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:

  • Drink at least one glass of fluid [8 fl oz (237 mL)] every hour (less for children, according to their size) when awake. Good choices include water with or without lemon juice; warm tea with honey; broth; and fruit juices (unless they irritate your throat).
  • Gargle once every 2 to 3 hours with warm salt water [1 tsp (5 g) in 8 fl oz (237 mL) of water].
  • Use saline nose drops to moisten the inside of your nose.
  • Suck on cough drops, hard candy, or frozen treats such as Popsicles to help relieve the sore throat.

To increase moisture in the air:

  • Humidify your home, especially the bedroom, using a vaporizer or humidifier. However, use care if a person in the home has asthma or allergies, because mold and other particles that collect in the humidifier can make these conditions worse. Clean the humidifier often.
  • 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

Author Monica Rhodes
Editor Kathleen M. Ariss, MS
Associate Editor Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Donald R. Mintz, MD - Otolaryngology
Last Updated August 8, 2008

Last Updated: August 8, 2008

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