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Throat Relief Oral Strips vs. Traditional Throat Lozenges: Which is More Effective?

Although underrated, a sore throat can be painful and extremely uncomfortable. You cannot properly swallow anything or even speak smoothly. And in some cases, a sore throat brings headaches, a blocked or runny nose, fever, and physical pains all over your body, disrupting your entire day.

While most individuals rely on traditional throat lozenges for sore throat, there have been considerable developments in the formulation of oral medicines. Throat pain relief strips have emerged as one of the most reliable and instant solutions for sore throat. So what makes this newest development superior to cough lozenges? Read along to find out.

This blog briefly describes what throat lozenges and oral strips are, enabling you to differentiate between the two. And by the end, you’d know which one is more effective.

What is a Sore Throat?

A sore throat is a scratchy, burning, or painful feeling in the throat, making it hard for you to swallow or talk. Most sore throats typically go away within a few days with the right treatment. If your sore throat lasts for more than a week, you must contact your healthcare provider.

If you have a sore throat, your throat may feel:

  • Dry
  • Scratchy
  • Tender
  • Irritated
  • Burning
  • Raw

A sore throat can also turn your tonsils sore or red. In some cases, a sore throat can come with these additional symptoms: -

  • Fever
  • Body ache
  • Sneezing
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nasal congestion

What is the Cause of a Sore Throat?

  • Viral Infections: Viral infections are one of the most common causes of sore throat. The common cold, measles (an infection that causes rashes and fever), COVID-19, etc., are some of these viral infections.
  • Smoke or other irritants: Different types of smoke with chemicals and other harmful substances can cause a sore throat. It can be tobacco smoke, smoke from vehicles or crackers, chemicals released from cleaning products, or aerosol sprays.
  • Allergies: Allergy triggers, like pollen, grass, etc., can disturb your immune system, causing allergies. The reaction of immune system can cause nasal congestion, sneezing, or throat irritation.
  • Strep throat or other bacterial infections: Other than viral infections, bacterial infections are also responsible for causing a sore throat. One of the most common bacterial infections that affect the throat is strep throat. It is caused by a group A Streptococcus bacterium and affects the throat and tonsils.

Apart from traditional lozenges, we now have throat pain relief oral strips that are proving to be more effective in the treatment of sore throat. Why is the latter a better option? Keep on reading to find out!

What are Cough Lozenges? How do these Work for Sore Throat?

Cough lozenges are over-the-counter, small, and often flavored tablets that promise to soothe a sore throat. These lozenges are usually coated with anti-inflammatory or local anesthetic ingredients that provide temporary relief, but once the pain-relieving effect is over, the symptoms are back. Also, there is a limitation to the number of lozenges that can be consumed in a day.

The Characteristics of Lozenges

1. Temporary relief

Due to their analgesic and antiseptic properties, traditional throat lozenges help treat a number of problems in the throat and mouth, be it a cough, irritation in the mouth or throat, or a sore throat. While they are known for their variety of flavors, it’s important to note that they only provide temporary relief. The sore throat tends to go away by itself in a couple of days.

2. Contains artificial sweeteners

As most lozenges consist of a solid preparation of sugar and gum to enhance the taste, this throat relief treatment might not be an ideal solution for people who are avoiding sugar or are diabetics, considering its overall effect on the body. Certain ingredients like sorbitol or xylitol can also leave you feeling bloated, as it’s difficult for your gut to digest them.

3. Gastric issues

Plenty of lozenges can stimulate the stomach to pour out acid, which is why consuming too many can lead to issues like indigestion or stomach aches.

4. Choking hazard

Due to their size, they can be a choking hazard for those below the age of 6. Children above the age of 6 can have them but need to follow strict dosage instructions.

What are Oral Throat Relief Strips? How do these Work for Sore Throat?

Unlike lozenges for throat relief, oral strips are medicated with natural extracts packed with bioactive ingredients, providing a precise dose of medication in the form of nanoparticles. These fast-dissolving oral strips have started to gain momentum as an alternative to fat tablets. These thin films or strips dissolve immediately when contacting a wet surface, such as your tongue, and the nutrients are immediately absorbed into your bloodstream. Many are enriched with all-natural ingredients like holy basil, mint, clove, and turmeric, all of which work together to ease throat irritation quickly.

The Characteristics of Throat Relief Strips

1. Bioavailability

As these strips dissolve immediately in the mouth, they provide 100% bioavailability enhancing the effectiveness of the ingredients present in them. They directly reach the bloodstream and show their effects. Also, as the oral throat relief strips contain a precise dosage, the efficacy improves, making the ingredients act faster compared to the traditional lozenges.

2. Ideal for everyone

These throat pain relief strips are a great option for people who do not enjoy consuming a tablet or candy for treating sore throat. Oral strips for throat relief are also an ideal option for pediatric, geriatric, or patients suffering from neurogenerative diseases.

3. All natural ingredients

Unlike their counterparts, these strips are free from sugar and other allergens, making them desirable to many.

4. Weighing In

It’s safe to say that strips have an edge over regular lozenges because of their convenience, from their packaging size to ingestion to their absorption rate and instant result-generating capacity. They are not only free from artificial colors/flavors and sugar additives, unlike traditional lozenges, but also use nanotechnology to release their ingredients directly into the bloodstream. Thereby providing an instant and long-lasting effect. Lozenges may be inexpensive, but strips are more efficient and better treatment sources.

Wrapping Up

If you need a quick fix for a sore throat, oral strips for throat relief are a better option than traditional lozenges. If you are lactating or pregnant, make sure to consult your doctor before consuming them for a sore throat.

References

Kenealy T. Sore throat. BMJ Clin Evid. 2007 Nov 20;2007:1509. PMID: 19450346; PMCID: PMC2943825. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2943825/

Kim JH, Kim SA, Ku JY, Cho WK, Shin CH. Comparison of allergens and symptoms in patients with allergic rhinitis between 1990s and 2010s. Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol. 2020 Jul 1;16:58. doi: 10.1186/s13223-020-00455-9. PMID: 32834824; PMCID: PMC7371806. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7371806/

Wise PM, Breslin PA, Dalton P. Sweet taste and menthol increase cough reflex thresholds. Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Jun;25(3):236-41. doi: 10.1016/j.pupt.2012.03.005. Epub 2012 Mar 23. PMID: 22465565; PMCID: PMC4638412. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4638412/

Eccles R. Understanding the symptoms of the common cold and influenza. Lancet Infect Dis. 2005 Nov;5(11):718-25. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(05)70270-X. PMID: 16253889; PMCID: PMC7185637. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7185637/

Wolford RW, Goyal A, Belgam Syed SY, et al. Pharyngitis. [Updated 2022 May 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK519550/

Abuelgasim H, Albury C, Lee J. Effectiveness of honey for symptomatic relief in upper respiratory tract infections: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Evid Based Med. 2021 Apr;26(2):57-64. doi: 10.1136/bmjebm-2020-111336. Epub 2020 Aug 18. PMID: 32817011. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32817011/

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