Sore Throat Prevention

Diligent hand washing is the safest way to prevent getting a sore throat. Regularly wash your hands and make it a point to let your kids wash their hands after playing and before eating meals.  The best way to clean your hands is to scrub them thoroughly for about 10 to 20 seconds using water and soap. The fingernails need to be thoroughly cleaned as well as the wrists and the area between the fingers. After properly washing, dry them with a clean towel. If no soap and water is available, you can use rubbing alcohol or a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Some other tips that can help you prevent getting a sore throat include:

  • Never share any eating utensils (and drinking utensils) with a person who has an upper respiratory condition (sinusitis, nasal blockage, coughing, etc.) or sore throat.
  • Never touch your nose, mouth or eyes after being in direct contact with a person suffering from any upper respiratory infection including the common cold.
  • To avoid contaminating others, cover the mouth and nose while you cough or sneeze. Use a handkerchief or a piece of tissue paper to cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing. You can also tissue paper or a handkerchief to cover your nose and mouth to shield yourself from irritants while outside your home.
  • If you are suffering from strep throat, it’s best to stay at home to prevent infecting others with your illness.  Avoid going to work, day care or school if you have this condition and use antibiotic medications if you’ve had the strep throat for a minimum of 24 hours.
  • Stay away from smoke-filled areas to avoid being exposed to second hand smoke
  • Stop smoking to make your immune system healthier and stronger
  • Make it a habit to breathe through your nose to filter out viruses and bacteria that may potentially enter your body if you breathe through your mouth. Some people say swallowing regularly is a good way to clean the throat using the saliva.
  • Do not use deodorants and air fresheners to prevent irritating and eventually infecting the throat.
  • Exercise daily and eat the right foods – Exercise and a healthy diet can boost your immune system making you more resilient to ailments and infections.

Dr. Vickery is a licensed acupuncturist in Tarzana, CA., and the founder and clinical director of Vickery Health and Wellness.

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