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Archive for December 2019

Why Are My Sore Throat Symptoms Acting Up?

We’ve all experienced pharyngitis, more commonly known as a sore throat: a painful, itchy, or even burning sensation at the back of our mouths. A sore throat can make it difficult to concentrate, sleep, breathe, and eat. More often than not, a sore throat is a symptom of an underlying illness which can range from anything as innocuous as the common cold to something as serious as HIV or cancer. Because there is such a wide variety of illnesses a sore throat can point to, it’s important to see a medical professional when you experience this symptom. You can get treatment right way, or at least rule out serious illnesses and get peace of mind. 

What is a sore throat?

A sore throat is any pain, discomfort, or swelling in the throat. The pain may be present all the time, or only noticeable when swallowing or speaking. There may be visible signs of a sore throat as well, such as swollen glands in the neck and/or jaw, white patches or spots on your tonsils, or red and swollen tonsils. Sore throats may be accompanied by other symptoms of illness, such as headaches, body aches, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, vomiting, or fever. 

What causes a sore throat?

A sore throat can be caused by a virus or bacteria, and it’s important to distinguish between the two so you can pursue the best course of treatment. A sore throat is a common symptom of a multitude of illnesses ranging in severity. An allergic reaction to food, animals, pollen, mold, and more can cause throat irritation. Dry weather, dehydration, and muscle strain from yelling or talking too much could be the cause of your throat pain. A sore throat can also be symptomatic of the flu, HIV, cancer, and more. Because your sore throat could have so many underlying causes, some of them quite serious, it’s important to seek professional help to determine why you are experiencing throat pain.

How to Manage Your Sore Throat at Home

If you are looking for a quick fix for your sore throat or a diagnosis for why it hurts, you should visit your local urgent care. The doctors there can quickly help you get to the bottom if your illness and help you treat it. In the meantime, if you are looking to manage your painful symptoms at home, there are a few remedies you can try. Get plenty of rest and drink lots of water and other healthy fluids, such as juice, smoothies, broth, and tea.

You can try frozen or hot liquids like popsicles or soup to soothe your throat as well. Warm water with lemon and honey can ease throat pain. Gargling saltwater, hydrating the air with a humidifier, and avoiding smoke and other irritants can also help. If your sore throat doesn’t improve, go to your local urgent care for diagnosis and treatment.

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How You Can Feel Safe Getting STD Tests

Frequent, regular testing for sexually transmitted diseases and infections is an important part of health maintenance for any sexually active adult. No matter what your sexual history is or how long you’ve been with your current partner(s), ongoing STD testing from a medical professional is the best way to get the knowledge you need to protect yourself.

You Don’t Have to Do It on Your Own

There are many ways you can get tested for STDs, including from the comfort of your own home. There are plenty of testing kits on the market that allow you to send in a sample of your blood or urine to a laboratory, which will then analyze your sample and report your results to you. This may sound like an easy and convenient option, but it requires you to take the sample yourself and wait for what may be weeks while the lab processes and returns your results. Also, the sample may be inconclusive, and you will need to send another one for testing.

Getting tested at a doctor’s office ensures safe, clean, and easy testing. However, you will need to make a doctor’s appointment and ask for an STD test. Many people assume that STD testing is included when you get a physical, a gynecological exam, or any sort of urine or blood work done. This is usually not the case; you need to request STD testing from your doctor, even if you have given a sample of your blood or urine. 

Part of testing includes being asked basic questions about your sexual history, and testing is always judgment-free. There are different ways to test for different STDs, including urine, saliva, or blood samples, or a physical exam. Talk to your doctor about different methods and decide what is best for you. You will not be forced into any exams or providing any samples you’re not comfortable with. 

Why You Should Get Tested

STD rates are on the rise in the US, partially because people aren’t getting tested regularly. Many STDs have mild to no symptoms, so you can have (and spread) an STD without realizing it. STDs are caused by viruses and bacteria, so you need a medical professional to test you. You can’t accurately diagnose yourself with a sexually transmitted infection. Medical testing is safe, clean, and can help you prevent, treat, and manage STDs. 

Easy, Quick, and Affordable Testing

A fast, safe, and simple way to get an STD test, often with same-day results, is to go to your local urgent care. You can just walk in without an appointment and get peace of mind right away. Whether or not you have health insurance, urgent care will work with you for affordable testing options. Don’t wait until you have symptoms or a new sexual partner; check out your local urgent care or primary care center and get tested today!

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