Strep throat is a bacterial infection that causes a sore throat, among other symptoms. Left untreated, it can result in abscesses around the tonsils, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, sinus and ear infections, and kidney disease. This is why it’s important to seek treatment early. Below we review the symptoms, causes and treatment for strep throat.
Symptoms of Strep Throat
Symptoms of strep throat include:
- Sore throat
- Red, swollen tonsils
- White patches on the back of the throat
- Body aches
- Skin rash
Symptoms usually resolve within one or two days of treatment, though it may take 10 to fully clear the infection.
Causes of Strep Throat
Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by Group A streptococcus. It is spread by respiratory droplets, usually when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes. While it’s most common in school-age children between five and 15 years old, anyone of any age can get strep throat.
Diagnosing Strep Throat
A physician at ENT & Allergy Specialists can diagnose strep throat following a physical exam and either a rapid antigen test or throat culture. Both of these tests involve rubbing a sterile swab over the throat and tonsils. The swab is evaluated in a laboratory to see whether strep throat is to blame for your symptoms.
Treatment for Strep Throat
Fortunately, strep throat is highly treatable with the right medications. Because it’s a bacterial infection, antibiotics are necessary. Usually, penicillin or amoxicillin are prescribed, which you can pick up at Ruwe Family Pharmacy. It’s essential to take these medications exactly as prescribed, even you start to feel better before you’re done taking them.
Home remedies to manage symptoms in the meantime include taking over-the-counter pain medications, sucking on throat lozenges, drinking tea with honey and lemon, gargling warm salt water and consuming cold foods like popsicles.
Preventing Strep Throat
To help prevent strep throat, you should wash your hands frequently and advise your child to do the same. You should do this after touching shared surfaces, before prepping food or eating and after coughing or sneezing. If you can’t wash your hands, use hand sanitizer. You should also avoid sharing utensils, including straws.
For more information about strep throat or to schedule an appointment, call ENT & Allergy Specialists today.