The Central Plains have a reputation for brutal winter weather; as if all that cold and snow weren’t bad enough, it’s also the season for sore throats. If you’re battling a scratchy, sore throat in Omaha, we’ve got some tips to help speed up your recovery.
Sore Throat Symptoms
We’re all familiar with the telltale signs of a sore throat, an itchy, scratchy sensation that is often the first sign of a cold or upper respiratory infection. In addition to throat pain, symptoms include hoarseness, scratchiness, dryness, swallowing difficulty, swollen neck or jaw glands and tonsil inflammation. Sore throats usually clear up on their own within a few days, but the following steps will help speed up the recovery process and relieve your discomfort sooner rather than later.
- Get plenty of rest. A good night’s sleep goes a long way toward making you feel better; this is true of any illness. Sleep helps your body build up strength to fight off infection. Bed rest is key, but it’s equally important to rest your voice. Avoid using your vocal cords as much as possible in order to prevent strain and prolonged discomfort.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of liquids (cold beverages are recommended) in order to keep your throat moist. You can also try sucking on hard candy, ice cubes, throat lozenges and cough drops to help soothe pain and discomfort.
- Gargle with warm saltwater. A saltwater gargle is an effective way to soothe a sore throat and hasten your recovery. Simply dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and gargle with the solution several times a day in order to reduce inflammation.
- Take over-the-counter pain medications. Unless your sore throat is the result of a bacterial infection, antibiotics won’t be of any help. Instead, try over-the-counter pain relievers. Ibuprofen and paracetamol offer the best results.
- Avoid environmental irritants. Tobacco smoke and other environmental pollutants irritate the windpipe, causing you to cough, which leads to additional inflammation and slows down the healing process. Put away the cigarettes when you’re sick and avoid other triggers such as dry air and extreme temperature changes.
- Give your immune system a boost. Choosing a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to keep your immune system strong. Be sure to get plenty of Vitamins C and D, which are particularly helpful.
- Visit your Omaha ENT professional. At the first sign of a sore throat, a checkup by an ear, nose and throat doctor in Omaha will help ensure you aren’t suffering from a more serious disease like strep throat or tonsillitis. Any sore throat that persists longer than a week should be evaluated by a medical professional, as well.
For more tips on staying healthy this winter, speak to an ENT doctor in Omaha.