The past year has required a bit of a balance. On the one hand, you want to be extra careful about any symptoms you experience. On the other, you may think that the last thing you want to do is visit a doctor’s office — full of potentially sick people — unless you truly need to.
That can make a sore throat particularly tricky. How do you know when it’s time to come see our dedicated team at SmartClinic Urgent Care at our clinics in West Covina and Santa Clarita, California? To help you make that determination, we’ve built this guide.
Common sore throat causes
Most sore throats are caused by the viruses that give you the common cold, the flu, or coronavirus. That makes getting your yearly flu shot and the COVID vaccine a great way to defend against sore throats.
That said, sore throats can be a symptom of a broad range of other conditions, including:
- Strep throat
- Mononucleosis (mono)
- Gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD)
- Muscle strain
Clearly, your sore throat could be caused by something that’s not overly concerning — even dry indoor air can cause a sore throat — or by something that needs prompt medical attention.
If you’re worried at all about it, don’t hesitate to visit SmartClinic Urgent Care. We have a range of diagnostic tools we can use to determine what might be causing your sore throat so you get the right treatment.
When a sore throat warrants a doctor’s visit
Generally, if your sore throat doesn’t come with any other symptoms and isn’t causing you excessive discomfort, you can wait it out for a few days at home. Many sore throats go away on their own with proper rest and drinking plenty of fluids.
These signs indicate it’s time to visit our office about your sore throat as soon as possible:
- Trouble breathing
- A fever higher than 101 degrees F
- Trouble swallowing
- A sore throat that lasts more than a week
- A lump in your neck
- Facial swelling
- Joint pain
When you come to our clinic, we start by diagnosing your sore throat so we can understand what’s causing it. This usually involves a physical exam, and we may recommend additional testing like a throat swab or a strep test. In many cases, we can get your test results back in minutes.
Ultimately, our goal is to ease your sore throat while treating its cause. And you can rest assured that your health and safety are our priority at our certified urgent care centers, so don’t wait to come in if you need medical attention.
For dedicated care for your sore throat, visit SmartClinic Urgent Care today. You can walk in, call us at either location to schedule an appointment, or book a visit online today.