What is a Sore Throat?
A sore throat may be a symptom of illness such as a cold or flu. Sore throat on its own is usually caused by a virus, but can be caused by bacteria. The most common cause of a bacterial sore throat is Streptococcus A.
At Hickey’s Pharmacy, we offer a Rapid Sore Throat Service to determine if your sore throat is caused by Strep A, which will need to be referred to a doctor for treatment with antibiotics. Infections caused by Strep A are most common in children aged 5-15, but can affect children and adults of other ages. Sore throat infections are spread through droplets when coughing or sneezing, by sharing drinks or utensils, or by close contact with an infected person.
Many sore throats can be relieved with treatments available over the counter including:
- Difflam Spray and Difflam Oral Rinse - anti-inflammatory, painkiller and anaesthetic to provide effective relief from a sore throat
- Strepsils range - helps to numb sore throats to ease pain on swallowing, and also have antiseptic action
Nurofen Express - fast acting anti-inflammatory painkiller for adults and children from 12 years
- Glycerine Honey and Lemon - syrup to help soothe and relieve the discomfort of a sore throat
Sore Throat Symptoms
Sore throats caused by viruses or bacteria may have the following symptoms:
- Difficulty and pain or discomfort when swallowing or talking
- Swollen lymph glands (nodes) in the neck or jaw
- High temperature
- Swollen and red tonsils, sometimes with white patches or pus present
These symptoms may last from 3 to 7 days; however, this depends on what is causing your sore throat. Our rapid sore throat test will be able to help determine what the cause is.
Practical Advice regarding Sore Throats
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and to keep mucous thin and easy to clear
- Wash hands with warm soapy water and use alcohol hand sanitizer when you are on the go to help prevent spread of the infection
- Take Zinc and Vitamin C supplements to boost the immune system and help fight infection
- Avoid smoking, as this will further irritate a sore throat
- Rest your voice, as talking may lead to a temporary loss of your voice
- Talk to your GP or pharmacist if you are concerned about your own or someone else’s symptoms
In addition to prescription services, our pharmacist team offer a range of healthcare services.
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