English for PTA


A runny nose, a dry cough, all accompanied by a sore throat. Does that sound familiar? It might be laryngitis, one of the most common illnesses associated with the abovementioned symptoms.

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The sounds of silence: this one of the most effective ways of resting the vocal cords. Whispering, on the other hand, is not to be recommended to anyone who is suffering from laryngitis. Whispering puts enormous stresses on the vocal folds, the vibrations of which are responsible for how our voice sounds. Resting the voice is just the first step. Other remedies include drinking plenty of fluids, especially in the form of herbal teas with a soothing effect. In fact anything that will reduce the inflammation should be administered in this case. Hoarseness is not just a symptom of laryngitis, it is also an indicator of overuse of the vocal cords, and improper care of them by the sufferer.

Pharmacy customer : Hello.
PTA: Hello. How may I help you?

Well, as you can hear, I am very hoarse.
Certainly. Do you have any other symptoms aside from the hoarseness?

Yes, I have a very dry cough and, I think because of that my throat is very raw and sore.
How long have you had the problem?

Just a couple of days. Why?
You see, if it lasts longer it might by laryngitis. In fact, if the symptoms last longer than two weeks, or show no signs of improvement within that period, I would recommend consulting a doctor or even an ear, nose and throat specialist.

Oh yes, I’ve had laryngitis a few times but I’ve found that taking self-medication early enough usually helps. So, what can you recommend?
For your sore throat I can recommend these throat lozenges, they contain sage and are very soothing. We also have Island moss pastilles or these ones here with marshmallow or with plantain extract.

I’ll try the ones with sage. Do you have any herbal tea that you can recommend?
What I personally find to be very soothing is this tea with thyme and when I make it I add a spoon of honey for the taste.

I’ll just have to keep quite the next few days!
Which is a good start. Before I forget: you don’t have any problems with acid reflux, do you?

No, why?
Acid reflux also causes irritation and inflammation of the vocal cords. But, if you don’t have any problems with reflux, I think your hoarseness has more than likely been caused by a combination of a cold and over use. Please make sure to take as much fluid in as possible as this will help your vocal cords to recover. Here are your purchases in a carrier-bag.

Thank you for your help.
Don’t mention it. Goodbye.

Bye, bye.


sore throat Halsschmerz, Halsschmerzen
familiar bekannt, vertraut
laryngitis Stimmbänderentzündung
most common häufigste
vocal cords Stimmbänder
stresses Belastungen
vocal folds Stimmlippen
fluids Flüssigkeiten
herbal teas Kräutertees
inflammation Entzündung
administered verabreicht
scratch voice krächzende Stimme
raw roh
improvement Verbesserung
ear, nose and throat specialist Hals-Nasen-Ohren Facharzt
throat lozenge Halsbonbon
sage Salbei
marshmallow Eibisch
plantain Spitzwegerich
purchases Einkäufe

Den Artikel finden Sie auch in Die PTA IN DER APOTHEKE 01/12 auf Seite 58.

Catherine Croghan, Lecturer in English and native speaker