When Does a Sore Throat Warrant a Trip to the Doctor?
A sore throat has a way of hijacking your overall wellness as the pain and discomfort make even the simple acts of swallowing and talking difficult. If you are struggling with a sore throat, it may be part of a larger problem or a standalone condition. Often the best way to figure out what you are dealing with is to pay us a quick visit.
At Chicago Immediate Care, our team of health care providers is on call to help patients overcome the most common medical problems, from urinary tract infections to nausea. As part of our comprehensive services, we offer medical help for those issues that can lead to a sore throat, such as the flu.
If you or a loved one has a sore throat, here is a look at when this condition warrants a trip to one of our three clinics.
Strep throat or sore throat
As we mentioned earlier, a sore throat is often part and parcel of certain conditions, like a cold, flu, or allergies, which means it is a secondary problem. When patients come to see us in the throes of a respiratory infection, a sore throat is often one of many complaints, and it is sometimes the result of excessive coughing.
But there is also the possibility that your sore throat may be strep throat, which is caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria. Since this type of sore throat is bacterial, it can be treated with antibiotics, especially since strep throat is highly contagious.
Strep throat is a primary condition, and the most common signs are:
- Sudden onset of throat pain
- Painful swallowing
- Red and swollen tonsils
- White or red spots in the back of your throat
- Fever and body aches
- Nausea and vomiting (especially in children)
Notice that a runny nose or cough isn’t associated with strep throat, which is a critical clue in determining whether your sore throat is strep throat or part of a cold or flu.
If you are unsure about which type of problem you are dealing with, it is always best to be on the side of caution and come see us. We can perform a quick swab to check for the presence of harmful bacteria and take the appropriate steps.
Sore throats in children
Children, especially young ones who may have more difficulty communicating, often require a different standard of care when it comes to sore throats. If your child is displaying any of the following symptoms, you should see us right away:
- Difficulty breathing
- Trouble swallowing
You know your child best, so if you notice anything out of the ordinary, it is always best to get them checked out.
Sore throats in adults
If you are an adult with a sore throat, we recommend that you come to see us if:
- Your sore throat persists for more than a week
- You have difficulty breathing or swallowing
- You have a fever over 101°F
- You have swelling or a lump in your neck
Here again, you know your health best, so if your sore throat seems to be something more than just a result of coughing or allergies, we can take a look and get to the root of the problem.
The bottom line is that if you or your child has a sore throat that is painful and interfering with your life, it is a good idea to seek medical help at Chicago Immediate Care. If you have any questions about whether your sore throat warrants medical care, please contact one of our three care centers in Lisle, Lombard, or Lincolnwood, Illinois.