While often a condition which resolves itself within a few days, a sore throat can sometimes be the sign of other underlying conditions. However, learning how to spot signs that you should consult with your doctor while experiencing a sore throat can help you catch conditions early and get the treatment you need. Learn more about sore throats and their causes with Dr. Pankaj Gupta at Wake Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC.
What causes a sore throat?
Some cases of sore throats come from simply singing along too loudly to your favorite song. However, there are other, more serious causes which are important to recognize early, including:
- Viral Infections: From the common cold to mononucleosis, a viral infection is the most common cause of a sore throat. Viral infections do not respond to antibiotics.
- Bacterial Infections: Bacterial infections can cause conditions like tonsillitis and strep throat and are often treated with antibiotics.
- Trauma or Injury: Swallowing a too-big piece of food or other injuries to the throat can cause pain and discomfort.
- Toxins: Toxins or irritants can cause a sore throat. Smoking cigarettes, pollution, and medical conditions like allergies fall into this category.
When should I see my doctor about my sore throat?
If you have a sore throat, it may clear up on its own with some simple at-home treatments like gargling with warm salt water, stopping smoking, letting your voice rest, or drinking warm fluids like tea. However, if you experience a sore throat which lasts more than a few days or is accompanied by a fever or rash, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. You should also see your doctor if your sore throat keeps you up at night, blocks your airway making it difficult to breathe, or is very severe.
Sore Throat Treatments in Cary, NC
Treatments for a sore throat depends greatly on the underlying cause of the condition. For example, if a bacterial infection causes your sore throat, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to clear it up. However, if a condition like tonsillitis, caused by a viral infection which does not respond to antibiotics, causes repeated sore throat attacks, you may require a surgery to remove the tonsils called a tonsillectomy. Consult with your doctor for the best treatment plan for your sore throat.
For more information on sore throats, please contact Dr. Pankaj Gupta at Wake Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists in Cary, NC. Call (919) 851-5636 to schedule your appointment with your doctor today!