When to See a Specialist for Your Sore Throat

A sore throat is a common occurrence and often isn’t a cause for concerns, however, there are some cases that warrant a trip to a specialist. An ENT specialist can help to determine the cause of your sore throat and get you feeling healthy again.

A Persistent Sore Throat

Most sore throats are caused by the common cold or other virus. These types of sore throats will usually resolve on their own without treatment and only last a few days. If your sore throat is persistent and lingering for more than 3-4 days, a bacterial infection might be to blame. Strep throat is a common bacterial infection that results in a severe sore throat, white patches on the back of the throat, and swollen glands. Strep throat is highly contagious, so you should see a doctor or ENT specialist right away to receive proper treatment. A sore throat from strep can usually be treated with antibiotics.

A Severe Sore Throat

We all know what a sore throat from a cold feels like, but if your sore throat is more severe than that, you might be suffering from strep or tonsillitis! Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils, the two masses of tissue in the back of the throat. Along with a severe sore throat, your throat might appear red and swollen with a white coating on the tonsils. While tonsillitis can sometimes resolve on its own, you might need an antibiotic to properly treat the infection and avoid complications with breathing or swallowing.

A Reoccurring Sore Throat

If you’ve had multiple cases of a severe sore throat in a year, you could have recurrent tonsillitis. If your tonsils continue to become infected and result in a severe sore throat, you may want to see an ENT specialist about a tonsillectomy. In a tonsillectomy, the tonsils are removed to prevent future complications. This surgery is usually recommended if you have had five or more cases of tonsillitis in a year or if an ongoing case that will not improve with antibiotics.

If you are in the Tuscaloosa, AL area and believe your sore throat should be seen by an ENT specialist, contact Tuscaloosa Ear, Nose, & Throat.

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