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Sore Throat & Strep Throat Treatment, Orange County, CA

Sore Throat & Strep Throat Treatment

A sore throat always comes as an unwanted surprise. The sharp pain in your throat, which may worsen when you swallow or talk, will make you experience discomfort at school or work and keep you from a comfortable night’s sleep. However, sometimes the sore throat is a more serious case of strep throat, which you should get checked if you suspect this may be the case.

At our urgent care clinics in Orange County, CA, we can provide you or your child with quick sore throat or strep throat relief. When you visit any of our walk-in urgent care clinics, you’ll get a proper diagnosis and treatment to ease your symptoms and expedite recovery.

Highlights of Our Urgent Care Clinics:

  • Open 7 days a week
  • In-house lab facility for faster diagnosis and effective treatment
  • Online check-in facilities to reduce wait times
  • Board-certified and experienced medical providers
  • Friendly and compassionate staff
  • Virtual visits are also available for immediate and convenient care
  • Free parking
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How to Know If You Have Sore Throat or Strep Throat

A sore throat or pharyngitis is a painful condition of the throat that may cause discomfort when you swallow. A viral infection like a common cold or flu usually causes the condition. Other potential triggers of a sore throat include:

  • Throat muscle strain, such as due to yelling
  • Allergies
  • Excessive dryness in your mouth

You may also have a sore throat if you experience symptoms such as:

  • Dry throat
  • Sharp pain in the throat when you swallow
  • Mild coughing
  • Swollen neck

Conversely, strep throat is a bacterial infection that causes scratchiness of the throat. Strep throat infection symptoms include:

  • Sore throat/pain when swallowing
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Painful, swollen neck glands
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Shivering
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Small red or white spots on your throat

Why Should I Seek Medical Care for a Sore Throat or Strep Throat?

You should seek specialized treatment for sore throat or strep throat before your symptoms worsen. Our urgent care specialists can run several tests to determine the cause of your throat discomfort and provide an appropriate treatment. By intervening early, we can help prevent your infection from spreading to other parts of the body, especially if you have a weak immune system.

Generally, you should seek urgent care if you or your child experiences any of the following issues:

  • Persistent scratchiness of the throat even after drinking fluids
  • High body temperature
  • Pain with or having a hard time swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blood in phlegm or saliva
  • Sore throat lasts more than seven days
  • Unusual drooling in your child
  • Rash
  • Body and joint aches
  • Ear pain
  • Swollen neck or jaw (face)
  • Regular bouts of sore throat

How Do We Diagnose a Strep Throat?

We offer several strep throat tests, including:

Physical exams

Our doctors will first assess your general appearance (or your child’s) for strep throat signs/symptoms. Using a stethoscope, we’ll test for breathing difficulty. Vital signs like fever, presence of swollen lymph nodes, and nasal pathway obstructions are critical considerations in our physical strep throat tests. We may also insert a special light instrument into your nose and mouth to check for swelling, redness, and other problems in your throat.

Strep A tests

Strep A tests can help us tell if you have the bacteria that cause strep throat in your system. There are two types of these tests:

  • Rapid strep test: With a quick throat swab, your doctor gets a sample of secretions, which is tested in the lab for antigens to strep A. Your results should be out in 10-20 minutes. However, a rapid strep test isn’t always accurate. If the result is negative but we strongly suspect that you or your child has a strep throat, we may order a throat culture.
  • Throat culture: Although this test may take three to five days to return results, it conclusively determines whether strep bacteria caused your throat infection. A throat swab sample is taken and put in special laboratory conditions for bacterial growth. If the throat culture grows bacteria, the result is positive, and you have a strep throat.

When Do We Prescribe Antibiotics for Sore Throat and Strep Throat?

The specialists at our urgent care centers don’t usually prescribe antibiotics for a viral sore throat infection. These drugs can’t kill any virus in your system. Fortunately, the viral infection goes away in a week or so. However, we may prescribe antibiotics if we diagnose you with a bacterial throat infection like strep throat.

The drugs are effective when administered properly, and you might get much better before finishing your prescribed dosage, but you should still finish your course of antibiotics to completely free your body of the strep A bacteria and avoid repeat infections.

How antibiotics can help

Antibiotics kill the strep A bacteria in the patient’s body. Taking the medication exactly as prescribed can have impressive treatment outcomes such as:

  • Relieving your strep throat symptoms, including sore throat and difficulty swallowing
  • Minimizing your ability to infect others
  • Reducing the risk of developing other health issues like tonsil infections or rheumatic fever

Should I Stay Home If I Have a Sore Throat or Strep Throat?

Since strep throat is contagious, staying home until full recovery minimizes your likelihood of infecting others. Also, getting plenty of sleep and voice rest helps protect your throat and stay healthier as you get better. If you must go out while still unwell, observe precautions such as:

  • Avoid shaking hands or close contact with other people
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow when necessary
  • Don’t smoke tobacco
  • Avoid second-hand smoke
  • Don’t touch public phones

For a professional checkup and effective sore throat medicine for you or your little one, visit one of our Irvine Woodbridge Walk-In Urgent Care, Fountain Valley Urgent Care, or Costa Mesa Urgent Care, right away!

Book an Urgent Care Appointment for a Sore Throat/Strep Throat Treatment Today!

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