In the winter, it feels like we are constantly fighting off a thousand colds at once. Anytime you hear someone cough at your coffee shop, sneeze on the bus, or sniffle in an elevator, you know that your immune system will be working hard.
Inevitably we all end up getting sick, but how do you know when it's something more than just a cold? Chances are you don't want to go to the doctor if it's just a regular sore throat because there's not always a lot they can do. They will tell you to get some rest and drink some fluids, but how do you know whether you should bother making a doctor's appointment?
Here's how to know when that tickle in your throat is something that you should be worried about:
1. Long-Lasting Fever
If you develop a fever that lasts several days, it is time to go to the doctor. It means your body is trying to fight off an infection and could use some help.
2. Trouble Breathing
If you find that your breathing has become labored or heavy, you should see a doctor. There might be build up in your lungs that require antibiotics.
If you you find that you are drooling then it's definitely time to get to a clinic.
4. Difficulty Speaking or Opening the Mouth
If your sore throat starts to make it uncomfortable to speak then that could indicate a more serious infection.
5. Enlarged or Swollen Throat or Tongue
When your throat feels scratchy, it's not always dangerous, but if it starts to swell up you might be suffering from issues that will require more attention.
6. Stiff Neck
Enlarged glands often accompany a sore throat, but if your neck starts to get stiff as well, then it is another reason to book an appointment to go see your doctor.
Anytime there is a mysterious rash forming on your body you should probably go get it checked out.
8. Lasts More Than Seven Days
If your sore throat lasts longer than a week then it's time for some medical intervention.
9. If it becomes chronic and recurring
If you find that the sore throat is coming and going often, you should seek out some medical advice. It's not good if you are constantly sick, so if you find that you are in a constant loop of illness you should ask your doctor for help.
10. And of course, if it worries you at all
Really, you should head to the doctors if it is worrying you. That's why they are there, to help you out! Even if you aren't sure if it's anything serious, sometimes it's good to check.