It’s the season of colds and flu, with the kids back in school the germs are once again sweeping around our household – Harry has had a nasty cough & cold and now I am beginning to give Rudolph a run for his money with my bright red nose and I’m unable to leave the house without a pocket full of tissues.
With such weather changes recently isn’t no wonder we all feel a little under the weather, having to walk to school in the pouring rain and snow desperately trying to return. I have found I’ve the heating on a little too much currently to warm us up after walking home in the rain and warm baths as well as hot drinks are helping to warm us even more but no matter how quickly we warm ourselves it hasn’t stopped us from feeling a little run down.
To help combat winter bugs the best we can I ensure the children take a multi-vitamin every morning, each has near to their 5 a day as possible this does include a glass of fresh orange juice with breakfast and on cold days they don’t leave the house without a vest on.
Of course they will still get colds, coughs and sore throats but I try my hardest. When they are feeling under the weather with a cold I try not t turn to medicines if they aren’t too bad – they will run their course in due time so I just go down the route of making them feel as comfortable as possible – hot water bottles, warm clothes and blankets and most recently we have discovered Jakemans menthol sweets which are wonderful for soothing the symptoms of a sore throat and also help to keep airways clear.
Jakemans come in handy grab bags which you can keep in your handbag and also in stick packs containing 10 sweets which are perfect pocket size packs. Available in 6 flavours there is something to suit everyone: Honey & Lemon Menthol, Throat & Chest, Peppermint Menthol, Cherry Menthol, Menthol & Eucalyptus and Blackcurrant Menthol. I am particularly fond of the Cherry flavour while Emmy has stolen all of the Honey & Lemon and squirreled them away in her coat pockets.
Jakemans have been creating these delicious menthol confectionery for over 100 years using only the finest ingredients, with no added artificial colours or flavouring. They are also suitable for vegetarians too.
Here are a few things you may or may not know about sore throats as provided by Jakemans Health Care Professional, Marvin Munzu:
- Antibiotics relieve most sore throats (MYTH)
Majority of sore throats are caused by viruses and antibiotics are ineffective.
- Most sore throats are self-limiting and can be treated at home (FACT)
Most sore throats are viral and will normal heal themselves within 5 – 7 days without any prescribed medication.
- Dusting and cleaning your house can help relieve sore throats (FACT)
Certain sore throats are caused by allergies, for example dust, pollens or pets. Avoiding these triggers can improve a sore throat.
- Smoking irritates sore throats (FACT)
Most chemicals in cigarettes can cause or irritate sore throats by thickening mucus and irritating the airways.
- Ice creams are good for sore throats (MYTH)
Ice creams can soothe a sore throat by reducing inflammation, however, viruses and bacteria grow in a sugar environment and dairy products thicken mucous, hence ice creams can lead to more irritation and worsen a sore throat.
- Cold weather causes sore throats (MYTH)
Sore throats are caused by virus, although viruses thrive in cold weather, you have a higher chance of getting a sore throat inside a house with someone sneezing than outside in the cold.
- Alcohol eases sore throats (MYTH)
Although studies show that a moderate intake of alcohol particularly wine may boost the immune system, too much alcohol could lead to dehydration, which has the potential to worsen a sore throat. According to national Institutes of Health (NIH), immunity is reduced as a result of long term frequent alcohol consumption as well as short term, excessive drinking.
- Lozenges are the only medicine to treat sore throats (MYTH)
There are various forms of medications to treat sore throats including sprays and antiseptic solutions which can be bought in your local pharmacy. Sucking on
menthol sweets and lozenges help to soothe a sore throat, easing discomfort and pain symptoms
- Gargling salt water eases a sore throat (FACT)
Salts absorb water and help reduce inflammation, therefore reducing pain and discomfort. It also washes away excess mucus.
- Sore throats and tonsillitis are the same thing (MYTH)
The terms sore throat and tonsillitis are usually used interchangeably but they don’t mean the same thing. A sore throat, alongside other symptoms, such as a high temperature, difficulty swallowing, hoarse or no voice and coughing, are symptomatic of tonsillitis.
- Exercising worsens sore throats (FACT & MYTH)
Studies by the American College of sports medicine show that low to moderate exercises such as walking swimming, stretching, cycling, yoga may be beneficial for sore throats by boosting the immune system. However, high intensity exercise may suppress the immune system and therefore should be avoided during sore throats.
- Marshmallow improve sore throats (FACT)
Studies show that marshmallow root contains a substance called mucilage which forms a gel with water which coats the throat and reduces irritation. Marshmallows help soothe irritated mucous membranes.
- Kissing can spread a sore throat (FACT)
Viruses and bacteria are usually contained in saliva and can spread from one person to another through exchange of bodily fluids like kissing.
- School children are more likely to suffer sore throats than university students (FACT)
Children and teenagers are more likely to develop sore throats than university students because their immune systems against many viruses and bacteria are less developed compared to adults.
- You don’t need to see a doctor with a sore throat (FACT & MYTH)
Most sore throats are self-limiting and do not require a doctor. However, if your symptoms are more severe, do not heal within two to three weeks then consult your doctor.