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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.

Same day appointments available. 


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Category Archives: Throat Infections

Throat Infections

Sore throats are a symptom of many different conditions. If you have throat pain that lasts, you might have an infection. While throat infections are painful, most can be fixed with a medication or a simple medical procedure. In this article, we will discuss different common throat infections and how your doctor can help you deal with them.

Viral Throat Infections

A virus is a common cause of throat infections. A variety of viruses can cause these infections, but colds and the flu are the most common sources. While colds are different from the flu, both usually begin with similar symptoms. As a cold progresses, you will notice symptoms like a cough, runny nose, and possibly swollen glands. The flu typically lasts longer than a cold and usually involves a fever and muscle aches.

Another common virus that can cause a throat infection is mononucleosis. Also known as mono or the “kissing disease”, this condition is usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus and is spread through saliva. Mono is often misdiagnosed as strep throat because sufferers usually have a very sore throat. Other symptoms include fever, swollen lymph nodes, and extreme fatigue.

Viral throat infections can often be treated with over-the-counter medications. Antibiotics will not treat these conditions. It’s important for your doctor to determine if you have a viral or bacterial infection so you can take the correct medicine.

Bacterial Throat Infections

Bacterial throat infections are especially important to see your doctor about. Not only do these infections require antibiotics to heal, symptoms usually get progressively worse until you begin antibiotics. There are a variety of bacterial throat infections, but the most common is strep throat.


Strep throat is caused by a strain of streptococcus bacteria. This infection is most commonly found in children and teens, but it can affect patients of all ages. Strep throat patients usually have a very sore throat with white patches appearing in the back of their mouths. Other symptoms can include swollen lymph nodes, fever, headaches, and chills. Your doctor can perform a simple test in their office to check for strep throat or other bacterial throat infections.


Tonsillitis, or inflammation of the tonsils, is another condition that often leads to throat pain. This can be caused by either a viral or a bacterial infection. Tonsillitis can affect anyone, but children are most likely to have this problem.

Tonsillitis typically causes a sore throat that is accompanied by red, inflamed tonsils and swollen glands. Tonsils may also have white or yellow patches. Other common symptoms of tonsillitis include fever, headache, and trouble swallowing. While infected tonsils are often removed, this surgery is only performed if other treatment methods are unsuccessful. If you think you have tonsillitis, see a professional. Your doctor will be able to treat the problem and prevent the tonsil issues from returning.

If you suspect you have a throat infection, help is available.

Contact Dr. Michael Burnett at 212-867-4813 to schedule an ENT appointment today.

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 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

This 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.


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

If 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 Avenues