It’s the start of the New Year; the holidays are over, the kids are back in school, and sore throats are a familiar part of your life. Unfortunately, sore throats are not an unusual occurrence at this time of year due to colds, allergies to indoor allergens (i.e. molds, dust, pets, or other bacteria), and strep throat. So how do you know what’s causing your sore throat?
Whenever a sore throat is severe, persists longer than the usual five-to-seven day duration of a cold or flu, and is not associated with an avoidable allergy or irritation, you may have strep throat.
Symptoms of Strep Throat
Did you know that strep throat only accounts for a small portion of sore throats? So how can you tell if your sore throat is actually the nasty Streptococcal Pharyngitis bacteria?
· Painful swallowing
· A sore throat that comes on suddenly
· Red bumps (often called strawberry tongue) at the back of the tongue or throat
· Red and inflamed tonsils, with white draining patches
· Aches and pains
These symptoms are not always an indication of strep throat. One of the doctors in our office can test the bacteria located at the back of the throat by performing a throat swab, a non-surgical procedure that uses an instrument to take a sampling of the infected cells to diagnose the strep throat bacteria.
If you are diagnosed with strep throat an antibiotic will be prescribed to help alleviate your symptoms and get you feeling better as soon as possible. If it is determined that you do not have strep throat, antibiotics may still be used to treat other forms of bacteria in the throat. However, antibiotics are generally avoided if you are suspected of having a viral sore throat. If you’re feeling under the weather, give our office a call today to discuss your treatment options.
Strep throat is often treated with antibiotic quickly because it can lead to serious complications like inflammation in the kidneys, rheumatic fever, and scarlet fever. Additionally, the bacteria may spread to other parts of the body, such as the throat, middle ears, and blood and cause infections. Strep throat itself isn’t dangerous, but because of these complications our office prefers to take fast action when treating the Streptococcal Pharyngitis bacteria.
Recurrent Strep Throat
Additionally, if you find that you have recurrent strep throat—whether you get strep the same time every year or experience it several times a year—getting your tonsils removed can decrease the occurrences of strep throat. One of the doctors in our office can sit down with you to discuss your previous health history and the option of a tonsillectomy.