A sore throat is one of the most difficult medical issues for people to properly self-diagnose. There are a wide range of potential causes, from a night out in a crowded place that requires loud voices to a viral or bacterial infection. Most people recognize a sore throat at the earliest signs of a developing cold. It can also be a reaction to an environmental irritant. Self-care options include over-the-counter pain relief medications, gargling with salt water or using throat sprays. However, when the soreness progresses and becomes impossible to ignore, then it may be time to seek urgent care treatment.
Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by the common streptococcus bacteria. It is easily spread through mucus or saliva, which is why most schools will send home a notice when a child in the classroom has been diagnosed with strep. Once the infection is present, some patients will see white spots in the back of their throat and may experience fever or swollen lymph nodes. Strep throat can also be incredibly painful, which is what leads most people to seek urgent care treatment. It is important to note that strep throat can lead to more serious conditions, such as rheumatic fever.
Urgent care begins with a full diagnostic exam, which allows medical practitioners the chance to evaluate the patient and test for certain illnesses. Next, a course of treatment is determined according to the specific needs of each patient. In some cases, antibiotics will be administered or prescribed. There are also a number of pain relief options available in the urgent care setting. If the patient presents a high fever, then fever-reducing medications may become part of the immediate treatment plan. Just as there is no such thing as a “standard” sore throat, there is also no standardized course of treatment. Each case is evaluated and treated as necessary.
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