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Sore throats are very common and usually nothing to worry about. They normally get better by themselves within a week.
See your GP if your symptoms aren’t improving after a week, if you feel hot and shivery, or if you have a weakened immune system from chemotherapy or diabetes, for example.
Seek immediate medical attention (call 999) if
These symptoms can make breathing more difficult and will need assessment by a medical professional.
Sore throats are very common and usually nothing to worry about, normally resolving by themselves within a week.
Sore throats are usually caused by viruses (like cold or flu) or from smoking. Very occasionally they are caused by bacteria.
The following conditions can cause a sore throat
The main treatment for a sore throat is rest, plenty of oral fluids and simple pain relief. To improve the symptoms you can try the following
If you have discomfort or a temperature, paracetamol may help. This can be bought without prescription from pharmacies and shops. If you take other cold treatments, check the ingredients before taking paracetamol and only take it as directed as it can be very dangerous to overdose.
Non Steroidal Anti inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) such as Ibuprofen can also help your symptoms but are not suitable for everyone so please talk to your pharmacist about taking them if you are older or have any medical problems. They can cause stomach pain. If they cause any pain, you should stop taking them and contact your GP for advice.
For general medical advice please use the NHS website, the NHS 111 service, walk-in-centres, or your GP.
The NHS website provides online health information and guidance www.nhs.uk.
NHS 111 phone line offers medical help and advice from trained advisers supported by nurses and paramedics. Available 24 hours a day. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.
There are walk-in and urgent treatment services at Brighton Station, in Crawley and at Lewes Victoria Hospital. www.bsuh.nhs.uk/services/ae/.
Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can be contacted with your comments and concerns, and to provide general support. Email PALS@bsuh.nhs.uk.
RSCH, telephone 01273 664683.
PRH, telephone 01444 448678.
PALS, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Eastern Road, Brighton BN2 5BE.
This information is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.
This article is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath.