifier in your room can decrease the chances of waking up with a sore throat.
- Get A Head of Steam — In addition to using a humidifier in your bedroom, it is helpful to inhale steam. This can be done with a hot shower, but be careful not to burn yourself, or by running hot water in your sink and draping a towel over your head while leaning into the steamy basin. Inhale deeply through the nose & mouth for 5-10 minutes and repeat several times a day.
- Rise to the Occasion — Another cause of sore throats in the morning, which is often forgotten about, is caused by the backup of stomach acid into the throat during the night. The acid can be irritating to the tissues in the throat. You can fix this problem by increasing the tilt of your bed frame so the head is 4-6 inches higher than the foot of your bed. Another deterrent would be to avoid eating or drinking for an hour or two before sleeping.
- Toss Your Toothbrush — If you are currently or have recently been sick, or have had the same toothbrush for a while, replace your toothbrush. Bacteria and other germs collect on the bristles and can invade your body through your gums while brushing. Another good preventive measure is to keep your toothbrush stored elsewhere outside the bacteria-prone bathroom.
Julee is a quirky, dorky, Utah native with an appetite to taste the world, meets its desserts and blog about them. When she’s not behind the computer you can find her playing with her family, reading a good book and celebrating the little things.
Disclosure of Material Connection:The tips mentioned above were provided for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”.Julee Morrison