© Die PTA in der Apotheke

English for PTA


Sore throats are very common at this time of the year, and are not usually something to worry about if they get better within a week. Most are caused by things such as colds or flu and are easily treatable at home.

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Aside from colds and flu, the following can cause sore throat: laryngitis, inflammation of the voice box, tonsillitis, inflammation of the tonsils, strep throat, a bacterial throat infection, and last but not least, glandular fever. Whatever the cause, the symptoms can be alleviated by doing all or any of the following: gargling with a warm water and salt solution, drinking plenty of fluids but nothing too cold or too hot, sucking lozenges and giving your voice a rest. In some cases, it might be necessary to take ibuprofen, or paracetamol to help with the pain. Avoiding smoky places or stopping smoking also help. What is also somewhat more effective than lozenges is a throat spray available at the pharmacy…

Pharmacy customer: Hello, do you speak English?
PTA: Hello. Yes, I do. How may I help you?

I’m having trouble swallowing and my throat feels a little raw.
Do you have a cough or a cold at the moment?

I have a bit of a cough alright and I’m just getting over the flu.
Could you describe the cough, please?

It’s quite dry and irritating. And, if I talk for longer periods of time, my voice gets hoarse and the cough gets worse.
Do you have a temperature or fever symptoms?

Not at the moment.
Have you noticed that the glands in your neck are swollen or tender?

No, not swollen or tender, but I do have a little trouble swallowing.
Have you taken anything to help alleviate the symptoms? You know: things such as painkillers or gargle solutions, that kind of thing?

No, not really. To be honest, I’m not great at taking any type of medication!
There are a few things that I can recommend for your sore throat.

They are?
Firstly, I have this throat spray which has a numbing effect and will help ease the pain in the throat. You can use the spray two to three times a day.

Good, I’ll take that. You said that you had a few things that you can recommend.
Yes. We also have these lozenges with different flavours. They help to keep the throat moist and give pathogens fewer chances at increasing. You might also consider taking paracetamol or ibuprofen to deal with the pain.

Okay, I’ll take the lozenges in mint and a packet of ibuprofen, thank you.
You should also drink plenty of fluids, things like herbal tea but nothing too hot or too cold.

Why not too hot or too cold?
Anything that is too hot or too cold will only irritate your throat even more. The only exception is ice cream.

Ice cream! Really?
Yes, as long as you don’t eat it too quickly!

I’ll try and remember that. Thank you.
By the way: If symptoms don’t improve within the next week or so, you should most definitely consult your doctor.

Thank you, I will. Goodbye.
Bye, bye!

sore throat - Halsentzündung, Rachenentzündung
treatable - behandelbar
laryngitis - Kehlkopfentzündung
inflammation - Entzündung
voice box - Kehlkopf
tonsillitis - Mandelentzündung
glandular fever - Pfeiffersches Drüsenfieber
alleviated - gelindert
sucking - lutschen
lozenges - Lutschtabletten
avoiding - vermeidend
swallowing - schlucken
cough - Husten
cold - Erkältung
describe - beschreiben
irritating - lästig
hoarse - heiser
glands - Drüsen
tender - schmerzempfindlich
numbing effect - betäubende Wirkung
ease - lindern
moist - feucht

Den Artikel finden Sie auch in die PTA IN DER APOTHEKE 11/16 ab Seite 84.

Catherine Croghan, Lecturer in English and native speaker