When a person has a sore throat in most cases this is a sign that they have some sort of infection, either bacterial or viral. In about a third of cases, there is really no cause for why a person has a sore throat. Those who have a sore throat, may also have swollen tonsils, tender or enlarged glands in their neck, and they may have discomfort when they swallow. For those who have a sore throat caused by an infection, there can also be signs such as:
- High temperature
- Runny nose
- Aching muscles or feeling tired
Sore Throat Treatment
Sore throats are fairly common and in most cases it points to the person not having built up any immunity against viruses and bacteria that enter into the body and cause these sore throats. This fact is especially true when it comes to children and teenagers. The good news is that most people will find that a sore throat will end on its own without medical attention. Over the counter treatments such as painkillers can be used to help with the pain, and there are several home remedies that people often use. In most cases, a doctor is not going to give patient antibiotics unless the infection that is present is more serious.
Length of a Sore Throat
One of the most commonly asked questions is how long does a sore throat last? In a recent UK study, they found that when people finally called their healthcare provider, they usually reported the worse symptoms of a sore throat around seven days after the onset of an illness. In around 80% of cases, after 10 days, the sore throat symptoms had gone.
When to Call a Doctor
Though most sore throats are nothing to worry about, there are times in which you should call your doctor:
- If you have a temperature that continues to stay even when you take medication to help alleviate this
- Within a week if you are still feeling bad
A doctor is going to look at the reason that your temperature could be increasing, as this could be a sign of a serious condition. These serious conditions could include:
- Epiglottitis: this is the inflammation of the epiglottis that is located at the back of the throat and underneath the tongue. If this is left untreated, it can cause breathing difficulties
- Quinsy: This is an abscess that can occur on the back of the tonsils and along wall of the throat
Blood tests may be used to determine what type of infection you may have that is causing this sore throat caused by an infection.
There are also times in which you may need emergency care. These times include:
- Having issues with breathing
- You are making a high-pitched sound when you breathe
- Start drooling
- your voice is muffled
- you have severe pain
- Cannot swallow fluids or having other difficulties with swallowing