Alcohol is one of those substances which are fine in moderation but damaging if taken to excess. Excessive alcohol consumption causes a range of problems which includes your throat.

A couple of drinks in a week are acceptable but large amounts coupled with smoking are one of the biggest risk factors for throat and mouth cancer.

A common situation is where someone has a few drinks in a bar with their friends and decides to smoke as well. But doing this will place them in the highest risk group for throat cancer.

The effect of alcohol on your throat

Consuming large amounts of alcohol causes the tissues within the throat to dry out which increases the risk of an infection. Alcohol also changes the way parts of the throat work, for example the epiglottis.

Copious amounts of alcohol also inflame the sensitive membranes within the throat.

Many people drink alcohol when they have a dry or sore throat in the belief that this will ease it but the opposite is true. What happens is that the alcohol dries the tissues out which further exacerbates their sore throat.

Alcohol has been linked to a range of diseases of the head, neck and throat.

Note: if you have a bacterial throat infection and are taking antibiotics for this then avoid alcohol. It is tempting to have a few drinks, hoping that this will relieve any symptoms and help you to sleep.

But it is dangerous to combine alcohol with any form of medication.

If you are suffering from a sore throat then choose a soft drink, water or a fruit smoothie instead.

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