Is your throat painful to swallow? Do you feel irritation or scratchiness at the back of your throat? You may need to visit an urgent care doctor to help determine whether or not you may have symptoms of sore throat. It is acommon health complaints when respiratory diseases are at their peak.
If your throat hurts, feels scratchy or dry, or you may feel mild discomfort or burning pain which often worsens as you swallow, it can be the first symptom of more serious conditions than having a cold or flu. Infections and environmental factors like dry air often cause sore throat.
Types of Sore Throat
Sore throats are classified into three types, based on the area of the throat they affect.
Pharyngitis – The most common cause of this type of sore throat is a viral infection that affects the area behind the mouth. Pharyngitis caused by a virus usually goes away on its own.
Tonsillitis – It is an infection or painful inflammation of tonsils, the soft tissue located at the back of the throat. It causes redness and swelling of the tonsils.
Laryngitis – It occurs when your vocal cords or voice box becomes red and inflamed from overuse, infection or irritation. Environmental factors, viral and bacterial infections can cause laryngitis.
Symptoms of a Sore Throat
Sore throats caused by viral infections often resolve on its own. However, some cases need to be treated. Depending on the cause of a sore throat, signs and symptoms may include:
- Red, swollen tonsils
- Swollen glands in the neck or jaw
- Hoarse voice
- Pain or scratchy feeling in the throat
- Trouble breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- White spots on your throat or tonsils
- Blood in the saliva
- Stiff and painful neck
- Sore joints
In certain cases, the infection in a sore throat may result in other signs and symptoms, including:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Body aches
- Nausea or vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Appetite loss
- Muscle or joint pain
Sore Throat Causes & Risk Factors
From infections to allergies to injuries, various factors can cause a sore throat. Some of the most common sore throat causes include:
Viral Infections – Viruses that cause a sore throat include cold, flu or influenza, measles, mumps, mononucleosis, chickenpox, whooping cough, and croup.
Bacterial Infections – There are a number of bacterial infections that cause sore throat. The most common one is group A Streptococcus bacteria that causes strep throat.
Dryness – Dry indoor air suck moisture from your throat, making it feel rough and scratchy. Breathing through the mouth due to chronic nasal congestion can also cause a sore and dry throat.
Allergies – Allergy triggers like molds, pet dander, pollen, grass and dust release chemicals that cause symptoms like nasal congestion, sneezing, watery eyes, and throat irritation.
Muscle Strain or Injury – Any injury or muscle strain in the throat can cause pain. You may get a sore throat by yelling, talking loudly or for a long period without rest.
Irritants – Many different substances in the environment can irritate the throat such as cigarettes, tobacco smoke, cleaning products, air pollution, and other chemicals.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) – It is a digestive disorder in which acid from the stomach backs up into the food pipe (esophagus). This causes burning sensations, acid reflux, and feeling of lumps in the throat.
Tumors – A cancerous tumor of the throat, voice box or tongue can cause a sore throat. The signs may include hoarseness, noisy breathing, blood in saliva, trouble swallowing, and a lump in the neck.
HIV Infections – Someone with HIV infection might experience the symptoms of a chronic or recurring sore throat due to a fungal or a viral infection.
Some risk factors that can make you more susceptible include age, allergies, weakened immunity, exposure to irritants, and chronic or frequent sinus infections.
How is a Sore Throat Diagnosed?
Your urgent care doctor may use a lighted instrument to check the back of your throat for any symptoms. He or she may also look for ears and nasal passages. For a susceptible strep throat, your doctor may swab the back of your throat to collect a sample of bacteria.
Sore Throat Treatment by Urgent Care Doctors
If your sore throat is caused by a viral infection, your doctor may prescribe antiviral medicines to ease the pain. A sore throat caused by a bacterial infection generally goes off by a doctor-prescribed antibiotic. A surgery called tonsillectomy may be recommended for a sore throat caused by severe tonsillitis. The type of treatment depends on the diagnosis and causes of a sore throat.
If you are living with a sore throat, get urgent care in Brooklyn, NYC from our renowned clinic,Artisans of Medicine. Our experienced doctors will diagnose your condition and provide the best treatment for your sore throat. Contact us right away!