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Specializing in problems of the Ear, nose, sinuses and throat.

An ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) is a physician trained in the medical and surgical treatment of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. They have special expertise in managing diseases of the ears, nose and nasal passage sinuses, larynx (voice box), oral cavity and upper pharynx (mouth and throat), as well as structures of the neck and face. ENT is the oldest medical specialty in the United States.

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212-867-4813


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Category Archives: Throat Infections

Sore Throat: When Are They Serious?

If you have a sore throat, you may be thinking it is the result of a cold. However, sore throats can stem from other causal factors. It may be the result of a bacteria or a virus. While it may mimic the symptoms of a common cold, it may actually be something else. If you indeed have a throat infection, to may be serious and require visiting a professional ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist.

Common Causes of Sore Throats

Sore ThroatSore throats arise from a number of different causal factors. Among them are:

  • Acid reflux
  • Allergies
  • Common cold
  • Dry air
  • Irritants in the air
  • Pollution
  • Postnasal drip
  • Sinus infection
  • Smoking

If the sore throat does not result from an infection, it will eventually disappear after a day or two.

Two Common Throat Infections

Two common throat infections you need to take seriously are strep throat and tonsillitis.

Strep Throat

Sore ThroatThis is an infection resulting from group A. streptococcus bacteria. This type of throat infection is persistent and very painful. While it can affect both children and adults, it is particularly prevalent among children between the ages of 5 and 15. It spreads easily from one to another through coughing and sneezing.

Tonsillitis

This can result from an infection accompanies by inflammation of your tonsils. The infection may result from either a virus or bacteria. Among the most common culprits are:

  • Streptococcus (strep) bacteria: This is the most common cause of tonsillitis
  • Adenoviruses
  • Influenza virus
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Parainfluenza viruses
  • Enteroviruses
  • Herpes simplex virus

The result of any of these is sore throats accompanied by painful swallowing and even blisters on the inside of the throat. These are a few of the symptoms of tonsillitis. However, some of them mimic strep throat infections. To ensure you are taking the right measures, be sure to contact your doctor.

Sore Throats: When to Call Your Doctor

Sore ThroatIf you have a sore throat, it may not be essential to call your doctor or visit a specialist. However, you should consider contacting a medical professional if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • The soreness lasts for more than three days
  • The sore throat is accompanied by white splotches
  • If your sore throat features splotches on the tonsils or roof of the mouth that are dark, red
  • If you have difficulty to breathing
  • If you have serious problems swallowing

If this is the case, do not waste time. Throat infections accompanied by these symptoms are serious. They require treatment from an ENT or other medical professional to ensure you regain your health.

Michael C. Burnett, MD

115 East 57th Street
Suite 600
Between Park + Lexington Avenes

212-867-4813