Sore throats are a common health problem for people across Britain. Usually they tend to be nothing to worry about and gradually get better by themselves within a couple of days.
This how to treat a sore throat guide has been created to aid the British general public with an easy to follow manual. Learn about the causes and symptoms of sore throats and how your GP may be able to help, should you require their assistance.
Here are some good tricks and tips on how to ease and relieve a sore throat:
• Avoid smoking or smoky environments
• Gargle warm salty water (adults only)
• Eat soft food
• Suck on ice cubes, ice lollies (adults only)
• Get plenty of rest
Symptoms of a Sore Throat
We all know what the British weather is like; every year there always seems to be a bad case of the flu ‘going around’ or other cold weather related viruses.
Viruses such as the common cold and flu usually cause sore throats, however they can also be caused by smoking and nicotine too. Here are a few symptoms you should be aware of:
• Bad breath
• Scratchy throat that can feel ‘dry’
• Swollen neck glands
• Redness in the mouth, particularly towards the back
• A mild cough
• Temperature / Fever – (usually only in children)
Medical Conditions that can cause a Sore Throat
A part from the common cold and the flu, there are a few conditions, which may cause a sore throat, these include:• Tonsillitis
• Glandular Fever
• Strep Throat
You should call 999 or go to Accident and Emergency (A&E) if:
• You’re drooling
• Your voice changes – particularly the pitch or becomes ‘wheezy’
• You have difficulty swallowing or breathing
• Your symptoms are SEVERE / less getting worse quickly
Should I visit my Doctor?
Generally a sore throat will ‘clear up’ in a couple of days, if you feel that your condition is not improving or you feel it might be part of a wider infection, a visit to the doctors is certainly recommended.
In addition to this, it’s also recommended to see your GP if you have a sore throat and your temperature is over 38C, you have a weak immune system or you get sore throats on a regular basis.
If you’re sore throat has become ‘persistent’ over a prolonged period of time, your GP may refer you to an ENT consultant (Ear’s, Nose and Throat) at your local hospital.
An ENT specialist will have a range of tools and equipment at their disposal, meaning they can diagnose your throat issue more easily. Sometimes they may recommend having your tonsils removed if they’re particularly bad, other times they may prescribed over the counter medicine. As each case is treated on an individual basis’, what may work for one person, may not for another.