Ep.17 - Sore Throat and Strep
In this episode, ENT physician Dr. Ron Swain, Jr. talks with Stacy Wellborn about one of the most common things he sees every day at his practice, sore throats. Dr. Swain explains common causes of sore throats, home remedies, treatment, strep throat, testing for strep throat, and the importance of communicating with the doctor to get that all-important proper diagnosis. Most sore throat complaints are simple and benign but it's important to know what to look out for that may be red flags for a more severe and complicated health issue.
What You Will Learn:
> Common and not so common causes of a sore throat. > The function of the lymph nodes and why they get swollen when you're sick? > How Dr. Swain assesses the severity of a sore throat and when does consider Strep tests, MRIs, and CAT Scans. > Common and Dr. approved home remedies for sore throat relief. > When it's time to see an ENT specialist for your severe or chronic sore throat. > Why you may or may not be prescribed antibiotics for your sore throat. > The importance of communicating with your doctor and providing a complete and accurate medical history for a proper diagnosis. > The reasons why 1-on-1 and in-person examinations are still the best way to get a diagnosis.
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Quotables and Tweetables
I think a sore throat is one of the most common reasons why people come to see the doctor, whether it's their ENT doctor or the urgent care doctor or their primary care doctor. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
Most sore throats are usually an upper respiratory tract infection, stomach reflux, viral infection. While sometimes it can be cancer most of the time it is something run of the mill and simple. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
Sometimes trying to figure out when a sore throat is strep throat and when it's not strep throat can be a little bit hard. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
The post nasal drainage sore throat that gives you the sore throat, we'll see that usually in the big allergy times of the year, in the fall and certainly in the spring. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
When somebody comes in, and they've got a sore throat, the first thing you're going to do is try to examine them and get a history. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
If you are or were a smoker and you came in, and you've got a sore throat, and you've got a big lymph node or a big mass on one side of your neck, that certainly raises a lot of alarms from an ear, nose, and throat standpoint. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
If you're not running a fever, if you're not having trouble breathing, if it just seems like it's one of the garden variety you wake up with a sore throat and you think you're getting a cold, I certainly would start with those home remedy kinds of treatments. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
If your fever's getting high if you're having trouble swallowing, if you're having trouble drinking, those are warning signs that there may be something going on other than the run of the mill viral sore throat. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
There are a lot of bacterial infections that you can get in the back of your throat, strep is not the only one. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
Whether or not you use antibiotics kind of depends on what the diagnosis is. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
Everyone is familiar with the rapid strep culture, that test is not super accurate. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
Having a bacterial infection is just one potential possibility for a sore throat. There are other things, whether it's inflammatory from reflux or whether it's a malignancy from cancer. Sometimes you have to step back and try to pull everything together. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
If you do suspect that something else is going on with your health, you certainly need to more detailed with how you feel and your medical history at the exam. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
There are times when you can look on the outside and the skin, and you can look on the inside of the mouth, but to see between the two areas you've got to get imaging and more information. Usually, that's a CAT scan, an MRI, but when we're doing those kinds of things, we're looking for particular complicated things. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
One of the hardest things that I've had to learn over the years is how to practice telephone medicine. When just on the phone with a patient it's very difficult sometimes to get an idea of exactly what is going on. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
Some of the newer online things that are offered like tele-medicine are great, but I have a hard time really knowing what's going on without being able to examine someone and look them in the eye and get a sense of okay, how sick are you? - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
One of the things that is so important when you're trying to treat someone and take care of someone is to have that one on one interaction, that face to face interaction. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
Being sick is not convenient for anyone. The most important thing is to get someone through their illness in an efficient manner as possible. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.
The telemedicine is an exciting new prospect, especially with all the resources that are available online, but it can't replace seeing someone, talking to them, and examining them. If you've got a bad enough problem, you need to get seen by a physician. - Dr. Ron Swain, Jr.