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Sore throat? When to see the doctor

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

By: Jeff Ash


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Everyone gets a sore throat. Maybe you shouted too much at the game. Maybe you scorched it with some hot food or a hot drink.

 

Sometimes, though, a sore throat is a symptom of an illness.

 

“Thankfully, most of those are minor, as in a common cold or other virus,” says Dr. Steven J. Stroman of BayCare Clinic Emergency Physicians.

 

“Other sore throats, especially those that last several days and don’t respond to simple remedies and are accompanied by fever and other symptoms, should be cause for concern.”

 

That kind of pharyngitis – the medical term for a sore throat – may signal a problem that may require antibiotics or other treatments. That’s for a physician or other medical practitioner to evaluate. Stroman offers one caution about antibiotics: Overusing them may add unnecessary expense and cause side effects and resistance to them.

 

If you have a sore throat, start with soothing liquids, lozenges and sprays.  If you also have pain, mild fever and inflammation, take acetaminophen or ibuprofen if you can. 

 

If a sore throat lasts more than a few days, or if swallowing or breathing are getting worse, or if there are other symptoms, see your doctor.

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BayCare Clinic, baycare.net, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.