An occasional sore throat that accompanies the cold or flu is normal, but if your sore throat is chronic or has other symptoms, it could be a sign of a more serious problem. Otolaryngologist, Dr. Terry Baker, who practices in Idaho Falls, Idaho, can evaluate you or your children’s sore throat for complications that might involve an infection or a problem with the tonsils. Call his office when you or your children have a sore throat that causes pain or just won’t heal.
You’re familiar with the scratchiness and painful sensations of a sore throat that accompanies a minor respiratory infection. These usually resolve in a few days on their own. But consider seeking Dr. Baker’s advice if you experience:
If a sore throat is complicating breathing and swallowing, it could be a medical emergency and need immediate attention.
Strep throat is caused by a bacteria that infiltrates the throat and often the tonsils. Symptoms common to strep throat include:
You may also see white or yellow spots at the back of your throat. Strep throat is quite contagious but resolves within a week when treated with antibiotics.
Tonsils are a part of your body’s natural immune system. The tissue at the back of your throat captures bacteria and viruses so as to protect the rest of your body and trigger an immune response. The adenoids are tissue that lies high in the throat behind the nose and soft palate.
Both the tonsils and adenoids can become inflamed and swollen when affected by a virus or bacteria. You may have pain when swallowing, a severe sore throat, and other cold symptoms when suffering from inflamed tonsils and adenoids.
Antibiotics can treat bacterial infections of the adenoids and tonsils; if you have a virus, you must wait for it to resolve on its own within seven to 10 days. If your tonsils and adenoids experience chronic infection, Dr. Baker may recommend they be removed with outpatient surgery.
Other causes of a sore throat might involve your larynx, pharynx, or epiglottis.
Laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx, which is the top portion of your windpipe. You may experience hoarseness and coughing with this inflammation. Pharyngitis describes inflammation of the tissue that sits behind the mouth and soft palate. You usually experience pain while swallowing with pharyngitis. The epiglottis, a flap of tissue at the base of the tongue, can become infected and inflamed causing your sore throat.
Call the office of Terry Baker, MD for any serious sore throat issues.