Most Common Throat Infections and How to Prevent Them

You have a sore throat. Eating and drinking causes great irritation and even pain. You may also have a cough. These are all signs of a throat infection.

Take a closer look at the most common ones and get practical advice on how to avoid them.

Throat Infections

1. The Common Cold

There are numerous viruses which cause the common cold with some of the most widespread ones being rhinovirus and coronavirus.

They bring down the immune system and make it easy for bacteria to flourish in your throat and nose. While this condition is not considered dangerous or life-threatening, it can distort your daily life greatly.

The best way to prevent it is to keep your hands and your face and especially the eyes, nose and mouth clean. Wash your hands frequently and use wet wipes when this isn’t an option. If you have small children, clean their toys as well as all other items which they use frequently.

2. The Flu

This is also a type of viral infection affecting the upper and often the lower respiratory tract. The symptoms are similar to those of the common cold, but much more severe.

Even if you don’t have low immunity, the flu can still make you very ill and new strains of viruses appear practically every year.

How about prevention? You can get a vaccine shot. This option is not 100 percent effective, but it is the most dependable one. It is recommended especially for people who have chronic respiratory conditions and heart disease.

Washing your hands and face frequently and using sanitizer will also help. Remember to eat a balanced diet full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals and to get a good night’s sleep.

3. Mononucleosis

This infection is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) which is transmitted through the saliva. That is why the condition is often referred to as “the kissing disease”.

In addition to sore throat, you can have swollen neck glands and mild fever.

Avoid sharing forks, spoons, glasses and especially a toothbrush with other people to prevent mononucleosis.

This is particularly important if you know that the other person has EBV. Don’t kiss an infected person.

4. Strep Throat

This is a very common infection of the throat causes by bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes. It is a serious condition treated with oral antibiotics. It is highly contagious too.

If someone having strep throat coughs or sneezes, the bacteria can spread very easily and quickly.

The methods for prevention are the same as with the other throat infections described here. Stay away from people with strep throat and avoid sharing a toothbrush and utensils.

Wash your hands regularly and especially before meals. Stick to a healthy lifestyle.

5. Mumps

This is a viral infection which causes swelling of the glands between the jaw and the ear. The throat may feel quite painful, especially during swallowing.

The most effective way to prevent the condition is to get a vaccine. Otherwise, you will not lower the risk even if you are generally healthy and strong.

Generally, you also shouldn’t stay close to or share utensils with someone who has the condition.