Health tips for sore throats

(Inside Aotea, August 2010)

Keeping the sore throat bugs away

Viruses are responsible for 70-80 per cent of sore throats, so the best way to side-step a sore throat is to avoid catching a virus.

One way to do this is to practice social distancing. If someone around you is coughing, simply move out of the way. If it’s you with the cough, then use cough etiquette and cough into your elbow, not your hand, to restrict the spread of germs.

Keep your hands clean by washing them frequently, and keep them away from your mouth. If you’re one of those people who lick their fingers to turn the page of a book — don’t do it!

For your best defence against viral infections, get a flu shot.

Nipping sore throats in the bud

If you’re unlucky enough to succumb to a sore throat, there are some things you can do to ensure a speedy recovery.

Make sure you are using a suitable method of pain relief, as advised by your pharmacist or doctor. Often soothing remedies such as honey and lemon can provide symptomatic relief while your body fights the infection.

Keep your throat well irrigated by drinking lots of fluids — preferably water. Don’t gargle with anything that will irritate the throat, such as alcohol. It’s important not to damage the normal cells in the throat

Healthy eating is always important. Ensure you have a balanced diet and receive the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.