5 Reasons Why Throat Infections Stay Longer And How To Manage Them
Common cold is like an annual visitor, and sometimes it can come calling as frequently as the seasons. For most common cold symptoms, hot fluids and adequate rest do the trick and can often save a trip to the doctor.
But sometimes throat infections can stay a tad longer and affect the quality of life. Here are some reasons why a sore throat can linger longer than desired and may need attention.
1. Bacterial infections: Caused by the streptococcus bacteria, a ‘strep throat’ condition may require a round of antibiotics to heal. This condition is characterised by inflamed tonsils and can cause extreme irritation and excessive coughing. Some natural remedies that can give relief are gargling with salt water and sipping on fluids. A honey ginger laced tea also brings a lot of relief.
2. Acid reflux: Do you suffer from massive bouts of cough without any symptoms of a cold or a sore throat? After dinner, do you have difficulty in sleeping and often wake up coughing? Do you find it better to sleep in an inclined position or in an easy chair? If you answered yes to the above, chances are you are suffering from acid reflux. A condition characterised by acid regurgitating back through the oesophagus to the throat causes a cough to stay for days or even weeks. Eating light and frequent meals and acidity countering food will help ease the situation.
3. Allergies: sometimes the environmental factors are a big cause of continuous coughing. If you are exposed to too much air pollution or come in contact with chemicals and gases, chances are that environment would be a big culprit. Also, sometimes the area where we live is either too dry or too humid, both of which are not conducive for healing from a sore throat. Added to this is the pollen in the air. Cities like Bangalore are high on cases of environment-led respiratory ailments. In such situations, one can try to avoid the allergens as much as possible to gain relief. So, wearing masks, using humidifiers, staying hydrated and avoiding exposure to known allergens can ease the situation a lot apart from taking anti-allergy medication.
4. Sinus and other complications: Often continued throats infection is a result of other complications such as nasal blockage or sinus mucosal drainage. If the nasal airways are blocked, one tends to mouth-breathe which result in dust and other particles entering the mouth passage. Mouth breathing also makes the throat exceptionally dry. Second, in the case of sinus-linked blockage of the facial cavities, the mucous often drains to the throat causing a lot of irritation, infection, and cough. Apart from medication, one can find relief in inhaling hot steam to clear the nasal passage or by using nasal drops to assist with natural breathing. Doing pranayama as part of Yoga can also help with long-term management of the situation.
5. Stress: Like with all conditions, critical or non-serious, stress management seems to be a big factor that enables healing. In the case of throat infections and cold, too, a good rest is what the doctor prescribed. So, go ahead, take that day off and rest the cold. Lack of sleep, fatigue and work-life stress can manifest in prolonged infections.
Things to do to avoid throat infections and to manage them
1. First and foremost, observing personal hygiene will reduce the chances of getting any kind of infection. So, washing hands before and after food and closing your mouth and nose while sneezing and coughing (yes, what we learnt in kindergarten) do go a long way in protecting oneself and others from getting infections.
2. Staying hydrated is the key to keeping dryness in the throat at bay. Keep sipping on warm fluids particularly during a change in seasons. Avoid drinking cold liquids if you are susceptible to a sore throat. Go ahead and tank up on hot soups and ginger tea to fight that sore throat.
3. Eat soft and mashed foods that are easy to swallow. Thick vegetable soups, broths, rice-lentil khichdi or gruel, are some perfect foods to soothe the irritated throat. Do avoid spicy and fried food as they tend to aggravate the throat condition.
4. Salt water gargling and steam inhalation are the twin natural remedies that guarantee relief. Keep doing these every few hours for maximum relief.
5. Boost your immune system by consuming a lot of green leafy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. And, avoid or go easy on sugary and processed foods. A wholesome diet will enable you to fight any kind of common infection naturally.
6. Last, but not least, try to practice breathing exercises prescribed under Yoga. The Pranayama, or the alternate nostril breathing, and the nasal cleanse, or Jal Neti, (to be performed under the guidance of an expert) can go a long way in managing respiratory disorders in the most natural way.
- Tags: Health