My Throat’s Been Sore for a Week — What Should I Do?

Sep 01, 2023
My Throat’s Been Sore for a Week — What Should I Do?
A sore throat is often a symptom of a viral condition like the flu or common cold — but what happens when it continues for over a week? Read on to discover when to seek help from an urgent care facility if a sore throat persists despite home care measures.

We’ve all experienced discomfort, scratchiness, or trouble swallowing related to a sore throat at some point, but it usually subsides on its own. However, a sore throat that persists despite over-the-counter medications, rest, and hot tea may require medical treatment.

Although allergies or viral infections cause most sore throats, the discomfort can sometimes indicate something more serious, such as a bacterial infection like strep throat.

If you've been dealing with a sore throat that's not getting better, the team at Highway Integrative Health Center offers urgent care with same-day appointments and walk-in treatment for a fast evaluation and treatment of various illnesses and injuries.

Dr. Jose Lopez-Chevrez and Dr. Yaritza Arriaga O'Neill are primary and urgent care specialists, providing diagnostic tools and customized treatments for sore throats, viruses, and other infections.

Sore throat causes

A sore throat is a condition that produces discomfort or a scratchy feeling in the back of your throat. It may be mild, moderate, or severe and can occur suddenly or over several days.

There are various reasons you may experience a sore throat, including the following conditions:

  • Allergies
  • Mouth breathing
  • Acid reflux
  • Tonsillitis
  • Irritants
  • Common cold
  • Flu

Bacterial infections can also cause a sore throat, especially strep throat and sinus infections. You may require expert treatment for these conditions, as they might not go away without antibiotics.

In most cases, a sore throat goes away within a few days. Still, if symptoms persist, getting professional medical treatment is a good idea.

Home care for a sore throat

When a sore throat pops up, there are various home care measures you can take to feel better. Getting relief quickly is the goal for any condition that comes with a sore throat, which you can achieve through the following home treatments:

  • Suck on ice or popsicles
  • Drink hot tea with honey
  • Rest
  • Use a humidifier
  • Take over-the-counter medications
  • Avoid smoking and other irritants

In most cases of a sore throat not caused by a bacterial infection or other serious condition, these measures kick in within a few days, and you get relief. However, if the soreness persists even with home care for over a week, seeking medical help is a good idea.

When to seek treatment

A sore throat that lasts longer than a week without reprieve is something you shouldn't ignore. Seek treatment at our urgent care if you have a sore throat with any of the following symptoms:

  • Swelling around the neck or face
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Hoarseness that persists
  • Blood-tinged saliva
  • Earache
  • Joint pain

A sore throat that lingers and is accompanied by any of the above symptoms may indicate a more significant issue in the body. It's always a good idea to let our team evaluate you and your health if you have a sore throat that's not improving.

How we treat a sore throat

After thoroughly evaluating your throat and other symptoms, we provide personalized treatments for sore throats. We base our treatment on the cause of the sore throat and the accompanying signs and symptoms.

We provide a rapid strep test to determine if your sore throat is due to bacteria, which often requires antibiotics. We put you on antibiotics for several days to eliminate the infection and relieve your symptoms.

There's no definitive treatment for viral conditions that cause a sore throat. Still, we can provide prescription medications to help relieve your symptoms more efficiently than over-the-counter drugs.

We also advise you to rest, drink plenty of fluids, and continue home therapies like hot tea and honey, vaporizers, and NSAIDs to help eliminate sore throat symptoms.

Call our office at 689-600-1542 to schedule an appointment with our team, or request a consultation online for a sore throat evaluation today.