Question: How Do I Know If My Sore Throat Is Viral Or Bacterial?

Do you need antibiotics for a viral throat infection?

Antibiotics don’t work at all for a sore throat caused by a virus.

These kinds of sore throats usually go away on their own in 4 to 5 days.

If you have strep throat—which is caused by bacteria—your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic, such as penicillin..

What home remedies help a sore throat?

Gargle with salt water. Gargling with warm salt water can help soothe a scratchy throat. … Suck on a lozenge. … Try OTC pain relief. … Enjoy a drop of honey. … Try an echinacea and sage spray. … Stay hydrated. … Use a humidifier. … Give yourself a steam shower.More items…

What does a bacterial throat infection feel like?

Pain and Fever without a Cough Are Common Signs and Symptoms Sore throat that can start very quickly. Pain when swallowing. Fever. Red and swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus.

What kills a sore throat fast?

16 Best Sore Throat Remedies to Make You Feel Better Fast, According to DoctorsGargle with salt water—but steer clear of apple cider vinegar. … Drink extra-cold liquids. … Suck on an ice pop. … Fight dry air with a humidifier. … Skip acidic foods. … Swallow antacids. … Sip herbal teas. … Coat and soothe your throat with honey.More items…•

How long is too long for a sore throat?

The duration of a sore throat depends on what’s causing it. Sore throats, also known as pharyngitis, can be acute, lasting only a few days, or chronic, lingering on until their underlying cause is addressed. Most sore throats are the result of common viruses and resolve on their own within 3 to 10 days.

How do I know if I have a throat infection?

Common symptoms of throat infection Body aches. Cough; possibly coughing up clear, yellow, light brown, or green mucus. Difficulty breathing (ranging from mild to severe) Difficulty swallowing.

What is best medicine for sore throat?

Acetaminophen or NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen and naproxen can take the edge off many cold symptoms, including your sore throat. Make sure you follow the directions on the label.

What if strep throat doesn’t get better with antibiotics?

Call a doctor if the following symptoms develop 1 to 2 weeks or longer after a strep throat infection. These symptoms may indicate rheumatic fever. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 2 days of treatment with an antibiotic.

What helps a severe sore throat?

Tips for treating a coldDrink plenty of fluids. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, juice, tea, or clear broth. … Choose warm liquids. Tea, warm lemon water, and soup may help relieve congestion.Rest. … Gargle salt water. … Use a humidifier. … Take an over-the-counter (OTC) cold medication.

When should you go to the doctor for a sore throat?

In most cases, your sore throat will improve with at-home treatment. However, it’s time to see your doctor if a severe sore throat and a fever over 101 degrees lasts longer than one to two days; you have difficulty sleeping because your throat is blocked by swollen tonsils or adenoids; or a red rash appears.

Will gargling with peroxide kill strep throat?

Hydrogen peroxide gargle Hydrogen peroxide can also kill bacteria in the throat and mouth that cause sore throats.

How do you know if you have strep throat or just a sore throat?

Signs and symptoms of strep throat are very similar to an ordinary sore throat, but in general strep throat has: White patches on the tonsils or back of the throat. Just a sore throat without cough/cold symptoms like a runny nose or congestion. Swollen lymph nodes (right below the earlobes)

How do you get rid of a throat infection without antibiotics?

How can you relieve a sore throat without antibiotics?Gargle often with warm salt water if you are age 8 or older. … Drink extra fluids to soothe your throat. … Get plenty of rest.Take over-the-counter medicine such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve pain and reduce fever.More items…

What is best for throat infection?

Warm liquids — broth, caffeine-free tea or warm water with honey — and cold treats such as ice pops can soothe a sore throat. Gargle with saltwater. A saltwater gargle of 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon (1.25 to 2.50 milliliters) of table salt to 4 to 8 ounces (120 to 240 milliliters) of warm water can help soothe a sore throat.

How long does a sore throat last without antibiotics?

It can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection. It is hard for your doctor to tell which it is. How long does sore throat last? Symptoms will usually get better in 2 to 7 days, without taking antibiotics.

What happens if strep throat is untreated?

If untreated, strep throat can cause complications, such as kidney inflammation or rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever can lead to painful and inflamed joints, a specific type of rash, or heart valve damage.

Does strep throat come on suddenly?

The pain from strep throat can occur suddenly. It’s more severe and can persist for days. Colds typically clear up on their own without the need for medical treatment. To prevent complications, like rheumatic fever, antibiotics are usually prescribed to treat strep throat.

How long does a viral sore throat last?

How long will the effects of a sore throat last? Viral pharyngitis often goes away in five to seven days. If you have bacterial pharyngitis, you will feel better after you have taken antibiotics for two to three days.