When To Call a Doctor
Call your doctor today if you have:
- A red rash that feels like sandpaper. This may indicate Reference scarlet fever Opens New Window.
- Difficulty sleeping because your throat is blocked by swollen Reference tonsils or adenoids Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window.
Call a doctor if the following symptoms develop 1 to 2 weeks or longer after a strep throat infection. These symptoms may indicate Reference rheumatic fever Opens New Window.
- Shortness of breath
- Joint pain
- Raised red rash or lumps under the skin
- Uncontrolled, jerking movements of the arms or legs
Reference Watchful waiting Opens New Window is appropriate if your sore throat occurs with symptoms like those of a cold, such as sneezing, coughing, and a runny or stuffy nose. In general, the more of these symptoms you have, the less likely it is that your sore throat is caused by a strep infection. You can try home treatment if your sore throat is not severe and you have other symptoms of a cold.
For more information on what to do if you have sore throat symptoms, see the topic Reference Sore Throat.
Who to see
The following health professionals can evaluate a sore throat, do quick tests or throat cultures, and prescribe antibiotic treatment if needed:
- Reference Pediatrician Opens New Window
- Reference Family doctor Opens New Window
- Reference Nurse practitioner Opens New Window
- Reference Physician assistant Opens New Window
- Reference Internist Opens New Window
- Reference Otolaryngologist Opens New Window (ear, nose, and throat specialist)
If surgery to remove chronically enlarged or infected tonsils or adenoids is suggested, you may be referred to an otolaryngologist.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Reference Making the Most of Your Appointment.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 31, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Donald R. Mintz, MD - Otolaryngology