Help with a Sore Throat
What causes a sore throat?
A sore throat is usually the result of a virus, like a cold or the flu. You can also get a sore throat from allergies, pollution (airborne chemicals and irritants), smoking or dry air.
What are the symptoms of a sore throat?
The symptoms of a sore throat will vary, dependent on the cause but usually include the symptoms you experience with the virus or allergy. For example if your sore throat is the result of a cold, you might experience the following symptoms:
- Dry scratchy throat
- Painful swallowing
- Sneezing and runny nose
- Coughing and congestion
- Mild headache or body ache
What should I do for a sore throat?
A sore throat will normally go away on its own - usually within a week. Over the counter medications like throat lozenges or sprays and pain-relievers may relieve the discomfort. Use ice pops or ice chips to soothe the throat and a clean humidifier helps add moisture into the air.
Do I get antibiotics for a sore throat?
No, not if your sore throat is caused by a virus, air irritant or allergy. The only time antibiotics are needed for a sore throat is if it is the result of the bacterial infection which causes strep throat.
How do I know if my sore throat is strep throat?
Unlike a sore throat, the symptoms of strep throat occur suddenly. A common symptom of strep throat is red swollen tonsils dotted with white patches of pus. Strep throat is highly contagious - if you think you have strep, get tested and treated as soon as possible.
Can I get my sore throat tested for strep at FastMed Urgent Care?
Yes. We have onsite testing labs at each of our FastMed walk-in clinics, and have a rapid test protocol for strep. Staff can even provide medications right on site, so you leave our clinic with your medications in-hand. Find the FastMed Urgent Care nearest you and don't worry about an appointment. We're open 365 days a year and walk-ins are always welcome.
The content presented on this page is not intended to diagnose health problems or take the place of professional medical care.