When should you see a doctor about a sore throat?

I came down with the flu starting about a week ago. I’m much better now, but I’ve had an intense sore throat with this flu, and it’s still with me - so seven days total. At what point should I stop waiting for it to go away and see the doctor? I can’t imagine there’s anything he can do about a sore throat caused by a virus, but this is a bit much.

When you have a high fever too, you should be seen to make sure it’s not strep.

My wife, who is a family practice doctor/PCP but is not your doctor, blah blah:

“Unless you have a reason to think it’s strep throat, 7-10 days. I mean, you can go, but they’re probably not going to do squat.”

She also suggests looking up Centor Score as a very basic way to evaluate possibility of strep, if you need the help.

I’ve been lucky the last decade or two, but long ago I used to get frequent sore throats.

I could sense whether it was strep or not. I had both strep and non-strep often enough that I subconsciously recognized the difference in pain sensation, though I’d never be able to put it in words. Do others have similar experience?

(Yes, my anecdotal claim—five out of five sore throats apparently classified correctly—may seem statistically insignificant. But the difference in perceived pain was very distinctive. I don’t think I’ve ever had strep in the 21st century, but if I got it, I think I’d still likely recognize it immediately!)

When should you see a doctor about a sore throat?

When your BF/Husband experiences an erection for more than 4 hours?

This joke doesn’t really work, does it? I’m too lazy to craft it better.

Yep. Strep throat for me is a very distinctive sort of sore throat and quite distinct from the usual raw throat of a cold/flu illness.

If it’s so painful you can’t swallow liquids, it also requires medical attention.

If you have tonsils, and they have pus on them, it is likely to be strep. If you are badly congested, or your ears are stopped up, you may had a sinus infection, and they are likely to be bacterial. Viral infections can leave you with raw tissue that is open to bacteria, so secondary infections happen. Fever over 101’F Should probably get you to the doctor. So should a skin rash accompanying the sore throat.

Also, if the pain is bad enough that you need OTC pain meds to get through the day.

IANAD, but I have had lots of strep and sinus infections, and had an adult tonsillectomy.

Sore throat, for me, means a trip to the doctor the first time it costs me a night of sleep. Prednasone is a wonderful thing.

Yep. It’s, for me, an instantly distinctive, sharp, glass shards on fire, burning kind of sore throat where swallowing even my own saliva hurts. Red. It’s a very red kind of pain.

Unless you’re under age 12 don’t bother. Around 50% of sore throats in children are caused by strep but this drops to around zero after that age. Practically all sore throats in adults are viral and seeing your doctor is pointless. Adults getting antibiotic prescriptions for sore throats is a major reason why some antibiotics do not work anymore. Tests for strep in adults mean nothing because some adults become asymptomatic carriers, aka you’d test positive all the time even when you don’t have a sore throat.
If your vital signs are compromised proceed to the ER and disregard any previous comments.

Depending on your doctor and the terms of your health policy or HMO, good f*cking luck getting your doctor to prescribe Prednisone, unless you are at death’s door.

(ETA: As for me, it took a nasty trip to the ER before I could get any kind of treatment, including prednisone; this happened in December 2103 and again in December 2015. Since then, I’ve managed to convince my doc to give me a prescription that I could fill, just to have a bottle of them laying around in case I need it again in similar circumstances. Maybe next time, I can avoid another trip to the ER.)

For me, it was when the pain got so bad that I nearly choked while trying to swallow water, and then I looked in a mirror and saw white spots all over the back of my throat. Dr. Google suggested that it was likely strep, which I’d never had before, so I made an appointment. Sure enough, rapid test came back positive.

I also had a cold at the same time, so it took me a few extra days to realize that the usual sore throat at the beginning of a cold wasn’t fading after 2-3 days like it normally did and was instead getting exponentially worse, and to consider the possibility that I might have more than one thing at a time.

You’ve gotten some good councelling about step. Ruling out an embedded pubic hair, the sore throaat should respond to over the counter stuff like Cloraseptic which has a nimbing effect. You call instead try a water and hyrogen peroxide mixture to gargel with to kill germs and then a regular mouthwash to freshen up. Don’t underestimate strep–it can lead to rheumatic fever which happened to me at age 11. I was hospitalized for it for at least a week.

In general, if you have to ask, go see a doctor.

Gargle with warm salt water, every couple of hours for a day. If it’s not making a dent in your sore throat, or you’re having trouble swallowing, go to a doctor!

Your percentages seem to be bit off. According to the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and other sites, about 20-30 percent of sore throats in children are actually strep, dropping to 5-15 percent in adults.

Most adult sore throats are caused by a virus, but that is substantially different than “practically all”. There are several other bacterial infections besides strep that can cause sore throat and, while fairly rare, some can be very serious.

Actually, it’s nine days now that I’ve had this sore throat. I’m seeing the doctor this afternoon. I have no illusions that he can do anything about a virus-caused sore throat; I’m just going so that he can make sure I have nothing more insidious going on. I have been coughing a good bit, so maybe that plays into it.

I have been gargling with salt water, and it does help, but just briefly. Ditto on drinking hot salty things like chicken broth. I bought some sore throat lozenges, picking some that said they were honey and lemon flavored, but they instead tasted like an explosion in a mentholatum factory and I couldn’t stand them.

I have semi-regular sinus infections, and go to urgent care every time, and get steroids and antibiotics every time. shrug

Went to the doc and he tested me for strep and I don’t have it. It’s just a stubborn virus-caused sore throat and I have to wait it out.

He said that this winter he has seen a shit-ton of a bad virus that comes with an extreme sore throat. Sounds pretty much like what I have, and I gave it to my husband, too.