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English for PTA


The positive aspect is that by coughing up phlegm, irritants such as dust and pollen, and mucous caused by the common cold may be removed from the throat and the upper airways.

Seite 1/1 4 Minuten

Seite 1/1 4 Minuten

The causes range from allergies to whooping cough. The main function of coughing is to remove foreign substances and secretions from the lungs and thus prevent infection. Coughing is a normal reflex, but if a cough persists for several weeks without improvement, or the phlegm produced is strongly discoloured or even bloody, it may indicate a condition that needs medical attention. Here are some of the symptoms that definitely require a visit to the family doctor: if the phlegm is thick, greenish or yellow in colour, or if it is bloody; wheezing is experienced; a fever over 39 °C; and shortness of breath.

Male pharmacy customer: Good evening.
PTA: Good evening. What can I do for you?

I have had a very annoying cough for about three or four days now. My wife keeps telling me to go to my doctor, but I simply don’t have the time, which is why I’m here.
Good. So, what type of cough is it?

What type of cough? Oh, eh, well it is fairly productive, you know with phlegm and it sounds a bit chesty.
Is the phlegm coloured?

No, it’s clear and although there is a lot of it, it isn’t thick or mucous. What do you recommend? Firstly, it’s important to keep your throat moist. We have these lozenges here that are sugar-free and really effective against dry throat. You see if your throat gets dry that irritates your breathing passages and then leads to this irritating coughing attack. It’s also essential to drink plenty of fluids, especially warm fluids such as tea. This herbal tea is 100 % organically grown and I personally find it very soothing.

What’s in the tea?
Let’s see, thyme and buckhorn, and a little liquorice root.

That sounds good. Yes, I’ll take a packet with me.
Have you measured your temperature? I mean do you have fever, headache or joint pain?

No, not really. Why?
If you had any of these symptoms, or if the phlegm were coloured, I’d send you straight to your GP.

Really! Why?
Well, those symptoms would be a sign of an infection that would need medical attention. A lot of people take things like colds and flu lightly, but if left untreated for a longer period, they may become life-threatening, especially in young children and the elderly.

Don’t worry, between you and my wife telling me these things, the first time any of these symptoms come up, I’ll go to my doctor immediately!
Another household remedy that I use is ginger tea. You need a heaped teaspoon of freshly grated ginger in a cup of boiling water. Let it draw for about ten minutes, and then it has a drinkable temperature. You can add a little honey to taste. Try and drink this three time a day.

Sounds very healthy! Thank you for the good advice.
It is! Here are your purchases.

Thank you. Goodbye.
Bye, bye!


phlegm Schleim
irritants Reizstoffe
dust Staub
mucous Schleim, schleimartig
throat Kehle, Rachen
airways Atemwege
whooping cough Keuchhusten, Pertussis
foreign substances Fremdkörper
to persist andauern
discoloured verfärbt
thick zäh
wheezing Keuchen
shortness of breath Kurzatmigkeit
chesty Reiz(husten)
moist feucht
lozenge Lutschtablette
plenty viel
fluids Flüssigkeiten
herbal tea Kräutertee
organically grown biologisch angebaut
soothing wohltuend
thyme Thymian
buckhorn Spitzwegerich
liquorice root Süßholzwurzel
household remedy Hausmittel
ginger Ingwer
grated gerieben
to let something draw etwas ziehen lassen

Den Artikel finden Sie auch in Die PTA IN DER APOTHEKE 10/12 auf Seite 66.

Catherine Croghan, Lecturer in English and native speaker