Winter is fast approaching, which means that all of the common cold symptoms likely aren't far behind. Don't spend this winter suffering from a sore throat. Here are five ways to prevent a sore throat, courtesy of your ENT at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Oxnard.

1. Wash Regularly

The best way to prevent a sore throat is to keep germs away from you. Wash your hands regularly, especially after visiting public places. Clean and sanitize the surfaces in your home, especially the ones that are touched frequently or cleaned irregularly, including door knobs, the fridge door, your cell phone and the computer keyboard.

2. Avoid Touching Your Face

Unfortunately, no matter how often you wash and clean, you will never be able to rid your surroundings of all of the germs. Your best defense, therefore, is simply to keep them out of your body. Do so by avoiding touching your eyes, mouth, nose and ears, where germs can get in. Also, if you have any cuts or wounds, be sure to cover them.

3. Use a Humidifier

In addition to germs, another common factor in a sore throat is dry air. Prevent the air in your home from becoming too dry by running a humidifier. If you don't own a humidifier, standing in a warm shower can help as well.

4. Gargle Salt Water

If, despite following the steps above, you still feel a sore throat coming on, stop it in its tracks by gargling salt water. Salt water flushes the excess mucous and germs out of your throat so it isn't so irritated. Use one teaspoon salt mixed in eight ounces of water. Be sure to drink plenty of water without salt as well.

5. Drink Tea with Honey

If you aren't a big fan of water, drinking tea with honey is another way to keep your throat well soft and hydrated. Plus, honey acts as a natural cough suppressant, helping your throat feel better at the first sign of scratchiness.

No one wants to spend the winter suffering from a sore throat. Prevent your throat from falling victim by following these five tips from your trusted ENT at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Oxnard, starting today.

Have you already tried all of the above tips without success? If your sore throat has persisted for more than a week, it seems severe or you have any questions, don't hesitate to call your trusted ENT at West Coast Ear, Nose and Throat in Oxnard to set up an appointment for further help. We're here to help you feel your best.