4 Sore Throat Causes Easily Treated At Walk In Clinics

Many cold and flu viruses cause intense throat pain that makes it difficult to eat, drink or talk comfortably. Unfortunately, if the pain lasts for more than a week, you are likely dealing with a completely different cause of your discomfort. Furthermore, pain levels that continually rise indicate the sore throat origins go far beyond a common cold or flu virus. Thankfully, walk in clinic physicians can diagnosis and treat most conditions that cause a sore throat to help you quickly recover. Here are four conditions doctors often consider while diagnosing the cause of your sore throat.

Food Allergy

A mild allergic reaction to foods can cause irritation, such as itching or burning, in your throat. The effect may be so mild that you do not attribute the pain and discomfort to your diet. With the absence of gastric irritation, sneezing or coughing, you might not consider allergies as the cause at all. Unless the reaction worsens or appears right after eating the offending ingredient, it is up to your doctor to pinpoint the cause.

You may need to follow an elimination diet to find the exact ingredients causing your sore throat symptoms. Remember, in addition to whole foods, you could have an allergy to herbs, spices and additives used in your meals. You should keep a symptom journal while following the elimination diet to help your doctor make the diagnosis.

Strep Infection

Since strep infections are highly infectious, doctors perform a quick test to make a positive diagnosis. Your doctor will immediately look in your throat for characteristic white and red patches using a tongue depressor for a clear view. You will also have your throat swabbed to gather a sample for the lab. Technicians at the lab process the sample to check for telltale Group A streptococcus bacteria.

If your symptoms match ones associated with a strep infection, your doctor may preemptively prescribe an antibiotic medication while you wait for the results of the rapid lab test. Unless you are instructed to stop taking the medication, you must finish the prescription even if you start feeling better before it is gone.

Mild Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis is an infection in your tonsil tissues resulting in inflammation and pain in your throat. The same bacteria that cause strep can infect the tonsils, but there are many other bacterial causes as well, including staphylococcus. Your doctor will need to swab the tonsils and have the lab determine the exact bacteria causing an infection to properly treat your symptoms.

In the meantime, you will be placed on an aggressive antibiotic to keep the infection from spreading. Your doctor may need to adjust the antibiotic type or strength after receiving your test results back from the lab. While waiting for the antibiotics to take effect, you can soothe your throat by gargling water mixed with salt or aspirin two to three times a day.

Acid Reflux

Reflux occurs when the sphincter at the bottom of your esophagus allows stomach acid to travel back up your throat. The acid wreaks havoc on the soft tissue in your throat, causing irritation that quickly leads to lasting pain. If the acid does not reach all the way up to your mouth, you may not even be aware the reflux is happening.

If your doctor cannot find another obvious cause of your sore throat, he or she may suspect acid reflux and prescribe a proton pump inhibitor or other acid reduction medication. If this medication works to eliminate your sore throat, you will stay on the reflux medication and make dietary changes to keep the reflux under control.

Following The Given Treatment Protocol

Follow your doctor's orders exactly to have the best chance at eliminating sore throat symptoms in a short amount of time. After a few days of taking the prescribed medication or changing your diet, you should notice a decrease in symptom severity. If not, go back into the walk in clinic for a follow up visit. Your doctor may adjust the medication or provide additional treatment options to help you feel better faster.