The Dreaded Sore Throat: Why You Should Never Ignore It

The Dreaded Sore Throat: Why You Should Never Ignore It 150 150 Tony Guo

The Dreaded Sore Throat: Why You Should Never Ignore It

You’re in the middle of an important work presentation, and suddenly you feel a piercing pain on your left side of your neck. Suddenly, you lose your voice entirely, and before long you can’t help but start coughing uncontrollably. You must stop the presentation and run to your doctor’s office—you must have strep throat!

Fever
A fever is often a symptom of tonsillitis or a more serious illness, such as strep throat. If your sore throat persists, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor—fever without any other accompanying symptoms can be indicative of a serious disease like mononucleosis, for example. In fact, it’s recommended that patients go see their physician if they suspect something may be wrong with them but aren’t sure what it is. When in doubt, contact your doctor!

Back pain
If your back hurts but you’re not quite sure where it hurts, it might be a symptom of something else. Because muscles, tendons, and ligaments throughout your body are connected to your spine, even injuries lower on your body can create pain in your upper back or neck. For example, if you have an injury to your low back (lumbar spine), you might feel pain in your neck or upper back. Seek medical attention right away if you have any of these symptoms

Swollen glands
Your glands are located in your neck, armpits and groin. When they swell, it’s a signal that something is off with your immune system. There are more than 100 different types of glands in our bodies; those in our throat make mucous to protect against germs and bacteria. When we have a sore throat, swollen tonsils (the round, fleshy objects at each side of our pharynx) are often culprits.

Pain with swallowing
Many sore throats come with a dull ache when you swallow, which comes from irritated pharyngeal (throat) tissue. A sore throat is not likely to get better on its own, and there are many causes of a sore throat. Therefore, if you notice pain while swallowing or have other symptoms of strep throat, such as swollen tonsils or red spots on your tongue and in your mouth, it’s best to see a doctor right away.

Numbness or tingling

Earaches can be an indicator of strep throat
If you notice a sore throat accompanied by any of these symptoms, your sore throat could be caused by strep. Tonsillitis (inflammation of your tonsils) may follow within one to two weeks. If you have a fever and/or swollen lymph nodes, along with a sore throat, it’s important that you make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible. These are common indicators of bacterial infections that can spread quickly if left untreated.

Treatments for adults
Though many sore throats are caused by viruses and can’t be treated with medication, some sore throats do require medical treatment. If your throat pain is accompanied by difficulty swallowing, fever or discolored patches on your tongue or throat, you may have strep throat and should seek medical attention immediately. Antibiotics are typically given to those with a bacterial infection of any type.

Treatments for children
For kids, sore throats are usually just a passing annoyance, but it’s important to recognize that they can be a symptom of something more serious. If your child is younger than 2 years old or under 5 years old and his throat is sore for more than two days, he may have strep throat. Call your doctor for an appointment to get antibiotics for him as soon as possible—that way you can avoid further complications.

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