What Is Causing My Sore Throat: Strep Throat vs. Cold Symptoms

January 12, 2024

When you’re experiencing illness symptoms, it can be tricky to determine what the underlying cause of your symptoms is. Strep throat and the common cold both share many common symptoms, however, the treatment for both illnesses is different. Seeking early medical diagnosis and treatment can help you prevent your symptoms from becoming worse. AFC Urgent Care Edgewater offers same-day illness diagnosis and treatment for patients in Edgewater, MD, and the surrounding communities - all with no appointment needed.

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What Causes A Sore Throat?

Sore throats can cause pain and discomfort. If you’re experiencing pain in your throat, especially when swallowing, it could be a sign that you’ve contracted an illness. Sore throats can be caused by a variety of different conditions. Although infections are not the only reason that you may be experiencing a sore throat, it certainly is a common sign of having an illness. Other reasons for a sore throat could be from screaming, exposure to irritants such as smoke or dust, or even allergies.

Depending on the cause, sore throats can last anywhere from two days to a week. If your sore throat is accompanied by other illness symptoms like congestion or a cough, you are likely suffering from an illness. Seeking medical care will allow you to understand exactly what is causing your sore throat so that you can treat it effectively and resolve your symptoms quickly. Although there are a variety of different illnesses that could cause a sore throat, some of the most common reasons for a sore throat include strep throat and a cold.

Causes & Symptoms of Strep Throat

Strep throat is a common bacterial infection. Strep throat is most common among children, especially in schools, because it is extremely contagious. This being said, strep throat can affect anyone. Strep throat spreads very easily through airborne droplets that are released when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes. It also can spread through sharing food or drinks and from touching the same surface as an infected person.

Common symptoms of strep throat:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Small red spots on the roof of the mouth
  • White patches on tonsils
  • Swollen tonsils

Strep throat typically lasts 3-5 days without treatment. However, it is strongly recommended that anyone who may have strep throat get tested for the infection and prescribed a round of antibiotics. This can help relieve symptoms, reduce how contagious the infected individual is, and reduce the risk of complications such as secondary infections.

Causes & Symptoms of the Common Cold

The majority of sore throats are minor and caused by a viral infection such as a cold. If your sore throat is mild and not causing severe pain or trouble swallowing, it may be caused by something as minor as a cold. Having a sore throat is usually just one symptom associated with having a cold. Other cold symptoms include:

  • Congestion
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Sneezing

If you suspect you have a cold, the symptoms likely will resolve within a week. If your symptoms are causing significant discomfort, it is important to seek medical advice to ensure that you aren’t suffering from a more severe infection, such as strep throat.

Strep Throat and Cold Treatment Available in Edgewater, MD

If you’re suffering from a sore throat, it is important to seek medical treatment. Receiving medical diagnostic testing to determine what is causing your symptoms is the only way to ensure that you are treating your symptoms effetively. Both strep throat and the common cold are very contagious, and it is important to seek treatment to ensure that you are not spreading your illness to others.

Your medical provider will preform an in-depth examination of your symptoms as well as your overall health. They may preform diagnostic testing, such as a strep test or bloodwork to confirm their diagnosis. If your sore throat is caused by strep, your medical provider will prescribe a round of antibiotics to clear the infection. Your medical provider may also suggest some basic at-home care instructions to help manage your discomfort.

Visit AFC Urgent Care Edgewater For Illness Care 7 Days a Week With No Appointment Needed

If you’re experiencing a sore throat, seeking early medical evaluation can ensure that you are effectively treating the illness causing your sore throat. At AFC Urgent Care Edgewater, our walk-in clinic is available seven days a week for illness diagnosis and treatment for patients in Edgewater, MD. Simply walk into our clinic, or schedule an appointment online. Our clinic is open seven days a week with extended business hours to accomodate even the busiest of schedules.

Our clinic is equipped with a laboratory on-site, allowing our medical staff to quickly and accurately diagnose your symptoms without the need for a referal to a laboratory off-site. We accept most medical insurance plans and offer low-cost care options. If you’re suffering from a sore throat, visit AFC Urgent Care Edgewater for fast and reliable medical care. For additional information regarding our clinic, contact us directly by calling (410) 956-3394.

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