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Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
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Experience:  Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner
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I have had a sore thrioat for a few days but it seems to be

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I have had a sore thrioat for a few days but it seems to be getting better. Not really that sore at all, just a little annoying. I do have a couple white spots. One on the back of my throat and one of my left tonsil. They also seem to be getter smaller but I am not sure. I have been gargling with salt water and mouth wash. How long shold I wait to go to the doctor if at all. I have no fever but my ears are aching. I don't want to take antibiotics unless I have to...
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN replied 7 years ago.


Thank you for writing in today. The white spots you refer to are likely exudate. It sounds as though you may have an exudative pharyngitis and possibly an ear infection. Viral infections can cause exudative pharyngitis; however, this too could be caused by bacteria. Also, ear infection is usually bacterial in nature. At this point, I would have to recommend evaluation by your provider. Exudative pharyngitis needs to be evaluated by a provider because certain infections, such as strep throat, can cause some complications if not treated. In this case, your provider will likely want to rule out strep throat with a rapid strep test. Also, he/she may want to rule out possible ear infection. At this point, you do need evaluation, but you do not necessarily need antibiotic. If strep is ruled out and viral illness suspected, your provider may not recommend an antibiotic and he/she may want to run a back up throat culture just to ensure this is not bacterial in nature. I hope this helps to answer your question. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please let me know. Lisa

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Do you think I should go right away or wait a couple days to see if I heal on my own? Again, i hate to take antibiotics.
Expert:  Lisa, MSN, FNP-BC, CCRN replied 7 years ago.
Obviously, I can't assess you, but I suspect this is something that could probably wait until office hours on Monday, unless you start to have more discomfort or difficulty breathing. If you still have it on Monday, I would recommend going in to see your provider. Most cases are viral in nature; however, due to the potential complications associated with the bacterial form of exudative pharyngitis, it is best to get evaluated. For now, rest and the salt water should help. Lisa
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