Your sore throat is your body trying to tell you something. Maybe it’s that you sang too loudly at the concert the night before or that you have allergies. But it could also be a sign that your body is fighting an infection.
Because you have lymph nodes in your throat that can get swollen and tender when you’re sick, that sore throat could be an early indicator of an illness. And, yes, that could absolutely be strep throat. But it could also be something else.
Sore throats can come from a wide variety of causes, and our team offers specialized care for them here at SmartClinic Urgent Care in West Covina and Santa Clarita, California. Strep throat is caused by a bacterial infection, and it’s contagious, so it’s understandable that you want to figure out what could be behind your sore throat.
We can help. You can schedule an appointment at either SmartClinic location or simply walk in to see a member of our team for expert diagnosis and treatment.
What might be behind your sore throat
In a lot of cases, sore throats come from a bacterial or viral infection. All of these conditions fit into this category:
- Strep throat (streptococcal infection)
- Flu (influenza)
- A common cold
- Chicken pox
- HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)
You can also get a strep throat from causes that aren’t related to an infection, such as:
- Acid reflux, including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Dry air
- Exposure to irritants like pollutants
- Muscle strain
- Tumors in the throat
At our SmartClinic Urgent Care locations, our team talks with you about any other symptoms you’re experiencing with your sore throat to help us determine the most likely cause. We may also order tests — like a strep throat test — to confirm the diagnosis. From there, we can start you on the right treatment plan to soothe your sore throat and heal what’s behind it.
When to get a strep test
Generally, we’ll order a strep throat test when you have the symptoms of this kind of infection. Those include:
- A sore throat that came on suddenly
- Discomfort and difficulty when swallowing
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A fever
- White patches on your tonsils
At SmartClinic Urgent Care, we offer rapid strep tests, which means we can take a throat swab and get your results in minutes. This way, you don’t waste a day or more quarantining at home while you wait to find out if you have this contagious condition.
Because streptococcal infections are bacterial, we have an easy treatment if a test confirms that you do have strep throat. A course of antibiotics should clear it right up.
If you want to figure out what’s causing your sore throat — or if you think you might have strep — call SmartClinic Urgent Care at 661-430-9040, book a visit online, or simply walk into either of our clinics today.