Helping you with… Sore Throat

Hello there my name is Doctor Andy
Knox, I’m one of the partners at Ash Trees surgery in Carnforth which is part of the
Federation of GP practices around North Lancashire, we’re also part of the Better
Care Together team working around Morecambe Bay. I want to talk to you
today about sore throats I know how absolutely horrible it can be when you
wake up in the morning and your throat is burning it feels really tight you
can’t swallow your breakfast and you feel absolutely rough and dreadful. One
of the most normal and natural things to do would be to pick up your phone and
get advice from your GP. The great news is you’ve got a fantastic immune system
which will fight off the virus on its own and I’m gonna give you some advice
of how you can support your own body whilst your own immune system fights the
virus away. The truth is antibiotics make almost no difference in the vast
majority of sore throats and so there’s very little a doctor can do for you in
these situations. So one thing you need to do is rest and give your body time to
recover, the second thing you need to do is take supportive treatment which you
can buy over the counter just to help keep your temperature down and help keep
the pain away and there are three very simple things you can take paracetamol
is fantastic bringing your temperature down and
controlling pain if you also interspersed this either with a small dose
of codeine or with some ibuprofen which you can get over the counter then you’ll
find that keeps the pain at bay really brilliantly so we would say take some
paracetamol three to four hours later take some ibuprofen three to four hours
later take some paracetamol three to four hours take some ibuprofen and that
will keep your temperature down and will keep the pain at bay the other thing which you can buy the
over-the-counter is a spray called Diflam and if you spray that you can use
eight sprays all in one go right onto the back of the throat where it’s very
sore and you can use that every hour and a half if you need to and that works as
a fantastic anesthetic in other words numbs the throat which makes it much
easier for you to eat and drink and keep your body full of the nutrients it needs also to fight off the
virus. There are of course occasions when you’re gonna need some medical help and
I’m gonna tell you about the few times when it might be that you need
antibiotics and when you might want to seek some extra help and even then it’s
still up to your doctor or your nurse practitioner to help make the best
decision about whether or not antibiotics are actually indicated so
let me give you the clues. They’re called the Centor criteria and they go as
follows it’s a point system and the more points
you have the more likely it is that you are going to need antibiotics. So first of all
I’ve already mentioned that should last more than five days if it’s less than
five days it’s less likely you need antibiotics, secondly has to do with age
if your aged 3 to 14 your immune system is weaker and you’re more likely to need
antibiotics so you get one point, if you’re between 14 and 44 for you get no
points and if you’re over forty five then you get rid of a point the second thing to remember on this is
to do with what the tonsils look like if you open your mouth in a mirror and shine a
torch you will see the tonsils on either side of the throat if they’ve got
white spots on them we call that Excedate or if they look particularly
swollen and sore then you get a point ,if when you feel your neck you can feel
that your glands feel swollen and tender then you get another point, if you’ve got
a temperature that’s consistently higher than 38 degrees which you can do by buying
one of those over the counter thermometers and measuring it in your ear, then you will find you also get another point, however if your temperature comes
down really nicely with paracetamol and ibuprofen you’re able to control your
temperature that’s less of a concern and then we also want to know whether or not
you’ve got a cough. If you have a cough bizarrely that’s actually a good sign
it’s more like to be a virus if you don’t have a cough you get an extra point.
So those are the things to look at if to think about whether or not you need
advice on your GP but remember the vast majority of time sore throats will clear
up by themselves and trust your immune system it is
absolutely fantastic, it will fight off the virus antibiotics will make no
difference to a virus tat all, those other signs that we talked about before
are a sign that it might be a bacterial illness and that’s when an antibiotic
comes up trumps and can help fight it off. I hope that’s been helpful advice for you
today do you watch the video again and remember taking good care of yourself
plenty of fluids rest good pain relief you’ll be feeling a lot better very soon

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