Drink Extra Fluids and Increase Humidity to Soothe Strep Throat

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Drink Extra Fluids and Increase Humidity to Soothe Strep Throat

Topic Overview

If you have strep throat, extra fluids for the body and increased moisture in the air (humidity) will keep the throat moist and help keep mucus thin.

To increase moisture in the body:

  • Prevent dehydration. Fluids may help thin secretions and soothe an irritated throat. Hot fluids, such as tea or soup, may help reduce throat irritation.
  • Gargle with warm salt water to help reduce swelling and relieve discomfort.
    • Gargle at least once each hour with 5 g (1 tsp) in 240 mL (8 fl oz) of warm water.
    • If you have post-nasal drip, gargle often to prevent more throat irritation.
  • Use saline nasal sprays and nose drops to moisten the inside of your nose.
  • Use non-prescription throat lozenges.
    • Some non-prescription throat lozenges, such as Sucrets Extra Strength or Bradosol Extra Strength Lozenges, are safe and effective and have medicine (local anesthetic) that numbs the throat to soothe pain.
    • Regular cough drops or hard candies may also help.

To increase moisture in the air:

  • Use a vaporizer or humidifier in your bedroom.
    • Warm or cool mist may help you feel more comfortable by soothing the swollen air passages. It may also relieve hoarseness. But don't let your room become uncomfortably cold or very damp.
    • If you don't have a humidifier, use a shallow pan of water to provide moisture in the air through evaporation. Place the pan in a safe location where no one will trip on it or fall into it.
  • Take frequent, steamy showers.
  • Drape a towel over your head and breathe the steam from a pan or sink of hot water. Be careful to avoid burns from the hot water or steam.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Donald R. Mintz, MD - Otolaryngology
Last Revised September 3, 2010

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.