ZocdocAnswersWhat can I do about severe throat pain?

Question

What can I do about severe throat pain?

swollen tonsils that are in significant pain which caused me to be up most the night in pain, swallowing is near impossible but I have forced down liquids and soft food . went to an immediate care clinic and they swabbed my throat it came back negative so since then they don't really care about my problem. No antibiotic helps few days ago one doctor said it might be tonsil stones and that I need to get them out I tried and I had some irritation and bleeding from my attempts to get them out To make the pain less severe I have to take upwards of 8+ Advil to make the pain better in my throat , talking hurts so bad and swallowing is also very bad.

Answer

So sorry to hear about your problem. There are many different possible causes of the symptoms of soreness in your throat that you are describing, but the key thing is that you will need to keep working with a doctor until you start to feel better. Pharyngitis, which is the name that doctors use to describe inflammation in the throat that can often lead to difficulty swallowing and tenderness like you describe, is often associated with bacterial infections. Of these, streptococcal infections are among the most common, and can lead to other complications down the line. For that reason, doctors will often swab to determine if you are infected with that bacteria. If you're not, it is often assumed that there may be a viral cause and so no further treatment behind hydration and pain control. Of course other bacteria can cause these infections as well, and other things can cause the symptoms that you describe. For urgent care clinics, however, these are often beyond the scope of their practice and so they don't treat them further. Tonsil stones can also contribute, but are often just another symptom of large, cryptic tonsils. Please speak with your primary care doctor or an ear nose and throat surgeon.

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