When to Visit a Clinic – Sore Throat
Having a sore throat is quite an irritating and annoying experience to have. It is characterized by an annoying pain, irritation, and scratchiness of the throat that often feels worse when you swallow something. One may, also, experience occasional swelling of the throat. Often sore throats are a signal that the flu or a cold is on the way, but sometimes it could be an indicator that there is a deeper problem. So if you are wondering whether or not you should visit a clinic for your sore throat, this post by Bellaire ER gives more insight on sore throats and their treatment to help you make the right judgment.
Common causes of a sore throat
A sore throat could be as a result of a number of factors, and they include:
• The flu or cold
A sore throat may be a sign of the flu or a cold. It may, also, be accompanied by a runny or a blocked nose, a high fever, a headache and a cough.
• Inflammation of the larynx
This is a condition called laryngitis. It results in a sore throat and may also cause one to have a dry throat, a hoarse voice and a constant feeling of the need to clear your throat.
• Strep throat
This is a bacterial throat infection that causes the glands in your neck to swell, and discomfort when swallowing, in addition to a sore throat.
This is a condition that causes the tonsils to be inflamed. It is usually also accompanied by spotty tonsils, fever, and discomfort when swallowing.
• Glandular fever
Apart from a sore throat, you may also experience swollen glands, fever, and fatigue.
• Muscle strain
This can be as a result of excessive yelling like in a sporting event or a concert.
• Gastroesophageal reflux disease
This is a digestive system disorder that causes stomach acids and other contents in the stomach to rise up the food pipe. It also causes one to have heartburn and a sensation of lumping your throat.
• HIV infection
One of the early symptoms that occur to someone when they get HIV is that they get a sore throat.
A cancerous tumor of the tongue, larynx or the throat can result in a sore throat.
Other less common causes for sore throats are quinsy which is a painful condition that is as a result of the collection of puss in the throat, and epiglottitis which is an inflammation of the epiglottis.
Apart from the overall pain in the throat and the roughness, the main symptoms of a sore throat vary depending on the cause. The main symptoms include:
• Having difficulties swallowing food
• Experiencing pain when talking
• Scratchiness of the throat
• Swollen glands in your jaw and neck region
• Red tonsils
• Presence of pus or white patches in your tonsils
• Having a hoarse voice
Other symptoms include a high fever, a dry cough, having a runny nose, body ache, headaches, sneezing and nausea, and vomiting.
Signs that you need to visit a clinic for treatment
Generally, a sore throat does not warrant a visit to a doctor since the condition often wears off on its own after a few days. However, sometimes you may have to get treatment from a doctor. For children, take them to a doctor for sore throat treatment if the condition does not subside after their first drink of the day. Also, if your child is experiencing difficulties in breathing, swallowing or unusual drooling, get them to a clinic for treatment immediately.
For adults, the warning signals that hint that you should visit a doctor include having a sore throat that lasts more than one week, having difficulties in breathing and swallowing food and drinks, experiencing difficulty and pain when opening your mouth, pain in the joints, developing a rash, earache, having blood in your saliva, having a high fever of more than 101 F, when the sore throats occur and disappear frequently, when a lump develops in your neck and when the hoarseness of your voice doesn’t get better after two weeks.
Sore throat treatment
The first step of treatment is performing correct diagnosis. Often a throat swab is done to get a sample of the throat secretions for laboratory test. The results of the test will give a clearer picture of what the main cause of a sore throat is. Once the correct diagnosis has been done, then the appropriate mode of treatment is taken.
If a sore throat is due to a viral infection, one often does not need treatment. The condition will get better within few days. Your doctor, however, can administer some drugs to ease the pain and the fever. If a sore throat is due to a bacterial infection, the doctor might prescribe some antibiotics. Other forms of treatment may be administered too depending on the cause of a sore throat.
While a sore throat might seem to be a normal thing, if the symptoms persist, visit the clinic for treatment as soon as possible.