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Sore throat is a common symptom associated with a host of illnesses and conditions, and the best way to know for sure what's causing yours is to have it evaluated by a doctor so it doesn't become worse. Most sore throats are caused by an infection by viruses like a cold or flu. Over time and with plenty of rest, they often clear up on their own and usually can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. But sore throats that are caused by bacteria such as streptococcus need antibiotics to prevent the infection from spreading and potentially becoming much worse. Other causes for sore throats include:
Strep throat is an infection in the throat caused by a bacterium in the streptococcus family. Left untreated, these bacteria can spread very rapidly throughout the body, causing pneumonia, sinusitis, ear infections, scarlet fever, and even heart and kidney damage. To help the body fight back, strep throat should be managed with antibiotics. Although some strep throat can be diagnosed visually by the doctor, other times the doctor will need to use a long cotton swab take a culture of your throat that can be examined under a microscope.
Tonsillitis is condition that occurs when the tonsils – little masses of flesh at the back of the throat – become infected. Having tonsils removed used to be very common, but today, tonsils are usually removed only in cases of severe chronic (recurring) infection. Tonsillitis is usually treated with antibiotics to help get rid of the germs. Taking the complete course of antibiotics is important o prevent the infection from flaring up again.
Yes, both conditions are among the most common medical conditions seen in urgent care centers and doctors' offices.
Most ear aches occur in the middle ear and are caused by viruses like a cold or flu or bacterial infections. These germs typically find their way into the ear from the sinuses or throat though connecting tubes called the eustachian tubes. Normally, these tubes drain fluids away from the ear, but when they become blocked, germs can build up in the ear, causing infection and usually pain and pressure. Strep throat is a major cause of bacteria-related earaches.
The sinuses are air pockets behind the eyes, cheeks and forehead. Their primary functions are to produce mucus that can help trap dirt and germs that we would otherwise breathe in and to warm air before it enters the lungs. In a sinus infection, germs multiply in the mucus membranes in the sinuses, usually because they're not draining properly, which can occur when a buildup of mucus from a cold or flu prevents them from draining. Also called sinusitis, sinus infections cause pain and pressure in the cheeks, forehead and behind the eyes, and can even cause jaw pain and toothache. Many people have a thick yellow or green discharge from their nostrils.
Both conditions may be treated with pain relievers and antibiotics, and sometimes nose drops or nasal sprays. When earache is not accompanied by a fever or other symptoms of illness or does not follow a cold, the doctor may look for other possible causes of ear pain, such as a burst eardrum, jaw arthritis, tooth infection of buildup of ear wax to make sure you get the best treatment possible.
We know your time is precious, and the last thing you want to do when you're not feeling well is wait unnecessarily. So, we have streamlined the process of verifying eligibility and benefits for our insurance patients.
Out of Network
If you do not have one of these plans, don’t worry! We can still take care of you and provide you with the necessary paperwork to submit to your insurance company for possible reimbursement.
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