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What is a Sore Throat?

A sore throat is often one of the symptoms of a cold or the flu, but it also can be an indicator of much more serious viral or bacterial infections like strep throat, chicken pox, measles and mononucleosis.

A sore throat can also be related to other problems, such as allergies or even reflux, when stomach acids are regurgitated into the back of the throat.

UR Medicine offers a range of treatment options for sore throat.

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UR Medicine's Treatments for Sore Throat

Your Primary Care physician will work with you to identify the cause of your sore throat. In addition, UR Medicine offers urgent care and video visits, real-time video connections with UR Medicine providers that can diagnose the cause of sore throat.

In the case of cold or flu, simple home remedies (such as over-the-counter pain medication, warm and clear liquids, humidifying the air in your home, and elevating your head slightly while sleeping so mucus can drain more efficiently) can relieve the discomfort of a sore throat until the virus goes away.

Most often, when you a visit an ear, nose and throat physician for a sore throat, a provider will perform a throat culture by using a medical cotton swab to collect cells from the back of your throat. Lab technicians look at the cells under a microscope and determine the presence and type of bacteria causing the sore throat.

For bacterial infections such as strep throat, your doctor will need to prescribe an antibiotic to prevent the infection from becoming more severe and spreading to other parts of the body.

At times, severe and recurring cases of tonsillitis—especially in children—will require removal of the tonsils. Most people who undergo a tonsillectomy find a significant reduction in colds and infections after having their tonsils removed.

What Sets Us Apart?

Quick and convenient care options are available. We offer same-day and next-day urgent care, and telehealth or video appointments.

UR Medicine Otolaryngologists (ENT physicians) at the University of Rochester Medical Center are trained in non-surgical and surgical treatment of diseases of the ears, nose, throat, head, and neck. Our specialists perform hundreds of procedures and surgeries every year, so patient care is always in the hands of well-practiced experts.

In fact, as part of the University of Rochester Medical Center, our physicians are exposed to more complex conditions and unusual complications than most physicians in the area.

Many physicians are also involved in research to find new treatments for ENT-related diseases. All of our doctors are board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology.


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We serve you in the Rochester metropolitan area and surrounding region.

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6 locations

Ear, Nose, & Throat - Batavia

7995 Call Parkway, Suite 100
Batavia, NY 14020

Ear, Nose, & Throat - Geneva

64 Elizabeth Blackwell Street, Suite A
Geneva, NY 14456

Ear, Nose, & Throat - North Greece

60 Greece Center Drive, Suite 2
Rochester, NY 14612

Ear, Nose, & Throat - Brighton

Clinton Woods
2365 South Clinton Avenue, Suite 200
Rochester, NY 14618

Pediatric Otolaryngology - Rochester

Lattimore Medical Center
125 Lattimore Road, East Entrance, Suite 100
Rochester, NY 14620

Ear, Nose, & Throat - Rochester

Highland Professional Office Building
990 South Avenue, Suite 207
Rochester, NY 14620

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