Sore Throat Treatment Specialist Q&A
Get your sore throat treated today. Call our team of healthcare professionals at Get Well Urgent Care of Madison Heights or visit us online for directions.
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A sore throat is a general condition in which you feel pain and irritation in your pharynx, the portion of the throat behind the oral and nasal cavity, preceding the trachea (breathing tube) and esophagus, the tube that carries food to the stomach. A sore throat is medically termed “pharyngitis,” which is the inflammation of the pharynx. This pain is most often described as a burning and scratching feeling, though other kinds of pain can be felt with different illnesses.
Your pain will likely worsen with swallowing or talking, and your voice may become hoarse and quiet. Pain in the throat can also lead to a cough. In addition, you may notice your tonsils, the round masses of tissue on either side of your posterior throat, to be red and swollen. This occurs because the tonsils are lymph nodes, which act as filters that help fight off infection, and will swell with increased development of immunity cells. If your sore throat is a result of an infection, you may see the following symptoms as well: sneezing, runny nose, fever, white patches on the tonsils, headache, body aches, chills, nausea, and vomiting.
A sore throat shouldn’t last longer than a few days to a week. Usually, a sore throat is caused by a minor illness that your body’s immune system is able to fight off itself. However, if the underlying condition is more severe or your body cannot fight the infection, you may need medication to help.
For adults, it is recommended that you see a doctor for your sore throat if your symptoms last over a week or become more serious. For instance, if you have a persistent fever not relieved by medication, it may be best to contact your doctor. Further, if you measure a fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, you should seek immediate medical help. If your throat pain develops into dyspnea (difficulty breathing) or dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), you should contact your doctor.
Other vital signs are joint pain (especially of the TMJ), earache, rash, or bloody saliva. While a sore throat in a child is not necessarily dangerous, it does pose more risk as the immune defense is not as developed and effective in fighting infection. For this reason, you should bring your child to the doctor if a sore throat persists longer than a day or two. This is especially true if your child complains of other symptoms. You should seek immediate help if your child is experiencing difficulty breathing or swallowing, which may be signaled by excessive drooling.
Typically, a sore throat can be diagnosed in a doctor’s visit consisting of a patient interview and a brief physical exam. First, your physician will ask you many questions regarding your symptoms, like “can you describe the pain,” “when did it start,” “what makes the pain worse,” etc. Next, your doctor will likely want to inspect the throat and palpate the lymph nodes in the face and neck to determine if there is swelling. The conclusion of these procedures is often simple, like the flu, which requires a one to two-week course of antiviral medication. Other times, your doctor may order further tests to determine the cause and appropriate treatment. For example, if your pain results from strep throat, a swab will need to be done to confirm a bacterial infection.
Here at Get Well Urgent Care Center, our dedicated team of healthcare professionals can provide a broad array of primary care and urgent care services. So, if you are experiencing a sore throat or would like to see one of our physicians about another health concern, please do not hesitate to contact our office to be seen as soon as possible. Appointments can be made online or by phone, though you may also feel free to walk in during office hours and receive care fast. We serve patients from Madison Heights MI, Hazel Park MI, Royal Oak MI, Warren MI, and Berkley MI.