A sore throat is something that we’re used to getting, and most of the time, even though it can be extremely painful, we’ll just put it down to having a cold or a bug of some sort, and after a day or so it all goes away. We generally just get on with things and then forget it ever happened.

However, although that’s what happens the majority of the time, there are some cases when a sore throat shouldn’t be ignored or dismissed, and actually needs a little (or a lot) more investigation. With this in mind, here are some of the situations when it’s best to get a sore throat investigated.

Persistent Soreness

As we mentioned above, most of the time a sore throat will last for a few days at most, and then disappear, and you’ll generally be able to deal with it during that time with over-the-counter drugs or home remedies, making it more of a nuisance than anything else.

However, if your sore throat doesn’t go away after a few days and your chosen remedies don’t do anything (especially if they’ve worked well in the past), then there might be a bigger issue to look into, and it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your medical doctor.

A sore throat can be an indication of many different things, including throat cancer, and you can find out more by looking on moffitt.org for the symptoms. The sooner you get medical attention, the more chance there is of catching something like this early on and being able to deal with it swiftly.

Difficulty Swallowing

A sore throat is always going to make it slightly difficult to swallow because of the pain, but it won’t be impossible—you’ll still be able to eat and drink, even if it’s not very pleasant to do so. However, if it gets worse and you genuinely can’t swallow (rather than just preferring not to, in other words), then it could be a sign of something more serious, and it’s worth getting yourself checked out.

In fact, the same goes if you’re finding it difficult to breathe. If your throat is very sore, it can become highly inflamed, and this means it gets narrower, potentially making breathing more of a chore. If this goes on for a long time, it can cause a lot of damage, so heading to the ER is often the best course of action.

Voice Changes

A sore throat isn’t always the same thing as losing your voice or sounding croaky, although the two things can combine if you have a general illness, for example. The issues with this begin after two weeks—if your voice hasn’t returned to normal, there could be another reason behind the changes, which may or may not be linked to your sore throat.

Causes for voice changes could include throat cancer, acid reflux, vocal cord issues, or it might be a symptom of heavy smoking or drinking, and all of these conditions require a doctor’s care, so pay attention to your symptoms and how long they last so you can get the help and advice you need sooner rather than later.