Everyone gets an occasional sore throat. Most sore throats are caused by viruses and can resolve within a few days without medical treatment. Sore throats can cause pain and can affect your swallowing, speaking, and even breathing. If you have persistent sore throat or symptoms lasting more than one week, you might benefit from treatment from an ENT physician. Dr. Lloyd Loft, MD, FACS, at his medical practice located in the Upper East Side, Midtown East, New York City, provides expert diagnosis and treatment for throat infections and other throat disorders. Call Dr. Lloyd Loft or schedule a consultation online today.
Infections caused by viruses and bacteria are the most common cause of everyday throat infections. A cold, strep throat and influenza are common causes of sore throats that are contagious and can be transmitted through contact such as coughing, sneezing, or sharing food or drinks. Anything that irritates the delicate mucosal membranes that line the throat can lead to a sore throat. Noninfectious causes of sore throat include acid reflux, allergies, smoking, pollution, and irritants in the air.
Dr. Loft can diagnose and treat a wide range of throat infections and disorders, including:
If your sore throat is severe, causes swallowing or breathing difficulty, or persists longer than the usual 5-10 days associated with a common cold, than medical evaluation and treatment is advisable. Symptoms that you should contact an ENT physician include:
If you have a persistent sore throat or any of the abovementioned symptoms, contact Dr. Lloyd Loft for evaluation and treatment.
Dr. Loft will begin the evaluation of your throat problem with a detailed medical history and comprehensive physical exam. If a bacterial or strep throat is suspected, a throat culture can be performed. A fiber optic endoscope (a thin fiber optic tube attached to a camera) can provide detailed visualization of hard to see regions in the back of your nose, lower throat and larynx. The majority of sore throats and throat disorders can be diagnosed and effectively treated with a thorough office evaluation. Occasionally other diagnostic studies, including blood tests, CT, or MRI scans, may be helpful in selected cases.
The treatment of your throat problem will depend upon the cause of your symptoms. Dr. Loft will provide a specific treatment plan based on your diagnosis. For mild sore throats related to the common cold, patients can often be made more comfortable with simple home remedies like good hydration, warm tea or soup, salt water gargles, and over the counter analgesics such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil).
For bacterial infections like strep throat or tonsillitis, a course of antibiotics may be indicated. Treatment of a sore throat related to acid reflux (GERD) might include acid-blocking medications as well as dietary and lifestyle modifications. Treatment of persistent sore throat related to a more serious diagnosis such as cancer must be individualized for each patient, depending on a wide variety of factors.
If you are concerned about a persistent, frequent, or severe sore throat, call Dr. Lloyd Loft MD, FACS, or make an appointment online today.