Sore Throat

A sore throat is characterized by pain, irritation, or scratchiness of the throat.


What is a Sore Throat?

A sore throat is characterized by pain, irritation, or scratchiness of the throat. This often worsens when you swallow and can obstruct your daily life. Pharyngitis is the cause of most sore throats, but they are also common when you have a common cold or the flu. A viral or bacterial infection and strep throat can be the cause of this too. Avoiding germs as much as possible and practicing good hygiene are the best ways to prevent sore throats.

Symptoms of a Sore Throat

General sore throat symptoms are:

  • Throat pain that Worsens with Swallowing
  • Painful or Scratchy Throat
  • Sore, Swollen Glands
  • Swollen, Red Tonsils
  • Hoarse Voice
  • White Patches on the Tonsils
  • Trouble Swallowing

A sore throat caused by a virus or as the result of the cold or flu does not require any medical treatment. Over-the-counter cough medications and throat lozenges can help to relieve symptoms. If your sore throat is the result of bacterial infections, then you should seek medical treatment. To get checked by a professional come into WellCare Urgent Care Center.

Strep Throat

This condition is very contagious and is caused by a bacterial infection. It causes the throat to feel scratchy and painful. The tonsils may also appear to be swollen, with pus and white patches. Along with these symptoms, strep throat may also come along with a fever, headache, rash, body aches, and nausea.

Strep throat is very contagious. This can be spread through droplets in the air when someone sneezes, coughs, or even talks. It is also spread through sharing of food and drinks or touching infected surfaces. Children are at a higher risk for strep throat than others. To cure strep throat medications such as antibiotics are needed.

Frequently Asked Questions about Sore Throats

How do you know if you have strep or just a sore throat?

The symptoms can differ between strep and a sore throat. Strep typically comes with a fever as well as a headache, swollen glands, and loss of appetite. A sore throat typically comes with a cough, runny nose, and watery eyes.

How long are you contagious with strep?

After taking antibiotics, you become less contagious within 24-48 hours, but if your strep is untreated, it can take up to two to three weeks before you are no longer contagious. If you suspect you have strep, come on into WellCare Urgent Care and we can ensure you get the treatment you need.

Can you have strep without having a sore throat/fever?

Yes. You can have strep and be asymptomatic. You may not have a sore throat or a fever and still have strep. Unfortunately, you are still able to spread the germs, but you are much more contagious when you have symptoms.

How can you cure a sore throat that is not strep related?

A sore throat that is not strep-related will typically go away in about a week, but you can manage the pain with pain relievers and over-the-counter cough and cold medicine. You can also suck on ice chips and drink warm beverages and plenty of fluids.

What should you not eat/drink with a sore throat?

You want to avoid any acidic foods and drinks as they can further irritate your throat. Foods that are crispy with firm edges like crackers or chips can also bother your throat as well.

Come into WellCare

If you have a sore throat, it is important to get checked out by a professional to make sure it’s not a bacterial infection. Visit WellCare Urgent Care Center in Grand Rapids to get professional care. Schedule a same-day appointment online at our Cascade and Leonard locations.

Should I visit Urgent Care or Emergency Room?

Urgent Care

When you have any medical condition that is non-life threatening or have general medical needs, then an Urgent Care center can take care of these. WellCare Urgent Care takes care of a variety of medical concerns such as the flu, vaccinations, physicals, allergy symptoms, and more.

WellCare Urgent care is convenient because it is quick and cost-effective.

Average visit time: 1 hour
Average cost: $150

Emergency Room

Emergency care is necessary when you are suffering from a life-threatening condition. This could be a heart attack, stroke, head injury, or other trauma that requires more advanced treatment. If you or someone you love has a life-threatening illness or injury, then you need to call 911 and get to the closest Emergency Room.

Emergency Rooms, while the best option for serious trauma, do take time and are costly.

Average Time Spent: 4.5 hours
Average Cost Per Visit: $1700

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