Tips to Manage Frequent Throat Infections
Q: Sir, towards the end of 2010, I seemed to have a throat infection which was diagnosed as a viral infection and I took medicine. The pain went down, but I kept coughing and the doctor said it was secondary bacterial infection. Well, I met more than a couple of doctors, but the cough (dry) continued. Finally one doctor asked me to take Kaypen for 10 days and I was fine. However I had the same symptoms in the next 10-11 months and it would go only after taking Kaypen again. In 2012 end, it occurred again and by this time Kaypen was not available in the market. So an alternative, Pentids, was needed for me to get rid of this sickness.
Now, I had some similar symptoms, however it went down even (cefchamps for 5 days) without having to go for the penicillin. I still can feel some phlegm, no color, just looks like saliva, in my throat and on the sinus. But I don’t have any cough.
I am afraid, is the bacteria still inside me, dormant may be. This coming back to me every year, is worrying me. I am 40, male, very healthy, exercise regularly, BMI around 22-22.5. Would much appreciate your thoughts. Thank you.
You may be having the same infection again and again, or it may a different infection each time.
Throat infections are very common in all age groups. A variety of bugs are attributed to causing it. It may be a viral or a bacterial cause.
More commonly, viruses lead to throat infections. However, secondary bacterial infections are also not uncommon.
Factors Predisposing to Recurrent Throat Infections
- Even though looking physically healthy, individuals with weak immune system have greater or more flared up infections. Are you taking enough anti oxidants in your diet on a daily basis?
- Smoking and alcohol make the throat prone to infections.
- Very spicy food on a daily basis can irritate the throat making it prone to infections.
- Throat abuse as in shouting, talking a lot or mouth breathing.
- Inhaling dry air
Throat Swab Followed by Culture for Treatment
Our throat has many different bacteria in it, which live there without making us ill. This is called the normal flora of our throat. These bacteria actually fight away the harmful ones from the throat, thus protecting us.
Any disturbance in this flora is also a cause of severe throat infection.
This may occur due to:
- Very spicy food
- Taking antibiotics very frequently
When we take an antibiotic, all the bacteria of the region, including the good ones, are killed by it.
So, next time you get an infection, it is suggested you go for a Throat Swab first. Viral infections do not require antibiotics. Only if it is an bacterial infection, take the relevant antibiotic suggested on throat culture.
Avoid all unnecessary medications.
How to Avoid Throat Infections?
- Wash your hands frequently for at least 15 seconds with any antibacterial soap. Do this after hand shakes, visits to rest rooms and other public utilities.
- Avoid sharing drinks or utensils with others.
- Kids between the age groups of 5 and 15 years are the commonest carriers of throat infections. Avoid large groups of children. If you cannot avoid them, consider wearing mask on your nose and mouth in times of throat infection outbreaks.
- Avoid crowds and close gatherings.
- Avoid smoking, alcohol and too much of spices.
- Enhance your immune system. This can be done by taking anti oxidants. These immune boosters are plenty in fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables. It is suggested you consume at least 6 bowls of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.
- Drink plenty of water and bland warm fluids like soups.
- Make a habit of gargling your throat with lukewarm salt water before bedtime every day.
- Dry air is bad for throat. Consider using a humidifier, available at pharmacies, to mistify the air you breath at bed time.