Your parents mention they have been bothered by a lingering sore throat for several days, causing snowballing symptoms starting with lack of sleep and dehydration. You want to help, but getting them prescription medications might not be your first choice.
The recommended therapies in this post are respected among medical professionals to reduce the discomfort associated with sore throats in seniors. These precautions may also help prevent an accompanying cold, flu, or infection.
How to Treat Sore Throat Naturally for Senior Citizens
Gargle Warm Salt Water
Gargling warm salt water is the most straightforward, secure, and inexpensive home solution to treat sore throats.
Gargling with salt water has become a go-to remedy for some mild illnesses, including sore throat. In addition, this method has been employed as complementary therapy predating modern medicine.
Saltwater gargles block germs and lower the risk of infections in the throat. Salt helps draw water out of oral tissues. It also forms a salt barrier that prevents water and harmful bacteria from re-entering.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to 8 ounces of warm water for your senior to use. The warmth of the water is soothing and relieving. Moreover, warm water allows the salt to dissolve into the water more readily.
Have your parents gargle the water in the back of their throats for ten seconds at a time, repeating a few times to coat the throat in salt and give the warm water time to warm the throat’s inner tissue. After gargling, rinse the mouth with salt water as well before spitting.
Try Warm Soup
Food choice can significantly impact your comfort level when suffering from a sore throat. Eating soft, readily digestible food is recommended when your throat is irritated.
Soup is a nutrient-dense meal that can benefit whatever illness may be behind the sore throat. Additionally, you can make soft, simple-to-digest foods for your parents, like smoothies, mashed potatoes, yogurt, or eggs.
Use Steam Method
Your parents can benefit from moist air, even without a humidifier, to cure sore throats. Inhaling the steam from a hot shower is a smart way to aid with swelling reduction and pain alleviation.
First, run a sink full of hot water to generate steam. Next, you may advise your parents to breathe in the steam by leaning into the sink and covering their heads with a towel. To soothe a sore throat, keep inhaling deeply for a few minutes, then repeat.
A sore throat may follow a dry throat. The dryness may indicate that our senior hasn’t consumed enough liquids. Their body produces less saliva due to dehydration, which dries the mouth and throat.
Reminding your loved ones to drink water and lubricate their throats is beneficial to ensure a speedy recovery. Try to get them to consume 64 ounces or more of water each day.
Due to its inherent antibacterial qualities, honey is one of the finest treatments for sore throat. Furthermore, it functions as a wound healer, providing rapid pain relief and attempting to lower inflammation.
Honey is known as a natural ingredient valued for its therapeutic properties, according to a 2018 review. Honey significantly impacts human health, thanks to its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise using honey to ease cough and sore throats simultaneously.
Suppose your elderly family members suffer from a sore throat and a persistent cough. In that case, you can combine two teaspoons of honey with warm water or tea, then give it to them.
Things Your Seniors Should Avoid When Having a Sore Throat
A comparative study in 2016 showed that smokers had higher rates of cough, throat dryness, taste disturbance, and other symptoms than non-smokers.
Smoking can impair the immune system of senior citizens, increasing their risk of throat infections that can aggravate their sore throat. In addition, when seniors smoke, they are more prone to certain illnesses, such as the flu, colds, strep throat, and others.
Eating Fatty, Acidic Foods, or Spicy Foods
Eating and drinking may be painful and challenging when a senior suffers from a sore throat. Moreover, consuming acidic, spicy, or overly fatty foods is more likely to make their throats more inflamed and easily irritated.
Senior citizens with sore throats should steer clear of fatty, spicy, or acidic foods as these can aggravate the issue. Additionally, they should avoid foods with a crunchy or dry texture because those foods all irritate their vulnerable throat.
A 2017 review indicates that regular alcohol consumption negatively impacts oral feelings like thirst and mouth dryness. Additionally, alcohol causes your seniors to urinate more frequently and causes their bodies to lose more water. Dehydration brought on by excessive alcohol use might also make them feel dizzy and nauseous.
Overall, avoiding alcohol altogether is the only surefire way to prevent sore throat symptoms.
Avoid Excessively Dry Air
Dry air can induce inflammation in your throat tissue, causing sore throat. The cooler the temperature and less humidity of the air is, the more pronounced the effect will be.
If the air where your loved ones reside is dehydrated, here are some tips you may consider to assist in safeguarding them:
- Use humidifiers to add moisture to dry air.
- Remind them to moisturize their skin after a shower.
- Help them seal the air leaks around windows or doors.
If you have questions about sore throats in seniors or anything discussed here, connect with us and learn more.
At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while leading fulfilling lives. 12 Oaks communities are an ideal place to enjoy the encore season of life.
For questions or to book a scheduled personalized tour, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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