Roger has a sore throat. Every time he tries to swallow a bite of his breakfast sandwich, he sees stars. His throat even hurts when he speaks.
Roger does not have anything serious, but he is not feeling well. How annoying!
Introducing… The throat!
|Yesterday Roger ate a sandwich, some chick peas, some meat in batter, some soup, a fish with a treacherous bone, a yoghourt, three mandarins, a banana, and, in secret, two little chocolate croissants. He also drank some water, orange juice, and a glass of milk with cocoa. He chatted several times during the day and sang in the music class. And, above all, he did not stop breathing for more than three seconds. Yesterday, Roger did the same as we all normally do: eat, drink, talk, sing, and breathe.
To do all of that, Roger and the rest of us use our throats. It is a part of the body that works all day long, and is in contact with many elements. That, sometimes, causes it to become irritated or inflamed.
What is a sore throat?
|Today, Roger feels as if he has the stem of a rose with thorns in his throat. He can hardly eat, drink, speak, sing, or even, at times, breathe.
A sore throat is an irritation, a pain, or a stinging sensation, which makes it difficult to swallow. Roger has a sore throat because it is irritated or inflamed. Sometimes, it can be a sign that we have an illness.
Why do we have sore throats?
What is Roger doing with a magnifying glass and a detective’s hat?
He is looking for clues. He wants to find out who is guilty of giving him a sore throat.
We can have sore throats for many reasons. A few of them appear on the following list:
|Breathing through the mouth|
|Swallowing mucous (often, when we have a cold, we can feel the mucous running down behind our noses)|
|Eating or drinking something which is too hot|
|As a consequence of another illness|
Starting the day with a sore throat
Ssshtt! Roger has fallen asleep.
Have you ever got up in the morning with a sore or dry throat? That probably means that you slept with your mouth open.
In that case, drinking some water or fruit juice will help you. You’ll see that as the day goes by, it doesn’t hurt any more.
White spots in the throat
Roger’s father points with the torch. Roger’s mother presses his tongue down with the handle of a spoon. They make Roger open his mouth and say “ahhh”. His mother’s nose is just a hand away from the back of his throat. Roger is sure that his parents enjoy looking for white spots in his throat. For him, it is a torture.
If white spots appear in your throat (pus or abscesses) or you have a high temperature, you have to visit the doctor. In this case, your ears may also be sore.
Can we avoid a sore throat?
Roger’s grandmother has served the soup, and Roger has taken a spoonful. Before putting it in his mouth, he turns on the fan and… The whole dining-room is covered with fine soup noodles.
– Grandma, prevention is better than cure.
It seems that Roger’s grandmother didn’t like very much his strategy for not burning his throat.
A sore throat can be passed from one person to another. Therefore, you must not drink from the same glass as somebody who has a sore throat, or cough without covering your mouth. You should try not to eat or drink anything that is too hot. Your tongue will also be thankful for that. Also, you should not swallow mucous or spend the whole day shouting.
What can I do when I have a sore throat?
Roger has read a comic, two chapters of a book, and the newspaper. He has also played a video-game, a kitchen game, and hidden his grandmother’s false teeth. He has been drawing and painting and cutting. Nevertheless, Roger still has a sore throat. He can’t stand it any more!
When someone has a sore throat, the main thing is to be patient. In a few days, it will go away. There is nothing that can cure a sore throat, but there are remedies that help to soothe the discomfort:
|Drinking hot liquids mixed with honey.|
|Gargling several times a day with warm water mixed with salt or bicarbonate of soda.|
|In some cases, eating ice-cream.|
|Licking hard sweets (they are refreshing and help to make saliva). But you must be very careful when eating sweets, as there is the risk of them getting stuck in your throat.|
|Using some sort of gadget that humidifies and cools the air (especially when you breathe with your mouth open).|
|And you already know that you can ask the chemist anything you like. He or she can give you advice about remedies and medicines that help to calm the pain and feeling of discomfort.|
Do you know how to gargle?
Roger explains to us how to gargle:
|Put some liquid into your mouth, but do not swallow it.|
|Tilt your head backwards a little bit.|
|Breathe the air out of your lungs, like when it is cold and the breath you expel turns white. The liquid that you have in the back of your mouth will start to move and you will make a gurgling sound.|
|Move the liquid in your mouth for a few seconds, and then spit it out into the washbasin. Do not drink it.|
You have to be very careful the first few times, because you can choke. Little by little, with practice, you will find that gargling is very easy.