Posts for tag: sore throat
- Viral infections such as a cold, flu, or mono (causes about 90 percent of sore throats)
- Strep infection and other bacterial infections
- Dry air
- Smoke and other irritants
- Strain, overuse, or injury
- Mouth breathing
- Postnasal drip
- Environmental irritant and pollutants
A sore throat will happen to most people, and while this is usually the result of an infection, if you are dealing with persistent or recurring symptoms, you may be wondering when it might actually be time to see an ENT specialist.
Contagious infections are usually the cause behind most sore throats and these infections are either viral or bacterial. Sinus infections can also cause sore throats, particularly if you are dealing with postnasal drip. If you battle allergies to mold, dust, pollen, or pet dander, then you may also experience a sore throat along with a stuffy or runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing.
The most common viral infections to cause sore throats include everything from a simple cold and flu to whooping cough and mononucleosis (mono). Mono is one infection that can last weeks and cause severe symptoms including fever, chills, trouble breathing, and extreme exhaustion. If you suspect that your sore throat could be due to mono, it’s important that you see your otolaryngologist for treatment.
Bacterial infections can also lead to a sore throat, more particularly infections caused by the strep bacteria. These infections include pneumonia, sinus infections, and tonsillitis. Along with a sore throat, you may also experience a fever, red or white patches in the back of the throat, inflamed tonsils, and/or swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
Sometimes, your sore throat can simply be irritated, whether that be from the weather, environmental pollutants, or vocal strain. From shouting and singing loudly at a concert to mouth breathing at night, there are many scenarios in which the back of the throat can dry out and cause discomfort. This is usually something that will go away on its own and is usually nothing to worry about.
However, if you find that your sore throat is persistent and occurs most mornings when you first wake up, this could be a warning sign of acid reflux. Acid reflux causes partially digested food and acid from the stomach to flow back up into the throat, which can cause burning and irritation of the throat’s delicate lining. If left untreated, acid reflux can do serious damage to the throat.
If your sore throat is accompanied by vocal changes including hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or difficulty breathing, these issues require an immediate checkup from an ENT doctor, as they could be signs of a polyp, growth, or tumor on the throat or voice box.
If you have been dealing with recurring sore throats or symptoms that last anywhere from 7-10 days then you should seek care. An otolaryngologist will be able to diagnose and treat any and all conditions affecting the ear, nose, and throat, as well as the head and neck. If you are concerned about your sore throat, schedule an appointment today.
It started as a small itch, but now it’s completely bloomed into a sore throat. Do you know the best way to treat it? No matter the cause, your doctor can help you alleviate the pain.
What Could Be Causing Your Sore Throat
The first step in figuring out how to treat your sore throat is determining its source. A sore throat can be a symptom of many different issues, such as smoking or allergies, but the three most common causes are—
A cold: Often, a sore throat is just the first sign of a viral cold. You’ll know if this is the case for you if the pain subsides after a day or two and if you begin exhibiting other cold symptoms, like a runny nose or cough.
Strep throat: Caused by an infection of the streptococcus bacteria passed through saliva and nasal secretions, strep throat is a more severe cause of a sore throat. Other symptoms common to it are white spots on your throat area, fever, and swollen lymph nodes in your neck.
Tonsillitis: This is a very painful sore throat caused by an inflammation of the tonsils from an infection by viruses or bacteria. Tonsillitis’s biggest additional symptom is swollen tonsils with white or yellow spots, but others are bad breath and an impaired voice from the swelling.
What You Can Do at Home
If your sore throat is caused by a virus, there isn’t much you can do other than let the virus run its course. But no matter what is causing your sore throat, there are steps you can take at home to ease your pain and help you get better, including:
∙ Get plenty of sleep and avoid speaking more than necessary
∙ Drink lots of fluids to keep your throat moist and you hydrated. Just avoid dehydrating liquids like coffee and alcohol.
∙ Stick to soothing foods and beverages. This includes warm liquids like soup or water with honey and cool treats like Jell-O or ice cream.
∙ Gargle with saltwater—¼–½tspn sea salt to 4–8oz warm water.
Lozenges and over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can also help alleviate a sore throat, but be cautious if you’re treating your child.
Treatment from Your Doctor
You should see your doctor as soon as possible if you are dealing with a severe or persistent sore throat. A rapid strep test is often needed to diagnose strep throat, and only your doctor can tell for sure if you have tonsillitis and if it is from a bacteria or virus. If the cause of a sore throat is bacteria, your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics like penicillin or amoxicillin to kill it. Always take all of the medication as prescribed, even if you already feel better, and stay home until 24 hours after starting the antibiotic.
Sore throats can definitely be painful but they don’t have to be frustrating or a cause for worry. If you have any questions or concerns about a sore throat or any other symptoms, don’t hesitate to call your doctor today.
There are several factors that can cause a sore throat. If you've ever been to a concert or sporting event where you spent an evening or afternoon cheering on your favorite band or team, chances are that your throat felt scratchy or hurt the next day. You may have even felt hoarse or lost your voice. One of the most common causes of a sore throat is strep. If you suffer from seasonal or environmental allergies like to pollen or mold, you may also experience a scratchy or sore throat as a result. The ear, nose and throat doctors at Arizona ENT in Sun City West and Sun City, AZ, recommend scheduling an appointment if your sore throat persists for more than a few days or is accompanied by other symptoms like rash or fever.
Sore Threat Diagnosis and Treatment in Sun City West and Sun City
A sore throat can result from irritation or an infection such as strep (known as strep throat). The type of throat pain you feel and whether or not there are other symptoms generally depends on what is causing it. A sore throat can also be caused by other illnesses and upper respiratory problems such as:
- Seasonal cold or flu
- Mono (mononucleosis)
- Irritation due to excessive or prolonged coughing
- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease/acid reflux)
When to See a Doctor if You Have a Sore Throat
Children and adults are advised to seek immediate medical treatment if a sore throat is accompanied by difficulty breathing or swallowing. If over the counter cold and flu or allergy medications don't offer relief after a few days, you should see a doctor. Other symptoms you should not ignore include:
- A chronic or a recurring sore throat or hoarseness/loss of voice that lasts longer than two weeks
- Coughing up blood
- High fever (over 101)
- Lumps or bumps in the throat or neck
- Joint pain
Find an Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor in Sun City West and Sun City
For more information, contact Arizona ENT to schedule an appointment with a throat specialist by calling (623) 975-1660 for Sun City West, or (623) 972-2951 for our Sun City location.
There are many conditions and illnesses that can affect the ears, nose and throat. The doctors at Arizona Ear, Nose & Throat, your ear doctors in the Surprise, Sun City, El Mirage, Peoria, Glendale and Sun City West, AZ area have provided the answers to some common frequently asked questions.
How is a sinus infection treated?
Sinus infections, also called sinusitis, are caused by inflammation or blockage of the pathways meant to help the sinuses drain. A sinus infection can be treated with antibiotics and/or nasal decongestants. In cases of chronic sinus infections, endoscopic sinus surgery can help.
When should I see a doctor for a sore throat?
In many cases, a sore throat can be treated with over-the-counter medication. However, if you have had a severe sore throat for at least one week or longer and it is associated with any of the following symptoms, you should see a doctor.
- Trouble breathing or swallowing
- A hoarse voice for two weeks or more
- A fever of over 101 degrees
- Blood in the saliva or phlegm
- Ear aches
- A lump in the neck
- A rash
What symptoms are associated with tonsillitis?
There are several symptoms associated with tonsillitis, which is an infection of the tonsils. See an ear, nose and throat doctor if you have several of the following symptoms:
- Tonsils that appear more red than usual
- Tonsils appear to have a yellow or white coating
- A sore throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Bad breath
- A Fever
When is a tonsillectomy needed?
A tonsillectomy involves permanent removal of the tonsils. Two common reasons for having the tonsils removed are frequent tonsil infections and sleep apnea. Individuals, particularly children, who have had multiple tonsil infections within a one year time period are candidates for a tonsillectomy. Sleep apnea, a condition in which individuals stop breathing for a period of time while sleeping, is sometimes associated with enlarged tonsils. When this is the case, a tonsillectomy can resolve problems with sleep apnea.
What causes vertigo and how can it be treated?
Vertigo, a feeling of dizziness or of being off balance, is often the result of an infection or inflammation in the inner ear. In addition to dizziness, it can also be associated with nausea, vomiting, headaches and ringing in the ears. There are several possible treatments for vertigo. Based on your particular symptoms, an ear doctor in the Surprise, Sun City, El Mirage, Peoria, Glendale and Sun City West area can determine the most appropriate treatment option.
Treatments for vertigo include physical therapies, such as vestibular rehabilitation and canalith repositioning maneuvers, antibiotics, steroids and surgery. Antibiotics and steroids are used to treat vertigo when an inner ear infection or inflammation is causing it. Surgery is sometimes used for serious cases of vertigo when other treatment methods have failed. Your Surprise, Sun City, El Mirage, Peoria, Glendale and Sun City West area ear doctor can determine if and when surgery is needed.
If you are suffering from a condition or illness of the ear, nose or throat, Arizona Ear, Nose & Throat can help. Call today to schedule an appointment.