Flu season is officially upon us, which is why everyone around you may be getting sick. It’s difficult to know what you could have, because conditions like the flu, cold, sinusitis, and strep throat share at least one or more symptoms. Still, when you develop a sore throat, some symptoms are self-explanatory, like a scratchy throat; or, postnasal drip making you cough and wheeze. While all of these symptoms are common with a sore throat, many patients wonder why body aches occur.
Why does this happen?
Many bodily functions contribute to this phenomenon, but the simple answer is that white blood cells leave your muscles to fight the infection. Your muscles are used every day, and white blood cells are usually there to do day-to-day repairs. However, when they are tasked with another job, like fighting off your infection, your body pays the price with aches and mild pains.
The white blood cells also use chemical tools when fighting the infection. This causes an inflammatory response, which may contribute to the pain you feel during seasonal cold and flu outbreaks.
So, while a sore throat is a symptom of the flu, cold, and many seasonal ailments, body aches are another sign your body is healing itself!
When to see an ENT for a sore throat
Patients don’t typically need to see an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor during flu season, but there are some instances when it could be necessary. Please call our office if:
• You get strep throat several times a year
• You are a person at risk of developing complications from the flu (young children, the elderly, people with asthma, etc.)
• You have chronic sinus infections
• You or your child have breathing problems due to seasonal infections.
• Your sore throat is due to allergies
• Your sore throat causes hoarseness or other signs of thyroid cancer
• You find blood in your saliva
If your sore throat meets any of these criteria, please do not hesitate to call us. We treat both adult and pediatric patients with the utmost care and compassion. We’ll look for any underlying conditions and come up with a personalized treatment plan specific to your needs. Drinking plenty of fluids, taking over-the-counter medications, and gargling warm salt water may alleviate many sore throat symptoms. So, until we can help, make sure you get plenty of rest and stay hydrated!
Arizona Otolaryngology Consultants (AOC) is a comprehensive ENT clinic that provides care for all diseases of the ears, nose, throat, and sinuses. The physicians at AOC have the highest level of training and expertise in ENT care and ENT subspecialty care, which includes the management of pediatric airway, cancer, skull base surgery, advanced head and neck surgical and reconstructive procedures, craniofacial surgery and more. Call 602-264-4834 to request an appointment today!
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.