Most sore throats are due to a virus and will resolve over a 5 to 10 day period. The evidence is that that antibiotics don’t help in most cases. However, If you have 3 of these 4 symptoms, antibiotic treatment may help.
- Pus on the tonsils
- A high temperature
- Swollen and sore glands
- NOT having a cough (a cough and a sore throat together is usual due to a virus
If you or someone in your family has a sore throat, the tips below may help relieve the symptoms:
- Avoid food or drink that is too hot as this could irritate your throat.
- Eat cool, soft food and drink cool or warm liquids.
- Adults and older children can suck lozenges, hard sweets, ice cubes or ice lollies.
- Avoid smoking and smoky environments.
- Regularly gargle with a mouthwash of warm, salty water to reduce any swelling or pain.
- Drink enough fluids, especially if you have a high temperature (fever).
If you can’t swallow, have excessive drooling, excessive pain or noisy breathing contact your GP.
When to seek help
If you develop difficulty swallowing, excessive drooling, excessive pain or noisy breathing contact your GP.
If the sore throat isn’t beginning to improve after 7 days, also contact your GP.