Ehem, ehem! 8 Ways to Keep Your Throat Healthy

Throat pain

The throat is more than just a passage between our mouth and stomach; it is an intricate structure comprised of blood vessels, tissues, glands, and nerves. Your throat also houses some of our organs, some of which may get infected if you don’t keep it healthy. This is why it’s important to take care of our throats. Aside from taking medicine for cough and cold to prevent further complications, here are a few things to note on how you can keep your throat healthy:

Keep Yourself Hydrated

One of the signs of a healthy person is a moist throat. Remember to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water every day. Because the Philippines is a hot, tropical country, you’ll need to increase your water intake during the intense summer months. If you work out or exert yourself in any way (like climbing the stairs, walking or biking to work, moving furnitures, etc.,) drink more water than you normally do.

Protect Yourself from the Cold

We’re not just talking about the cold weather outdoors here. You can also be exposed to the cold while you’re inside! Airconditioning units on full blast can put a toll on your throat, especially if you’re not used to it or if it’s running all day long. Wear clothing that will protect your neck from the cold such as scarves or turtlenecks. Also, try to avoid areas prone to extreme changes in temperature as these places can dry out your throat.

Do Not Share Utensils

Just because you’re family doesn’t mean you have to share everything— especially utensils! As much as possible, do not share your utensils, glasses, or cups with other people especially if a friend or a family member of yours is sick. Sharing your cutlery or glass with a sick person is one of the leading causes of throat infections.

Keep Your Toothbrush Clean

We use toothbrush every day to clean our mouths from bacteria, however, toothbrushes are susceptible to bacteria as well. Before you brush your teeth in the morning, mix hot water with a teaspoon of salt then soak your toothbrush in it. It will dehydrate and prevent bacteria. If you can, do not store your toothbrush in the bathroom, as bacteria from the toilet can latch onto it. If you have to, make sure you invest in a toothbrush holder or a toothbrush case to keep it clean.

Gargle Saline Solution

Keep your throat healthy from bacteria by gargling a saline solution every night. Just mix salt with warm water and gargle it before going to bed at night. Same with your toothbrush, the salt will prevent bacteria from growing by disinfecting your throat and mouth.

Vocal Warm Up and Rest

Whether you are a singer or not, do some vocal warm ups to condition and prevent any vocal cord injury. Rest your throat if you have been using it for extended periods of time, especially if you use your voice frequently like singers, public speakers, and teachers.

Do Not Smoke

Growing up, your parents may have told you that smoking is dangerous for our health. No, they weren’t just scaring you. It is a bad habit which can affect not just the smoker but the people surrounding him or her as well. Smoking can make your throat prone to infection and increases the risk for throat cancer and other lung diseases.

Good Personal Hygiene

It may be basic but it’s a sure way to prevent most illnesses transferable by either indirect or direct contact. Do practice good personal hygiene such as washing your hands before eating to avoid sickness.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts to stay healthy, we still find ourselves down with a sore throat. 

A sore throat can typically be spotted by the following symptoms

  • Pain or a scratchy sensation in the throat
  • Pain that worsens with swallowing or talking
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sore, swollen glands in your neck or jaw
  • Swollen, red tonsils
  • White patches or pus on your tonsils
  • A hoarse or muffled voice

A sore throat can also bring about or cause other symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting

Sore throat treatments

There are different ways to treat sore throat depending on what caused it. The most common cause of a sore throat (pharyngitis) is a viral infection, the same type which causes the common cold or influenza (flu). For this type of sore throat, you don’t really need any treatments as they typically go away on its own. If it bothers you, you can drink warm water with lemon and honey to soothe the itch.

Strep throat (streptococcal infection), another, less common type of sore throat, is caused by bacteria and requires antibiotics to prevent it from becoming any worse. There are other less common causes of sore throat with far more complex treatment options.

When to see a doctor

For children, it is recommended to go to the doctor if their sore throat do not go away with the first drink in the morning, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

Seek immediate care if your child displays any of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Unusual drooling, which might indicate an inability to swallow

For adults, see a doctor if you have a sore throat or any of the following related problems:

  • A sore throat that is severe or lasts longer than a week
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty opening your mouth
  • Joint pain
  • Earache
  • Rash
  • Fever higher than 38.3 C
  • Blood in your saliva or phlegm
  • Frequently recurring sore throats
  • A lump in your neck
  • Hoarseness lasting more than two weeks
  • Swelling in your neck or face

Being sick with a cough, cold, or sore throat is something that doesn’t just happen during the flu or cold season. Keeping your throat healthy can save you a trip to the doctor’s office and will also keep the rest of your body healthy as well.