Silencing the Soreness: Expert Tips for Soothing a Sore Throat

Silencing the Soreness: Expert Tips for Soothing a Sore Throat

Alas, sore throats! What better way to describe them other than irritating and aggravating? They're a sensation of scratching within the throat—annoying as it draws attention to yourself with the constant throat clearing.

Let’s be honest—we’ve all been there. With lack of sleep, increased irritability, and a sore throat, we often ask the same questions: ‘How do I get rid of these symptoms? Am I developing a cold? And when should I go to see my GP?’

Sometimes, a cold or flu starts with a sore throat; however, this is not always the case. Sore throats are common and often self-limiting; they improve within 7-10 days. Loss of voice, dry throat, hoarseness, swollen glands, fatigue and mild pain are often associated with a sore throat. However, these symptoms also improve fairly quickly.

Do you use inhalers?

If yes, you are advised to review how to use your inhaler with your local pharmacist or prescriber. Sore throats are more likely to occur when inhalers are not used correctly. You can use a mouthwash after using your inhaler.

Over-the-counter treatments for sore throats

Paracetamol

  • Suitable for children and adults.
  • Useful for pain relief.

Ibuprofen

  • Useful for pain relief and inflammation.
  • Suitable for children and adults.
  • Not to be taken if pregnant, breastfeeding, asthmatic or if individuals have heart-related issues.

Aspirin

  • Suitable for adults only.
  • Useful for pain relief.

Strefan Honey & Lemon Lozenges

  • Oral lozenges. Suitable for adults and children over the age of 12.
  • Contains: Flurbiprofen
  • Symptomatic relief
  • One lozenge is to be used as required.

Benzydamine Spray

  • Sugar, lactose and gluten-free. 
  • Suitable for six months plus
  • Reduces swelling and pain and numbs the area
  • Fast-acting, long-lasting relief of sore throat pain
  • It is also available as Difflam spray.

Benzydamine Lozenges

  • Available in different flavours
  • Fast-acting, long-lasting relief of sore throat pain
  • Reduces swelling and pain and numbs the area
  • Suitable for six years plus
  • Sugar, lactose and gluten-free. 
  • They are also available as Difflam lozenges.

Benzydamine Mouthwash

  • Rinse or gargle 125ml as required for pain relief.
  • Suitable for adults and children over the age of 12.
  • It is also available as Difflam oral sore throat rinse.

Local Anaesthetic

  • Contains: Benzocaine and lidocaine
  • To provide pain relief and symptomatic relief.
  • E.g., Ultra Chloraseptic Anaesthetic Throat Spray and Covonia Throat Spray. 

When should I see my GP?

  • Often get sore throats
  • Fever
  • No improvement after three days – after using over-the-counter treatments
  • Immunocompromised or diabetic
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Oral thrush
  • Presence of white spots or pus (ulcers which are not painful)
  • Hoarseness of voice for more than three weeks
  • Shortness of breath
  • Strong smell from the mouth
  • Seek medical attention if any of the following apply to you:
  • Very painful or severe sore throat
  • No improvement within 24- 49 hours and absence of a cough, cold or catarrh
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • If you are prescribed clozapine, carbimazole or sulfasalazine (urgent referral is required)
  • Enlarged throat glands
  • Asthma
  • Undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • No improvement after seven days – without using any over-the-counter treatments
  • Extreme tiredness or exhaustion
  • Tonsillitis that has not improved
  • You are worried about your symptoms.

Where can I get more information on Sore Throats?

NHS website on Sore Throats

Cancer Research UK

Mind helpline – Call 0300 123 3393