Alcohol and the Throat


Alcohol can have a number of damaging impacts on the throat. Experts warn than alcohol is especially harmful for the throat for people who also smoke. They urge drinkers to be aware that alcohol can increase the risks of developing some cancers, including throat cancer.

Some people also use alcohol when they have a sore or dry throat, claiming it’s for medicinal purposes. They may drink alcohol to numb their throat, help them sleep or provide lubrication.

However, in fact, alcohol is likely to increase dryness in the throat, making it even more uncomfortable. Although alcohol can help people fall asleep, they are unlikely to wake feeling well rested because it disrupts sleep patterns. If you are battling something like a throat infection, you need good quality sleep to make a full and speedy recovery.

If your throat is infected a doctor may well prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection. In many cases you can’t drink alcohol when you’re taking antibiotics because it can make you ill and also prevent the drugs from fighting your infection.

To avoid alcohol-related throat problems, you should try to give up smoking if it is a habit you have. Those who smoke and drink are believed to be at the most risk of mouth and throat cancers. Try not to drink more alcohol than the maximum limits recommended by the Government.

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