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Sore Throat

Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine

Urgent Care located in Columbus, GA

Everyone experiences a sore throat at one point or another, and the condition can be so uncomfortable that treatment becomes a top priority. Swift diagnostic and treatment services are available through the care of Kevin Lokkesmoe, MD, of Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine serving the community of Columbus, Georgia. If you or a loved one is suffering with a sore throat, call or use the online tool to set up a visit. You can also come in without an appointment for an urgent care visit.

Sore Throat Q & A

What causes a sore throat?

Having a sore throat is a common condition, and there can be many different causes. Something as simple as a long day of talking or a swift drop in temperature can trigger a sore throat. Usually, however, a sore throat follows a viral or bacterial infection. 

The common cold can also lead to a sore throat. In fact, a tickle in the throat that gradually grows worse is often the first sign that a cold is developing. The flu can also cause a sore throat in addition to other symptoms. 

Strep throat is an infection of streptococcus bacteria. It can bring on significant pain and is easily spread from one person to the next.Tonsillitis is an infection of the masses of tissue at the back of your throat.  

Additional causes can include muscle strain, exposure to environmental pollutants, dry air, allergies, tumors, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and many other factors. 

What are the symptoms of a sore throat?

A sore throat can be more than just pain. Many people complain of a dry, scratchy feeling in their throat, and a sensation of throat tightness is also common. 

Additional symptoms can include:

  • Trouble swallowing
  • White patches or visible pus at the back of the throat
  • Hoarse or muffled voice
  • Swollen or red tonsils
  • Swollen and tender glands in your neck

Depending on the cause of your sore throat, you might also experience symptoms like fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sneezing. 

When should I see a doctor for a sore throat?

In young children, a sore throat that doesn’t improve quickly should be seen by a doctor. For older kids and adults, schedule a visit with the doctor if symptoms interfere with normal daily routines. 

A sore throat that lasts longer than a week should prompt a visit to Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine, or if the following symptoms are also present:

  • Blood in your phlegm or saliva
  • Joint pain
  • Earache
  • Rash
  • Lump in the neck
  • Face or neck swelling
  • Sore throat that seems to come back frequently

Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine can perform a thorough diagnostic exam to determine the cause of your sore throat and explore treatment options. 

What diagnostic tools are used for sore throat?

A discussion of your symptoms and health history is the starting point, followed by checking your lymph nodes, back of your throat, ears, and nasal passages. The Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine team also listens to your breathing to look for signs of congestion. 

A throat swab test can look for signs of strep throat. One version can deliver results in just a few moments, but a more reliable version is sent to a lab and yields results in 24-48 hours.  

Once Urgent Care and Occupational Medicine has more information about the cause of your sore throat, they can devise a treatment plan to meet your needs. In some cases a course of antibiotics is an effective treatment. 

If you’re suffering from a sore throat, call or schedule an appointment online. You can also come in for an urgent care visit with no appointment needed.