Acute sore throat

Sore throat is a common health issue that can be caused by various factors, including viral infections like the common cold and flu, bacterial infections such as strep throat, allergies, and environmental irritants like dry air and smoke.

A sore throat is characterised by pain, scratchiness, or irritation in the throat, often worsening when you swallow. It can be a symptom of various conditions, from a simple cold to more serious infections like streptococcal pharyngitis.

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    • Symptoms of a Sore Throat

      Common symptoms include:

      • Pain or a scratchy sensation in the throat
      • Difficulty swallowing
      • Redness in the back of the throat
      • Swollen glands in the neck
      • Hoarseness or loss of voice
      • Fever and chills (often associated with infections)

      Causes and Risk Factors

      Sore throats can be caused by:

      • Viral infections, such as the common cold or flu
      • Bacterial infections, like strep throat
      • Allergies to pollen, dust, or pet dander
      • Dry air, especially during winter
      • Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
      • Exposure to smoke, chemicals, or other irritants
    • Diagnosis and Treatment Options

      Diagnosis typically involves a physical examination and, if necessary, a throat swab to test for strep throat. Treatment depends on the cause and may include:

      Pain Relief: Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can alleviate sore throat pain.
      Antibiotics: Prescribed for bacterial infections like strep throat to prevent complications.
      Throat Soothing Remedies: Lozenges, throat sprays, and warm saltwater gargles can provide temporary relief.
      Hydration: Drinking plenty of fluids helps keep the throat moist and reduces discomfort.
      Rest: Adequate rest supports the body’s immune response.

    • Pharmacy First Service for Sore Throat

      The Pharmacy First service allows you to access expert advice and treatment for your sore throat without needing a GP appointment. At My Pharmacy, our expert pharmacists can assess your symptoms, recommend appropriate remedies, and provide guidance on when further medical attention may be necessary.

    • Prevention Tips

      To reduce the risk of sore throats:

      Practise good hygiene, such as frequent handwashing, to prevent the spread of infections.
      Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
      Manage allergies with appropriate medications and by reducing exposure to allergens.
      Use a humidifier to add moisture to indoor air.
      Avoid smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke.
      When to See a Doctor

      Seek medical attention if your sore throat is severe, persists for more than a week, or is accompanied by high fever, difficulty breathing, or other concerning symptoms. It’s important to get a proper diagnosis and treatment to prevent complications.

    • Expert Sore Throat Care with Pharmacy First Service

      At My Pharmacy, we are committed to delivering superior sore throat treatments and comprehensive health information through the Pharmacy First service. Our team of professionals offers personalised advice and tailored care, ensuring you receive the most effective solutions for your sore throat without the need for a GP appointment.