What's Causing Your Sore Throat?
Allison Tsai | Nov 12th 2012 Oct 10th 2017
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If you have other symptoms like nasal congestion, sneezing and cough, it's likely a cold.
Sore throat from a cold will usually clear up in a couple days.
White spots on the tonsils could indicate a bacterial infection.
White spots usually indicate a bacterial infection such as strep throat or tonsillitis.
A sore throat that persists for more than 2 weeks is strep throat.
While it could be strep throat, other causes could lead to persistant sore throat, such as post-nasal drip.
Sore throat should be treated with antibiotics
If the cause of the sore throat is a bacterial infection, such as strep throat, tonsillitis or sinusitis, then yes, antibiotics are needed to treat it. However, most sore throats are not caused by bacterial infections and therefore do not need to be treated antibiotics.
There is nothing to be done for a sore throat caused by a viral infection.
There are ways to ease the pain of a sore throat, even those caused by a viral infection. Over-the-counter painkillers can take the edge off the pain, while cholaseptic sprays can soothe the throat. Gargling salt water can help with post-nasal drip as well as using a decongenstant to minimize mucus production.