Sore Throat - Diagnosis

Sore throats are easy to diagnose from a patient's symptoms. However, the type of sore throat is usually difficult to diagnose. Most sore throats clear up quickly on their own, so a detailed diagnosis as to exact cause is usually not necessary. However, sore throats can sometimes continue for a relatively long time. In that case, medical advice should be sought. Some types of sore throat can develop into serious diseases.

Diagnosis of sore throat begins with a medical history and a physical examination. In the medical history, the doctor will try to find out if the patient has been near someone with a cold or the flu. If so, the patient may have contracted the sore throat by way of that contact.

Coughing serves an important function in the human body. It provides a way of expelling (getting rid of) harmful materials that get into the body. But coughing is an annoying, and sometimes crippling, pattern.

Throughout history, humans have used all kinds of natural products to relieve coughing. Today, one of the most popular cough treatments is the cough drop. The cough drop is similar to liquid cough medicine, except that it is prepared in a more convenient form.

The first commercial cough drops were prepared by James Smith, of Poughkeepsie, New York, in the mid-1850s. Smith made his cough drops in a pot on his kitchen stove. He then began selling them as the James Smith and Sons Compound of Wild Cherry Cough Candy in 1852. He claimed that the product would relieve coughs, colds, hoarseness, and sore throat.

Later, Smith's sons joined their father in the business. When other companies also began to make cough drops, the Smiths decided they needed to make their product distinctive. They began to package their cough drops in boxes with pictures of the two sons on the front. They also protected the name of their product by putting the words "Trade Mark" on the package. The two words, "Trade" and "Mark," appeared below the pictures of the two sons. Very soon, people who bought cough drops began to think of the two boys as "Trade" and "Mark." Many never knew that their real names were William and Andrew.

The physical examination may provide further information. The doctor may discover a sinus infection, bronchitis, or some other infection of the upper respiratory tract. Any one of these infections could be the cause of the sore throat. If the doctor suspects strep throat, laboratory tests may be ordered. These tests will tell whether the Streptococcus bacterium is present or not.

A simple, quick, and inexpensive test is available for mononucleosis. If the doctor suspects that the patient has this disease, the test can be performed in the office.

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

The Content is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of Content found on the Website.