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Sore throat

Sore throat

Sore throat is a symptom which appears as a result of upper respiratory tract infections. Sore throat is characterized by painful and difficult swallowing, and hoarseness and cough are common. Most common agents which cause sore throat are viruses (over 95% of cases), bacteria, fungi, and somewhat more rarely, allergies and foreign bodies. The most common transfer method is via droplets: speaking, coughing and sneezing. This is why it is very important to cover your mouth with a napkin when coughing or sneezing and to wash your hands more frequently. The best protection from sore throat agent spread is frequent hand disinfection, alcohol rubbing and soap washing. Frequent ventilation of rooms occupied by a large number of people is desirable (schools, kindergartens, healthcare facilities etc.). The treatment depends on the clinical picture, age and patient’s general condition.

If your throat aches, we will help you identify the type of sore throat you have:








Mildly raised, no fever

Very high with fever

General symptoms

Less prominent

More prominent

Respiratory symptoms

Fever, hoarseness, cough, sore throat less prominent

Only sore throat, very prominent


Redness without exudates 

Extreme redness with purulent exudates

Lymph knots

Enlarged but not painful

Angular, enlarged and painful



Antibiotic (penicillin)



If you have recognized some of the symptoms mentioned in the table and if it is a virus infection, the recommended treatment is symptomatic. The symptoms may be more or less prominent and include swallowing difficulties, painful scratching and burning in the throat, throat and pharynx dryness and mucous membrane swelling and inflammation. We recommend the use of products which are used for headache problems treatment. Rinsing and gargling of salt water (1/4 spoon kitchen salt mixed in 2 dl of water) is recommended to children and adults several times a day. Sage tea, a traditional medicine, is particularly effective in acute sore throat treatment as a gargling and mouth and pharynx rinsing agent for adults. Numerous products in the form of sprays and lozenges are available on the market and can be used with the gargling and disinfection solutions. On the choice of proper medicine, seek medical counseling. According to your needs, you may take analgoantipiretics, in which case, the medicine of choice must be paracetamol. Paracetamol dosage is 3-4 times a day, and in extreme cases, up to 6 times a day. Some other non-steroid anti-inflammation medication can be used, for example, acetylsalicylic acid and ibuprofen, noting that the acetylsalicylic acid mustn’t be given to children under the age of 12. In case of no improvement within 4-5 days, report to your doctor, who will prescribe suitable therapy. It isn’t uncommon for patients to make their way to their doctors shortly after first symptoms appear and demand antibiotics thinking that that will relieve their sore throat. As we said, it is a little known fact that 95% of infections are caused by viruses, and in those cases, antibiotics don’t work.


If you have recognized any of the symptoms of a sore throat caused by bacterial infection, report to your doctor who will, based on his examination and microbiological results of nose and pharynx swabs, prescribe proper antibiotic treatment.

The most significant bacterial throat infection agent is beta-hemolytic streptococcus group A which causes 5-15% of the infections. Streptococcus caused sore throats are self-limiting and the use of antibiotics is justified in order to stop the disease progression in severe clinical pictures as well as to reduce the onset of rheumatic fever. It is vital to observe the 10 day long therapy without interruptions because it may cause bacterial resistance and antibiotics will no longer be effective in case of another infection. In case of sore throats more frequent that 5 time a year, the doctor will, having considered other indications, think about possible tonsillectomy (surgical tonsils removal procedure).


Sore throats are most common in the winter period, as an isolated symptom or accompanied by cold. The air in rooms is usually too dry which leads to mucous membranes dryness which suits bacterial and viral development. The consequence of that is an infection which results in sore throat. Proper hygiene and immunity strengthening are of great help in infection prevention and health maintenance to the entire organism. If an infection does develop, it is vital to obey doctor and pharmacist recommendation in order to achieve health as quickly as possible and prevent possible complications.