Getting the Most from Primary Care

Dealing With A Sore Throat? How To Tell When A Doctor Is Needed

If you have a sore throat, you might think it's a minor medical condition, and you might be right. In most cases, sore throats resolve themselves in just a few days, without medical care. However, there are times when throat pain is more than a simple sore throat. For those times, you need to visit a doctor as soon as possible. Unfortunately, you don't always know when your sore throat has moved beyond a minor irritation. Read the list provided below. If you're experiencing any of the issues described below, it's time to visit the doctor. 

Your Throat Pain Won't Go Away

If you've been taking over-the-counter pain medication for your sore throat but it's no longer working, it's time to visit the doctor. Most minor throat irritations can be handled with a normal dose of over-the-counter pain medication or by gargling with salt water. Throat pain that won't go away may be a sign of a more serious infection or medical condition. Consult your doctor right away. 

Your Face and Neck Are Swollen

If you've been dealing with a sore throat and it's been a few days, take a close look at your face and neck. Some throat infections can cause your face and neck to swell. Tonsillitis and strep throat are two infections that can cause swelling. You might also notice a swollen lump along the lower edge of your jawline. That swelling is a sign that you're dealing with an infection. If your face and neck appear to be swollen and you're experiencing a sore throat, visit your doctor as soon as possible. 

You Have Blood in Your Saliva

If you're battling a sore throat and you've discovered blood in your saliva, it's time to talk to your doctor. If you've been coughing, blood could be a sign that you've damaged some blood vessels due to strenuous coughing. However, if you've noticed a lot of blood in your saliva, you need to seek medical assistance from your doctor right away. 

You've Developed a Fever

If you're dealing with a sore throat and you've suddenly developed a fever, the first thing you need to do is take an over-the-counter fever reducer. If your fever won't go away, or if it continues to rise, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. Your fever may be an indication that your sore throat is turning into a raging infection.

Contact a doctor in your area to learn more.