Call or other emergency services immediately if a sore throat (pain being an 8 or 9 on a scale of 1 to 10) occurs along with the following symptoms, especially in a small child:
- Difficulty breathing
- Head pushed forward to breathe
Call your doctor today if you have:
- A severe sore throat and fever over 101F (38.3C) that lasts longer than 1 to 2 days.
- A severe sore throat 2 to 5 days after you know you have been exposed to someone with strep.
- A sore throat that is not part of a cold that lasts longer than 2 to 3 days despite home treatment.
- A red rash that feels like sandpaper. This may indicate .
- Difficulty sleeping because your throat is blocked by swollen .
Call a doctor if the following symptoms develop 1 to 2 weeks or longer after a strep throat infection. These symptoms may indicate .
- Shortness of breath
- Joint pain
- Raised red rash or lumps under the skin
- Uncontrolled, jerking movements of the arms or legs
is appropriate if your sore throat occurs with symptoms like those of a cold such as sneezing, coughing, and a runny or stuffy nose. In general, the more coldlike symptoms you have, the less likely it is that your sore throat is caused by a strep infection. You can try home treatment if your sore throat is not severe and you have other symptoms of a cold.
Call a doctor if:
- Sore throat is the main symptom and you haveno improvement after 2 to 3 days.
- Signs of strep throat arepresent.
Who to See
The following health professionals can evaluate a sore throat, do quick tests or throat cultures, and prescribe antibiotic treatment if needed:
- (ear, nose, and throatspecialist)
If surgery to remove chronically enlarged or infected tonsils or adenoids is suggested, you may be referred to an otolaryngologist.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.