Monday, 25 July 2016

Taking Care of Throat Infections

Every year, between the months of June and August, the Saudi Arabian countryside is witness to massive dust storms driven by northern winds. During this period there are at least five serious sandstorms on average and the worst ones can last up to 24 hours. This puts large segments of the population at risk and previous years’ sandstorms have seen up to 400 people being admitted into hospitals with respiratory diseases following a sandstorm. 

Living in such a difficult situation requires careful attention to one’s own health and the health of those around you. Look out for the following throat infection symptoms and avoid falling prey to respiratory problems.

What to Watch Out For

The first sign of a common cold is a sore throat. This usually accompanied with a blocked or running nose. However, a sore throat that is being caused by the common cold rarely lasts over two or three days at the onset of the cold. By the end of two days, you can usually tell if your throat is caused by a cold or something more serious.

If you have a sore throat, chances are that it is either a bacteria or a virus that is causing it. If your infection is viral in origin, you will exhibit other symptoms that are common to influenza or flu-type ailments. These are red eyes, running nose, sneezing and a persistent cough. Along with these cold or flu-type symptoms, you may also experience body ache and a mild fever.

When your sore throat has been caused by the streptococcal bacteria, you will experience inflammation of the mucous membrane in your throat. Strep throat is most common in school-going children and teenagers. Further down the throat, an inflammation of the tonsils (tonsillitis), adenoids (adenoiditis) or epiglottis (epiglottitis) can also occur. At other times, it might just be your voice box that is infected (laryngitis).

Other minor causes for throat infection symptoms include irritation from dryness in the surrounding air (low humidity), air pollution or allergies. Gastric reflux when the stomach acid climbs up the throat can leave you with a sore throat and is usually accompanied by symptoms of heartburn.

Throat sprays and cough lozenges can really help in soothing your throat. You can try a honey and lemon flavor, which tastes really nice while doing its job of relieving pain, fighting infection and soothing your throat.