Sore throats are very common and usually nothing to worry about. They normally get better by themselves within a week.
How to treat a sore throat yourself
To help soothe a sore throat and shorten how long it lasts, you can:
A pharmacist can help with sore throats
To help relieve the pain and discomfort of a sore throat, you can:
You can buy them from a supermarket or from a pharmacist without a prescription.
See a GP if:
A severe or long-lasting sore throat could be something like strep throat (a bacterial throat infection).
GPs do not normally prescribe antibiotics for sore throats because they will not usually relieve your symptoms or speed up your recovery.
They'll only be prescribed if your GP thinks you could have a bacterial infection.
Immediate action required:
Call 999 if:
These symptoms can make breathing more difficult.
Causes and symptoms of sore throats
Sore throats are usually caused by viruses (like cold or flu) or from smoking. Very occasionally they can be caused by bacteria.
The symptoms are similar for children, but children can also get a temperature and appear less active.
Conditions that can cause a sore throat