Throat Infections Specialist

Beach Cities ENTS

Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists located in Torrance, CA

When a painful throat infection develops, it’s important to schedule an examination at Beach Cities ENTS in Torrance, California, so the board-certified doctors can determine the type of throat infection. Depending on the underlying cause, early treatment can shorten the duration of your sore throat and reduce the severity of your symptoms. If you have a sore throat, call the South Bay area office or schedule an appointment online today.

Throat Infections Q & A

What causes a throat infection?

A throat infection, or pharyngitis, is most often caused by a viral infection that arises due to a cold, the flu, or mononucleosis. Less commonly, you may develop a throat infection due to:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Fungi
  • Allergies
  • Sinus infection
  • Acid reflux
  • Irritants such as cigarette smoke

Children aged 3-15 years have the highest risk of developing strep throat, which is the most common bacterial infection.

How can I tell the difference between viral and bacterial throat infections?

As a general guideline, a sore throat that’s due to a strep infection tends to appear quickly and cause immediate, severe pain. By comparison, a sore throat from a viral infection tends to develop gradually, getting worse over several days.

If your throat infection is associated with an underlying cold, you also have cold symptoms such as coughing, a runny nose, sneezing, and red, watery eyes. Strep infections don’t usually cause cold symptoms.

No matter what causes your throat infection, you have symptoms such as:

  • A sore throat that’s worse when swallowing
  • Swollen, red tonsils
  • White patches on your tonsils
  • Swollen lymph nodes in your neck
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Low-grade fever
  • Earache

Parents should seek immediate medical care if their child has a sore throat accompanied by difficulty swallowing or breathing, drooling, a high fever, or a stiff neck.

Why should I get early treatment for a throat infection?

If you have a strep infection, you can reduce the duration and severity of your symptoms by getting treatment within 48 hours. 

Early treatment also prevents it from spreading to other areas of your body. Strep can cause rheumatic fever, which has serious complications such as inflamed joints and heart valve damage, as well as kidney damage.

How does an ENT specialist treat a throat infection?

Your treatment depends on the cause of your throat infection. Antibiotics and over-the-counter pain relievers treat bacterial infections.

The best way to treat viral symptoms is to use medications that relieve your symptoms while you wait for the virus to run its course. In some cases, your doctor at Beach Cities ENTS may prescribe a dose of steroid pills  to alleviate your symptoms more quickly.

Self-care also goes a long way toward helping you feel better and heal. This type of care includes drinking plenty of fluids, gargling with salt water, and eating smooth, cool foods such as gelatin, ice pops, and ice cream.

The doctors at Beach CIties ENTS may even recommend surgery to remove your tonsils if the symptoms are severe and frequent enough.

To get relief from a throat infection, call Beach Cities ENTS or schedule an appointment online today.

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