When to See a Doctor
Sore throat is very common. Most are caused by a viral infection, as part of a cold, and will resolve on its own in several days.
Severe sore throats can be caused by mono (mononucleosis), which often affects young adults, or strep throat. Sore throats can also be a symptom of other conditions, such as tonsillitis, bronchitis, sinusitis, or laryngitis.
A doctor's visit is necessary to rule out a more serious condition, especially if any of the following are present:
- Sore throat or hoarseness that lasts for more than several days
- Severe throat pain or difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Blood in saliva, sputum, or phlegm
- Tender or swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- White or yellow patches or pus at the back of the throat
- A temperature of more than 101 degrees
- Excessive drooling in children
- Severe pain in the sinuses
- Pus at the back of the throat
- Cough that produces mucus
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Hubbert M, Sievers H, Lehnfeld R, Kehrl W. Efficacy and tolerability of a spray with Salvia officinalis in the treatment of acute pharyngitis - a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study with adaptive design and interim analysis. Eur J Med Res. 11.1 (2006): 20-26.