A Healthy And Balanced Diet Helps Prevent Throat Infections

The most common pathologies include infections of viral origin, such as laryngitis or pharyngitis

February 21, 2020. 10:00 am

The most common throat diseases include viral infections, such as laryngitis or pharyngitis. These pictures are usually framed in the term common cold, which also covers viral rhinosinusitis. In addition, bacterial infections such as pharyngotonsillitis are common. Pedro Cabrera, specialist of the Spanish Society of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery (SEORL-CCC), explains that there is a series of care that contribute to reduce the risk factors that cause or aggravate some of the most common throat pathologies .

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One of the main measures of prevention of throat infections is the follow-up of a healthy and balanced diet. The supply of nutrients rich in vitamins and minerals helps the immune system to be strengthened against the attack of viruses and bacteria that cause throat infections.

In this sense, several studies have pointed out that the consumption of vitamin E above the recommended levels can improve the function of the T cells of the immune system. Likewise, vitamin A is essential for the maintenance of the integrity and function of the epithelium and the regulation of epithelial cells of the respiratory tract.

Another fundamental preventive measure is based on avoiding toxic habits, such as smoking and consuming alcoholic beverages. Tobacco is an irritating agent of the pharynx and larynx and, therefore, weakens their mucous membranes and leaves them more unprotected against the action of infectious agents.

Similarly, alcohol acts as an irritant of the throat mucous membranes and makes them more vulnerable to attack by viruses and bacteria.

Specialists in Otolaryngology recommend, among other measures, avoid self-medication and go to a healthcare professional to assess the need to start a treatment based on the origin of the infection.

Other advice of the SEORL-CCC are:

Hydration: keeping the throat well hydrated facilitates the elimination of germs, as well as serving as mucosal protection. Hygiene: to prevent contagion it is advisable to cover your mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing, wash your hands frequently and do not share certain objects, such as glasses or cutlery. Rest: when the throat and vocal cords are at rest and the voice is not forced, they are protected against infectious processes. Avoid stress: fatigue or mental exhaustion can weaken the throat and make it vulnerable to infections.

The Spanish Society of Otolaryngology indicates that, after the usual period of an infectious process, which is about two weeks, it is necessary to consult with a specialist if symptoms such as pain, difficulty breathing, swallowing or speaking, or if there is a growth of the lymph nodes in the neck. Likewise, another sign to refer a patient to the specialist is the existence of a dysphonia that lasts more than two weeks so that he can determine the origin of the problem through different examinations of the larynx, beyond the infectious conditions mentioned.

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