Patient: Hi.i dont have insurance and i am trying to decide if my sore throat is merely a part of the common cold or if i should be concerned and see a doctor. my throat is extremely sore and red. it is hard to swallow and the back of my throat is swollen on both sides. there are some white bumps and no cold medicine or allergy meds have worked. i also have pain in my ears and a stuffy nose. my neck however does not seen to be swollen on the outside. i am 27 and it has been about 3 days. any suggestions on how to trial and error before i spend a fortune at the er? thanks!