Sore Throat -- When to Go to the Doctor?
In most cases, a sore throat is not a serious problem. However, in some cases, it may be a serious situation. So if you have a sore throat, when should you go to the doctor?
You should seek medical care if you (or your child) have any of the following symptoms:
- Temperature higher than 101ºF (38.3ºC)
- Swelling in the neck or tongue
- Difficulty breathing, swallowing, or opening the mouth
- Severe sore throat
- Difficulty talking
- Muffled voice
- Stiff neck
- Signs of dehydration.
Other reasons to contact your healthcare provider for a sore throat include:
- A sore throat that lasts longer than one week
- Pus on the back of the throat
- A rash
- Hoarseness lasting for more than two weeks
- Blood in saliva or phlegm
- Recurring sore throats
- You have been exposed to someone with strep throat or a sexually transmitted disease.
(For more details on when to go to the doctor, click Sore Throat. This article provides a complete overview of sore throats, including possible causes, how they are diagnosed, and treatment options that are available.)