Sore Throats


A sore throat is an irritation of the throat that causes pain and scratchiness, which often worsens when swallowing. The medical term for a sore throat is “pharyngitis”, which means inflammation of the throat (pharynx). The terms "sore throat" and "pharyngitis" both describe the same thing.

Sore throats are most commonly caused by a viral infection of the pharynx, as occurs with a cold or the flu. Sore throats caused by a cold or flu virus typically resolve on their own with simple, at-home care.

However, a less common but potentially serious type of sore throat caused by a streptococcal infection is known as “Strep Throat”, and is caused by a bacterial infection, which requires medical treatment with antibiotic drugs to prevent possible complications. There are also some even less-common causes of a sore throat that can require more complex treatment, so it is important to see a doctor if you symptoms are serious.

Signs and symptoms of a sore throat

These may vary depending on the cause and may include:

  • Pain or a scratchy sensation in the throat
  • Difficulty swallowing and pain that worsens with swallowing or talking
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Swollen glands
  • White patches or pus on your tonsils
  • Hoarse voice

When to see a doctor

Get immediate care if your child has severe signs such as:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Unusual drooling

For adults:

  • A sore throat that is severe or lasts longer than a week
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Joint pain
  • Earache
  • Fever higher than 101
  • Blood in saliva or phlegm
  • Frequently recurring sore throats
  • A lump in your neck
  • Hoarseness lasting more than two weeks

 

Medfast Urgent Care Centers offer fast, professional medical treatment for sore throat. Our average wait time to see patients is less than an hour, compared to Hospital Emergency Rooms, which can sometimes take longer than three to four hours and are much more expensive. We are professionally staffed with highly-skilled, licensed doctors and nurses, and fully equipped to handle testing and treatment for sore throat.