Sore throats are unpleasant and are usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection of the lining of the throat. They can happen on their own or as part of a bout of cold or flu, but they can all be treated in the same way.
Relief is at hand with the range of products available from your pharmacy. These can reduce or completely eliminate the annoying symptoms. They are ideal for the normal, mild sore throat. There are many products available, and the choice is up to you.
Soothing products help by coating the throat, with something soothing and lubricating. They are often based on old home-made remedies, such as honey and lemon, and are available in liquid form, or as pastilles.
Throaty coughs can be helped by anything used for helping a sore throat. The irritation of the sore throat can often cause a throaty, annoying cough – the sort that causes you to cough to clear your throat
Pastilles and lozenges are the most popular choice for sore throats. They are very handy to carry around, and are generally suitable for children and adults, but check the directions on the pack first.
The main thing they do is to soothe the throat by coating it with soothing, lubricating ingredients. The act of sucking a lozenge, by itself, causes more saliva to be produced naturally. This saliva helps soothe the throat as well. There are four types of lozenges:-
Soothing pastilles – these have soothing ingredients, such as –
- Olbas Pastilles
- Proctor’s Pinelyptus Pastilles
Antiseptic lozenges – these have soothing ingredients, and also an added antiseptic. The antiseptic has been put there to help kill bacteria in the mouth and throat.
However, in practice, the effect of the extra antiseptic is of very little extra value. They are very popular, though, and are very soothing for the throat, such as –
Numbing lozenges – these have soothing ingredients, and also added local anaesthetic action, which will numb the painful area.
These are better for the more painful sore throats, and give the greatest pain relief of all the different types of lozenge. They do, however, tend to numb the tongue more than the throat. Some examples are –
- Strepsils Extra
Anti-Inflammatory Lozenges reduce the pain and swelling directly, and are very powerful, such as –
- Strefen Lozenges
Vapour action lozenges – these have soothing ingredients, and also a vapour action ingredient to help with a runny nose or congestion. This can help to relieve the sore throat, and the runny nose or catarrh at the same time.
Gargles are much less popular than lozenges but can be very effective. Some people find gargling difficult to do. It is best not to use this for children under 12 years old because they find it hard to do.
There is a range of gargles available, which vary from being mild to being the strongest products available for a sore throat. The strongest products are the best choice for a really bad sore throat.
They are not very convenient to carry around though. Some examples are:
- Difflam Sore Throat Rinse
Throat sprays are very effective and contain numbing local anesthetics. They are particularly effective as the spray action goes right to the back of the throat, where it is needed.
They are very convenient to carry around, as the sprays are very compact, and fit neatly into your pocket or handbag.
They are the best choice for a really bad sore throat, when you need something to carry around with you all day, and use regularly, such as –
- Difflam Throat Spray
- Ultra Chloraseptic
More serious infections can be caused by bacteria. The more serious throat infections should be seen by your doctor.