Sore Throat Specialist

Pediatrics of Long Island

Pediatrics located in Brentwood, NY & Patchogue, NY

Everybody experiences a sore throat at some point, but it’s important to know whether your child’s sore throat is pointing to something more serious, like strep throat. At Pediatrics of Long Island in Brentwood and Patchogue, New York, experienced pediatric physicians Ramon Ferrand, MD, and Alaaeldin Moawad, MD, provide comprehensive diagnoses and treatments for the many causes of sore throats. Their offices are equipped to perform on-site rapid strep tests and throat cultures. To learn more, call Pediatrics of Long Island or book a visit online today.

Sore Throat Q&A

What is a sore throat?

A sore throat means your throat feels irritated, scratchy, or swollen. It may hurt to swallow, eat, or even drink water. Most sore throats resolve themselves on their own with rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medications (OTC), but some — including those caused by strep throat or tonsillitis — require treatment from a doctor.

What causes a sore throat?

The most common cause of a sore throat is a viral infection, but bacterial infections can also lead to throat pain. Some of the most common sore throat causes include:

  • Strep throat
  • Tonsillitis
  • Mononucleosis (mono)
  • Cold and flu
  • Croup
  • Measles
  • Chickenpox
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Allergies

Environmental and chemical irritants, such as air pollution or smoke, can also cause a sore or scratchy throat.

What are the symptoms of a sore throat?

Depending on the cause of your child’s sore throat, they may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • White spots on their throat or tonsils
  • Swollen lymph nodes in their neck
  • Fever
  • Redness or inflammation in their throat
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Body aches
  • Chills
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Throat pain that worsens with talking
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Hoarse voice

Call Pediatrics of Long Island right away if your child has difficulty swallowing, breathing problems, or excessive drooling.

How is a sore throat diagnosed?

Pediatrics of Long Island offers on-site rapid strep tests and throat cultures to diagnose or rule out the presence of strep throat.

Rapid strep test

A rapid strep test is a diagnostic tool that helps detect the presence of strep throat in 10 minutes or less. If the test is positive, your child can begin antibiotics immediately to start fighting the infection.

Throat culture

A throat culture is more accurate than a rapid strep test, but it can take a day or two to get the results. Even if bacteria are present, a rapid strep test can still return a false negative, which is why Dr. Ferrand and Dr. Moawad recommend a throat culture if you have a negative result.

How is a sore throat treated?

If your child has bacterial strep throat, tonsillitis, or another infection, your pediatrician will prescribe antibiotics. You can also try some at-home remedies to soothe a sore throat, such as:

  • OTC anti-inflammatories
  • Warm water and salt gargle
  • Rest
  • Fluids
  • Throat lozenges
  • Warm liquids 
  • Humidifier

If your child has a sore throat, call the expert team of pediatricians at Pediatrics of Long Island or schedule an appointment online today.