In many cases, sore throats resolve on their own, but if you or your child have a persistent sore throat accompanied by a fever and swollen lymph nodes, you should talk to a doctor. At Park Avenue ENT, Jacqueline Jones, MD, a board-certified ENT specialist and head and neck surgeon, diagnoses the condition causing your sore throat and offers customized treatments to relieve your painful sore throat and heal the underlying condition. Call one of the offices in Brooklyn or on the Upper East Side of New York City, or schedule an appointment online.
A sore throat is a symptom of a wide range of illnesses and infections. Most of the time, a sore throat is caused by a viral infection such as the common cold, the flu, or mononucleosis. Other less common viral infections that cause sore throats include chickenpox, measles, and croup. Your sore throat may also be caused by a bacterial infection like streptococcus, the bacteria responsible for strep throat.
Other conditions that cause a sore throat include:
Children and teenagers are more likely than adults to develop sore throats because of the close quarters of classrooms and child care centers. Your risk of getting a sore throat increases if you have allergies or suffer from chronic sinus infections.
In most cases, sore throats are due to viral infections that your body can fight off in a few days. In these cases, the best thing you can do is rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take over-the-counter medications to soothe your symptoms while your immune system fights the virus.
However, if your sore throat doesn’t go away in a day or so or if your tonsils are red and swollen, or if you have white patches or streaks on your tonsils, you may have a bacterial infection that Dr. Jones can treat with antibiotics. If you or your child have trouble swallowing or if your breathing is wheezy or disrupted, you should get urgent medical attention.
Sore throat treatment depends on the condition causing your pain. Dr. Jones can prescribe antibiotics if a bacterial infection is at the root of your symptoms. However, if your sore throat is due to a virus, you just need to rest and soothe your symptoms while your body fights the infection.
If your child suffers from chronic bacterial infections or incapacitating viral infections several times a year, Dr. Jones may recommend a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. When your child has chronic tonsillitis, removing the tonsils can prevent your child from having frequent sore throats.
Call Park Avenue ENT or schedule an appointment online today for expert diagnosis and treatment for sore throats.