While you may no longer be infectious and take antibiotics in order to combat your illness, the symptoms of strep throat have a tendency to last far longer than the cause.
Being cleared to head back to work or classes is important to ensure that the disease does not contract any further—but there are many steps you need to take in order to get back to functioning at 100%.
Just to be clear—while symptoms and pains go away over time, you have an obligation to yourself and to others to stop the spread of strep throat at you. Do not return to school or work until you have been professionally cleared to do so, or have taken antibiotics for at least 24 hours.
That being said, we’ve compiled five tips that will help you stop suffering and expedite the process of recovering from strep throat.
- Gargle salt water
Gargling salt water is the easiest way to bring temporary relief to throat pain associated with strep throat. Since it’s so simple to perform, you may want to consider bringing salt with you to the office in order to regularly gargle water.
To make your own saltwater, mix about a fourth of a teaspoon of regular table salt into eight ounces of water. Gargle for as long as you can, before spitting out the liquid.
The taste may not be great, but the feeling of relief you can expect afterwards will certainly be worth it.
- Limit your errands
Most of recovery involves going easy on yourself—and the easiest way to do so is to cut back on extraneous activities and errands if possible. While work, family, and similar obligations may not be avoidable, remedial tasks like a bank visit or pharmacy stop are.
Plus, limiting your interactions with others will keep your exposure to other diseases to a minimum until your immune system is as strong as possible.
Consider calling on a spouse or loved one in order to pick up dry cleaning or seek out prescription delivery to receive the antibiotics and medication you need—without ever needing to leave the comfort of your own home.
Whatever can wait until next week, should.
You will be better treated and dealt with when your back on your feet after you’re feeling better.
- Go easy on the food
Your strep throat may not be coming back anytime soon, but abrasive foods like chips or hot sauce shouldn’t be reintroduced until long after you’ve healed.
Keep to broths and soft-serve food for as long as possible, and avoid anything particularly hot or spicy to avoid inflaming your throat. Juices and sodas can be acidic and painful to consume, so keep to water and focus on staying hydrated.
Eating healthier foods and keeping to smarter recipes will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to recover, and even help soothe the constant burning sensation that strep throat can bring.
As a silver lining, you may be able to take this time to finally switch to healthier eating habits or a new and improved exercise regimen.
- Get some sleep
If at all possible, keep a low profile and sleep as much as you can while you’re in recovery mode.
Sleeping and rest are a few of the rare occasions where your body can repair and recover from diseases, so choose to be a little lazy and help your body out with the recovery process.
Sleeping for at least seven hours is a requirement for the maintenance of a healthy body for all adults, but the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control has also shown that roughly 30% of all adults fall short of this metric.
Choosing to sleep in or take naps throughout the day is more than a lethargic lifestyle choice—by doing so, you’ll be helping your body fight the good fight against your strep throat.
And the best part? It’s practically effortless.
- Keep in moisture
Your body requires moisture in more ways than one to combat your strep throat.
Keeping moisture in the body means replacing the loss of water as often as possible and drinking the required amount of water per day (if not more) as long as the effects of strep throat remain.
Drinking water will also give temporary relief to strep throat pain—so it may be even easier than normal to keep up with your daily water requirement.
Second, keeping in moisture in your air passable will help you keep the inflamed areas from drying up from atmospheric changes.
Consider purchasing a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Remember that warm water is a breeding ground for bacteria and other diseases—so keep your humidifier filled with cool water and clean the reservoir often.
A saline spray is another viable solution to the moisture problem, and may be a cheaper alternative to a humidifier. Regardless, do whatever you can to keep moisture in while you recover
There is no singular method to recover from strep throat, but being smart, developing healthy habits, and keeping away from riskier activities will help you recover faster and get back to being you.