Adirondack Urgent Care Helps Treat Sore Throats
Pharyngitis or tonsillitis as it is called usually starts mild and progresses to enlarged tonsils, sometimes with white patches of pus. The back of the throat is usually reddened, and there may be a foul odor to the breath. You may feel tired, feverish, have swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and have painful swallowing. Any of these signs can be present with either a viral or bacterial cause. It is felt that viruses are the most common cause of sore throats. “Strep Throat” is a sore throat caused by Group A Streptococcus bacteria. This is the most common bacteria that causes sore throats and may be associated with a red sandpaper-like rash on the chest, neck and arms. At Adirondack Urgent Care, we may do a swab of the throat for a “Rapid Strep Test”. This will give a fast accurate answer to whether this is “Strep” or not. Sometimes we may also do another swab for a throat culture which takes a few days to process but is the best way to tell if “Strep Throat” is present. Sore throats are spread by saliva contact and are best prevented by covering your mouth when sneezing or coughing, frequent hand washing, and not sharing cups and utensils. Not all sore throats need antibiotics, actually only those that test positive for “Strep” require treatment in order to prevent another illness called Rheumatic Fever or Rheumatic Heart Disease.
It is very important to drink plenty of liquids. You should put a humidifier in the bedroom to help keep your throat moist. Other treatment options include gargling with warm salt water, sucking on ice chips (or ice cream!), over the counter topical sprays (which should be used sparingly), prescription pain medicine, and prescription steroids. Most sore throats will improve in about one week.