Most sore throats go away on their own, but some require a visit to the ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor. Dr. Ronald Allen, Dr. Thomas Phillips and Dr. Theodore Kanne help Valdosta, GA and surrounding community, residents recover from sore throats and other ear, nose and throat problems.
What causes sore throats?
Sore throats are a particularly common ailment. In fact, approximately 15 million Americans visit doctors every year due to sore throat pain, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Common sore throat causes include:
- Viral Infections: Sore throats often occur if you have a cold, the flu or another virus. In most cases, your throat will feel better in a week or two. Over-the-counter pain medication, gargling with salt water and drinking warm beverages can help ease y our symptoms.
- Strep Throat: Symptoms usually occur quickly if you have a strep throat. The bacterial infection often causes severe throat pain and a fever over 101F. If you have strep throat, you may notice white or yellow spots on your throat and swollen lymph nodes or tonsils. Antibiotic treatment is needed if you develop strep throat.
- Allergies and Environmental Factors: Allergies, smoke and strong chemicals can irritate the lining of your throat and cause throat pain. Taking allergy medication and avoiding environmental irritants can help ease your symptoms and prevent throat pain in the future.
- Laryngitis: A sore throat often accompanies laryngitis, an inflammation that affects your voice box. Laryngitis is more likely to occur if you have a viral infection, were exposed to environmental irritants or sang or yelled for a long period recently.
- Tonsillitis and Inflamed Adenoids: Inflammation of your tonsils and adenoids can be very painful. Although viral tonsillitis will go away on its own, you will need antibiotics if your illness is caused by a bacterial infection. If you experience frequent bouts of tonsillitis, your Valdosta ENT may recommend removal of your tonsils and possibly your adenoids.
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD): GERD occurs when strong stomach acids flow into your esophagus and irritate the sensitive lining. Although heartburn is a common sign of GERD, some people also experience sore throats.
When should I see an ENT?
Call your ENT if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Severe throat pain
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Fever higher than 101F
- Earache, rash or joint pain in addition to a sore throat
- A sore throat that lasts more than one week or hoarseness that lasts longer than two weeks
- Blood in your phlegm or saliva
Your ENT can help you find relief for your sore throat symptoms. Call Valdosta, GA, ENT Dr. Ronald Allen, Dr. Thomas Phillips and Dr. Theodore Kanne at (229) 244-2562 to schedule your appointment.