So you felt some sensitivity in you throat after lunch one day. You didn’t think much of it, but when you wake up the next morning, your throat is on fire and swallowing is nearly impossible. Maybe you take some ibuprofen or cough syrup to get through the day. When it doesn’t go away in a few days, how do you determine if it’s just from a cold or something more serious like strep throat or tonsillitis? Las Vegas Urgent Care is here to help.
Cold, Strep Throat or Tonsillitis?
Usually, a sore throat is the first sign of a common cold. Allergies or viruses cause colds and sore throats, so symptoms also include
- runny nose
- headaches and other body aches
Most people recover from the common cold within a few days and can manage aches and pains with ibuprofen or other over the counter cold medicine. Gargling with salt water and drinking hot fluids also calms sore throats. Get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids. Doctors will not prescribe antibiotics for cold viruses, as they will not have an effect on a non-bacterial virus.
Strep throat is the result of streptococcus bacteria, which makes the throat much more uncomfortable and takes longer to heal. Sometimes strep manifests itself as:
- white spots around the back of the throat
- loss of appetite
- painful swallowing
If you suspect you have strep throat, it’s recommended you see an urgent care doctor because step is contagious. Your urgent care doctor will perform a test to swab your throat to test for streptococcus bacteria. If the test is positive, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics, which should cure the strep throat in about ten days. If the symptoms are getting worse and not going away after taking medication for a few days, let your doctor know immediately.
Tonsillitis means the tonsils (the tissues at the back of your throat) are inflamed. Symptoms include:
- white or yellow spots on the tonsils
- bad breath
- painful swallows
- swollen lymph nodes in the neck
Tonsilitis can be caused be either a virus or bacteria. If viral, the tonsillitis must clear up by itself. If bacterial, antibiotics will be prescribed from your urgent care doctor. It’s important to rest plenty and drink lots of fluids. For the time being, switch to only eating soft foods like soups, jello, ice cream and other smooth foods. Crunchy or spicy foods will irritate the throat further. Should your tonsillitis keep appearing, your doctor may recommend the surgical removal of your tonsils.
If you’re experiencing a sore throat, see a doctor at Las Vegas Urgent Care. We can quickly accommodate walk-ins and diagnose your condition to get you on your way to better health. Learn about our services or make an appointment on our website.