Dr. Bareiss is now accepting pediatric patients ages 3 and up!
‘Tis the season for holiday music, eggnog, New Year’s resolutions…and sore throats. Colds, flu and upper respiratory infections are common this time of year in San Diego, and the first sign is often a painful, scratchy throat. But how can you be sure it’s just a sore throat or something more serious, like strep?
Symptoms Provide Important Clues
Sore throats are symptoms of upper respiratory infections, but they also occur in people who are suffering from a bacterial infection known as strep throat.
How long does each condition last?
Viral infections typically clear up after a few days, while bacterial infections are more serious and require treatment with antibiotics. How, then, can you tell whether your sore throat is related to a viral or a bacterial infection?
Sore Throat Symptoms
It all comes down to the symptoms. If you are experiencing an itchy sore throat and pain when swallowing, you are probably experiencing an upper respiratory infection—typically a cold or flu. Other symptoms might include fever, earache, swollen glands, stuffy or runny nose and a cough.
Symptoms of Strep Throat
Strep, on the other hand, rarely produces a cough, runny nose or congestion. Instead, you are likely to have throat pain, swollen lymph nodes, red spots on the roof of the mouth, white patches on the tonsils (which may appear red or inflamed), headache, difficulty swallowing and/or breathing, nausea, vomiting, ear infection, fever and a severe rash. Strep throat can also cause tonsillitis.
order to be certain, you’ll need to visit an ear, nose and throat doctor in San
Diego to confirm the diagnosis.
Sore Throat Treatments
If you are suffering from a sore throat, home remedies work best. You can take over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief. Medicated throat lozenges and throat sprays containing phenol also help.
Gargling with warm salt water will help reduce swelling and relieve discomfort, and drinking plenty of liquids (tea and warm broth especially) will keep you hydrated and nourished. Finally, get plenty of rest and refrain from using your voice as much as possible.
Strep throat requires treatment with antibiotics. It’s extremely contagious, so early detection and treatment are essential in order to avoid infecting other family members. Be sure to visit an ENT doctor in San Diego if you notice any of the signs of strep, or your sore throat hasn’t cleared up after a day or two.
Providing Ear, Nose & Throat Services to the San Diego Community