Sore throats are a very common occurrence, and can range from a minor annoyance to a more serious problem. While most cases of sore throat are nothing to be worried about, there are rare cases where a sore throat is an emergency. If you are having a significant problem swallowing, difficulty breathing, or excess drooling, visit your nearest hospital ER right away.

What Causes a Sore Throat?

A sore throat, also known as pharyngitis, is caused by a variety of factors. Allergens, viruses, and bacterial infections can all be causes of a sore throat. Viral infections, such as the cold or the flu, are common causes of a sore throat. The measles, chickenpox, and other viral infections can also cause sore throat.

Common symptoms of a sore throat include:

  • Scratchiness
  • Difficulty or pain swallowing
  • Swelling of the tonsils
  • Hoarseness

In some cases, these symptoms can also be accompanied by body aches, fever, headaches, runny nose, nausea, and even vomiting.

Strep Throat

Strep throat is caused by the streptococcus strand of bacteria. While strep throat shares some symptoms of a normal sore throat, strep throat can result in more serious complications. Oftentimes antibiotics are required to cure strep throat, so if you believe you are suffering from strep throat, contact a medical provider as soon as possible. At Ultra Med Urgent Care, we offer RAPID in-house testing to detect strep throat, without a referral, so you can start feeling better as quickly as possible! When prescribed antibiotics, be sure to continue the full course of the medication in order to prevent bacteria from returning.

How to Treat a Sore Throat

There is an array of remedies that can be used to lessen the symptoms of a sore throat. Gargling with warm salt water, sucking on throat lozenges, using a humidifier, and taking prescribed antibiotics can all help to treat a sore throat.

If you are experiencing a sore throat that lasts longer than two days, or are also experiencing a fever, rash, joint pain, or abdominal pain, contact Ultra Med Urgent Care as soon as possible. We serve patients in the Skokie and Evanston, Illinois areas.