A sore throat can be uncomfortable, with the pain, scratchiness and overall irritation of the throat. The most common cause of a sore throat is some sort of viral infection, whether it is the common cold or the flu. A virus has to resolve on its own, but you can treat the symptoms.
Another less common reason for a sore throat is strep throat, which is caused by a bacterial infection. Strep throat requires treatment with antibiotics to cure the infection and to prevent complications.
There are multiple types of sore throats:
- Pharyngitis affects the area right behind the mouth.
- Tonsillitis is swelling and redness of the tonsils, the soft tissue in the back of the mouth.
- Laryngitis is swelling and redness of the voice box, or larynx
Symptoms of a sore throat:
- Scratchy, burning, raw, dry, tender and irritated
- If there are white patches on the tonsils and they are more likely caused by strep throat
- A sore throat that is caused by a viral infection will last five to seven days on average and doesn’t require antibiotic treatment. However, you can take pain relievers to ease the discomfort. You can also take other over-the-counter medication to relieve your symptoms.
- A sore throat that is caused by a bacterial infection will require antibiotics. It’s very important to take the full course of antibiotics even if your symptoms are gone.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a sore throat then don’t hesitate to stop by Hampton Roads Urgent Care for a diagnosis.