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Dr. Abby
Dr. Abby, US Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 10330
Experience:  Family Physician practicing medicine for over 10 years, United States
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I have an unbearably sore throat and a swollen gland

Resolved Question:

My throat is so sore it is unbearable to swallow. My right glad is so swollen you can't see any distinction between jaw bone and neck. I have put ice on the gland to bring down the swelling and I have taken Ibuprophen. It is not working. Do I need to get a culture for strep throat? This sore throat started 2 1/2 days ago. Please advise.

Thank you

Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 7 years ago.

Hello,
I am sorry you are not feeling well.
Do you have any fever?
Nasal congestion or cough?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank you

No fever, no nasal congestion, no cough

Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information.
Yes, I would suggest that you have your throat looked at, given the swollen gland and the severity of your sore throat.
The suspicion for strep throat goes up because you don't have any viral symptoms (cough or congestion). The doctor can also prescribe something stronger for pain relief (such as a numbing gargle) as well.
I hope that you feel better soon.
Let me know if you have any follow up questions and I will be happy to answer for you. Thank you!!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Now my nose just started running and I feel like I have mini headache. Eyes feel like they weigh a ton. What does this mean?

Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 7 years ago.

Headache is a common symptom of strep throat. The eye heaviness may be related to the headache, fatigue, possibly you are going to develop a fever or head congestion.
A runny nose may signal that this is a viral infection but I still feel that you should be checked out given the size of the gland and the severity of the sore throat.
Let me know if you have more questions. Thank you!!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

If I cannot get in to see a doctor today, what would you recommend from over the counter medicines? Or, should I go to an urgent care facility or the emergency room. I think that is rather rash, but my throat is killing me.

Thanks

Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 7 years ago.

You can try a mixture of 1/2 benadryl/1/2 maalox gargle (don't swallow). That may help numb the throat a bit.
You can also buy the numbing throat sprays and lozenges (which I think you have already tried)
Alternate tylenol and motrin every 6 hours for pain
Warm salt water gargles
Cold drinks
I would go to an urgent care or EC if you are drooling, are unable to eat or drink or develop any difficulty breathing. If you look at your throat and one tonsil is much larger than the other and appears to have pus, then I would also go to an urgent care. This can be a sign of an abscess in the tonsil.
One last possibility is that you have mono. Although not nearly as common in adults, mono can cause significant enlargement of the glands in the neck along with sore throat and fatigue. If your strep screen is negative, mono should be tested for.

Thank you!!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I am going to go buy some numbing throat spray, I haven't tried that yet. I can't tell if I have pus on the gland or not. I will see if I can get in with a doctor today.

Thank you

Expert:  Dr. Abby replied 7 years ago.

You are welcome.
I hope that you feel better.
You would see pus on the tonsil only---it is white.

Thank you!!

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