As common as it may sound, a sore throat can be extremely painful and create difficulty swallowing and talking. The dedicated team at TexomaCare Urgent Care can help determine the cause of your sore throat and help you to feel better sooner.

Knowing the signs, symptoms, causes and treatments can help you get the most out of your care.

What is a Sore Throat?

A sore throat simply refers to any pain, irritation or scratchiness of the throat.

Sore throats (interchangeably referred to as “pharyngitis”) are typically caused by inflammation of the throat.

Sore Throat Causes

A sore throat can be a symptom of many different types of viruses and bacterial infections.

Determining if it is viral or bacterial is important as strep infection can cause other more serious illnesses.

Viruses that cause sore throats include:

  • Common cold
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Mononucleosis (mono)
  • Measles
  • Chickenpox
  • Croup
  • COVID-19

Bacterial infections that cause sore throats include:

  • Strep throat
  • Tonsillitis
  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia

Sore throats can also be caused by other external irritants including:

  • Dry air (particularly during the winter)
  • Allergies
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Air pollution
  • Cleaning products and chemicals

Less common causes of sore throats include:

  • An abscess (area of infected tissue)
  • Epiglottitis (a condition that occurs when the small cartilage “lid” that covers the windpipe swells, blocking airflow)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Tumor

Signs and Symptoms of a Sore Throat

Although there are many causes for a sore throat and cough, they all tend to present similarly. Common symptoms include:

  • Pain or a scratchy sensation in the throat that worsens with swallowing or talking
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dry throat
  • Sore and swollen glands in your neck or jaw
  • Red swollen tonsils
  • White patches or pus on tonsils
  • Hoarse or muffled voice

Diagnosing and Treating a Sore Throat

Although throat infections can be very painful, they are often easily treatable.

We offer multiple tests for viral and bacterial infections including:

  • Rapid strep screen to diagnose strep throat (throat swab)
  • Infectious mononucleosis rapid test to diagnose mono (blood test)
  • Coronavirus testing to diagnose Covid-19 (nasal swab)

Sore throat treatment depends on the cause. Viral infections can be treated symptomatically, whereas strep and other bacterial infections are typically treated with antibiotics.

In both cases, your provider may suggest various methods to alleviate your symptoms. Cough drops, sore throat medicine, anti-inflammatory medications, pain relievers and cough syrup can provide you with much-needed relief.  Wash your hands regularly and take other precautions to prevent the spread as you are recovering.

In the unlikely event you have a respiratory or more serious illness, you may require additional care. The urgent care clinic will help you get connected with a specialist to provide you with the care you need quickly.

Treating Sore Throats at Home

If your sore throat just started and you are looking for some at-home remedies, try these techniques for symptom relief:

  • Drink warm liquids to soothe your throat. Broth, tea with honey and warm water with lemon all have calming properties.
  • Suck on a popsicle or ice cube to reduce inflammation in the back of your throat.
  • Gargle with a mixture of warm water and ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt.
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.

When to Seek Medical Care

It can be difficult to determine when to seek medical care for common symptoms like a sore throat. Contact your medical provider or get to an urgent care center if you have any of these more serious symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing or pain when you breath
  • Difficulty opening your mouth
  • Blood in your saliva or phlegm
  • Sore joints
  • Earache
  • Painful or stiff neck
  • A fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius)
  • A sore throat that lasts more than a week

Contact Us Now

TexomaCare Urgent Care, located in Denison, Texas, and Durant, Oklahoma, is open seven days a week. We offer convenient daytime and evening hours. Our team of medical professionals is here to help provide patients with urgent care for sore throats.