Should I see a doctor about my sore throat?

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While many sore throats are connected to common viruses and will resolve themselves, you may want to consult a doctor if symptoms persist or are especially severe. For instance, it would be worth a trip to the doctor if you agree with any of the following statements:

  • My throat is excruciatingly sore.
  • I have had a sore throat for more than seven days.
  • It is hard for me to take in a breath or swallow just about anything.
  • It seemed that my throat felt better for awhile, but now it is sore again.
  • I've noticed blood in the phlegm that I've coughed up.
  • There are white spots all over my throat and tonsils, and my tonsils are large.
  • I have had a high fever, or my child has had a fever of 102 F or greater.
  • The lymph nodes in my neck area are tender to the touch.

Continue Learning about Viral Throat Infections

Viral Throat Infections

Viral Throat Infections

Aside from strep throat, most sore throats caused by are contagious, viral throat infections that cannot be treated with antibiotics. The most common culprits of a viral throat infection include coxsackievirus, mononucleosis, and ...

the flu. Mononucleosis (mono) is a virus that causes symptoms that can last for weeks or months at a time. Viral throat infections are best treated with rest, liquids and other home remedies. If the sore throat causes you to have trouble breathing or a high fever, or results in spots in the back of your throat, call your doctor.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.