Sore Throat: Consultant Reveals the Four Tips That Will Work


It’s a guide that will come in handy this winter, as the UK braces for an ‘inevitable’ surge in sore throats in the coming weeks. The common ailment, which leaves you with a raspy voice, is often the first sign of a cold or flu – and can leave you feeling awful.

And as the dreaded ‘Aussie flu’ is expected to wreak havoc here after already blighting Australia, it is expected that most of us will succumb to a sore throat before the clocks go forward to signal the start of summer.

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Now MailOnline has spoken to an expert to determine exactly what you can do to avoid falling victim to the brutal side effects of a cold. Alasdair Mace, an ear, nose, and throat consultant based at Charing Cross and St Mary’s Hospitals in London, revealed his best tips.

They range from steering clear of alcoholic festive drinks that can dehydrate you, such as hot toddys, to eating immune system-boosting oranges – full of vitamin C. Mr. Mace, an honorary senior lecturer at Imperial College London has predicted a sharp rise in sore throats over the next few weeks.

He told MailOnline: ‘As a sore throat is usually the first symptom of a cold or flu, and we are expecting the usual significant rise in flu in the early winter period, it’s inevitable that there will be a similar surge in sore throats, too.’

‘Ninety-five percent of sore throats are viral, and don’t respond to antibiotics, but the good news is that they will usually get better within a few days, or a week.’ he says. ‘You can often tell by looking at the back of your throat using a torch and a mirror. If it’s very red and swollen, it’s most likely a virus.

Any sign of yellow gunk or white spots indicates a bacterial infection. Those white spots are colonies of bacteria, just like the ones that are grown in petri dishes in laboratories. ‘A bacterial infection is usually more focused and more painful than a viral infection, although viral infections can still be uncomfortable. A virus will also affect the whole respiratory system and nasal passages, not just the throat.’

Mr. Mace added: ‘In both cases, it is important to stay hydrated as mucus and saliva helps protect the throat. ‘A humidifier will help counteract the drying effect of central heating, or simply drape a damp towel over a radiator, it will have the same effect. daily mail