I am constantly wishing that I had a doctor in my family, so that I could just call them up and ask them all kind of medical questions for myself and my family. Last week I woke up with a terrible sore throat. As luck would have it, my sponsors at Chloraseptic had an interview scheduled for me with Dr. Daniel Hussar M.D., Remington Professor of Pharmacy at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy that very morning! So I used the opportunity to ask him a few questions about sore throats, coughs, and more, with a cold and allergy Q&A.
Here are a few of the things that I learned during that interview, that may also be helpful knowledge for you and your family.
1. What are the best products for families to keep stocked up on in their medicine cabinets to help treat seasonal allergies and sore throats?
Dr. Hussar said that having a sore throat first thing in the morning is common because allergens can cause irritation during sleep. He recommended having some Chloarseptic Spray and Lozenges on hand as they have ingredients that are helpful in relieving the discomfort associated with a sore throat. He also said that because chloraseptic sprays and lozenges affect only where the irritation is, they do not have a lot of the other unwanted side effects
2. Are there any throat lozenges or Chloraseptic sprays that are appropriate for children?
Dr. Hussar told me that Chloarseptic sprays and Lozenges have been evaluated as effective and safe for children 3 and over. He also advises to check the package for specific details and that you can also talk with you pharmacist about it. Before using it in very young children he recommends speaking with a physician first.
3.How can you tell the difference between seasonal allergy symptoms and cold/ flu symptoms? How can you tell the difference in kids?
This is something I always have difficulty with, especially in my kids. I don’t want send them to school and activities if they have a cold or flu but don’t want to
keep them home if it is simple allergies. Dr Hussar had some fantastic advice on this, that I hadn’t heard before!
He said to follow the sequence which symptoms occur. He said that in the case of a cold, you will probably experience a sore throat first and then the runny nose and cough second. In the case of allergies you will experience nasal congestion first and a sore throat will occur later in the process. You can use this as a clue to know whether it is seasonal allergies or a cold and flu.
4. How important is it to get a doctor’s diagnosis of seasonal allergies vs treating it yourself with OTC medications and treatments?
I asked Dr. Hussar this question because I am fairly confident that my son has seasonal allergies, and I feel kind of bad because we have never officially gotten him diagnosed.
Dr. Hussar told me that when it comes to seasonal allergies to let their severity serve as a primary guideline. He said that if the symptoms are mild, it is probably alright to speak with a pharmacist to find a non-prescription medication to self-treat those allergies. He also said that it can be valuable to track exactly what materials you are allergic to so that you can take the often forgotten step of avoiding exposure.
However, he added that if you are experiencing allergies that are persistent, hard to identify or are severe enough to reduce your quality of life you may have acute allergies. In this case you may wish to seek the advice of a doctor or allergist.
5. What should you look for to tell you if a sore throat is treatable with OTC medications or if it is something more serious that requires you to consult a doctor?
Dr Hussar suggests to watch out for a sore throat with a deep cough in the chest, as this could mean the development of pneumonia. He also says to be aware of a fever with an infection as this could indicate a bacterial infection. He also says to be aware of extremes in terms of severity of pain and the age of those affected. He cautions to take extra care with those who may have a lower immune system such as children and the elderly.
6. Is there any way to tell that an infant/ toddler/ young child (who may be too young to verbalize their symptoms) is suffering from a sore throat? What treatment would you suggest for a young child in this age range?
Dr Hussar said that for children who can not verbalize symptoms, listen for hoarseness in their cries or in the few words that they do speak. Also be mindful of a fever and again follow the sequence of symptoms. He said again to take special care when dealing with a sick child and to see a doctor if symptoms persist.
Thank you to Dr. Daniel Hussar for taking the time to share this useful advice with us! Equipped with the Chloraseptic Sprays and Lozenges that I have already stocked up on and your practical advice, the next time cold, sore throat or allergy symptoms hit our house, we will be ready to fight back!