Other Sore Throats Don’t Need Special Medicine So Why Does Strep Throat
Most sore throats are caused by viruses, which cannot be cured with medicine you can only relieve the aches and pains. Viruses heal on their own and cannot be cured with antibiotics or other medicines.
Strep throat is caused by a bacterium. Infections caused by bacteria can be treated with antibiotics. Strep throat can lead to more serious illnesses, so it’s important to get it treated.
How Is Strep Throat Treated
Strep throat is treated using antibiotics. An antibiotic is a type of medicine that kills the bacteria that cause the infection.
Antibiotics are often taken as pills or given as a shot. Penicillin and amoxicillin are common antibiotics used to treat strep throat. Other antibiotics are ordered for people who are allergic to penicillin.
Your healthcare provider may give your child a shot or prescribe an antibiotic in either pill or liquid form. The pills or liquid are usually taken for 10 days. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. Your child should take all of the medication, even if he or she feels better. The bacteria can still be alive even if your child feels okay.
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Conventional doctors today do a great job of scaring people out of their minds about the possibility of rheumatic fever/heart damage from allowing the body to deal with a strep throat infection unmedicated. However, the truth is, the risk of complications from strep throat is very small for healthy people who have no issues with their immune system. Even WebMD used to state that strep throat will go away on its own with or without treatment in 3-7 days.
Ive written before about the one and only case of strep throat I ever had. It occurred when I was 15 and I am ever so grateful my MD father loved me enough to let me fight through it and win without antibiotics. The result? Ive never ever gotten strep throat again despite repeated exposures. One exposure was in very close quarters a college roommate had strep throat and I still didnt contract it! Whats even more interesting is that none of my children have ever had strep either despite multiple exposures from friends and classmates.
I obviously built up a strong resistance to strep throat at a young age and have been blessed with never having to suffer with it again by allowing my body to fight through it naturally. Its also quite possible I passed on my immunity to my children via breastfeeding, although that is obviously just an educated guess on my part.
For others, the article triggered an aha moment with more than just a few deciding once and for all to stare down the strep throat demon and win!
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Can You Get Strep Throat Without Tonsils
It is possible to get strep throat after youve had your tonsils removed, although there is some evidence that you may get it less often . Strep throat is when bacteria called group A Streptococcus infect your throat and tonsils. Once youve had your tonsils removed the bacteria can no longer infect them but can still infect your throat. What you cant get after youve had your tonsils removed is tonsillitis what doctors call an infection of the tonsils regardless of the cause. Most cases of tonsillitis are caused by a virus, but when its caused by bacteria, the culprit is usually streptococcus, or strep.
Overuse Of Antibiotics Hinder The Bodys Ability To Fight Off Infections
If theyre unnecessary, why doctors prescribe with them for these conditions. To explain this controversy, David H. Newman, MD revealed that not only doctors but also patients are always looking for antibiotics. The reason is that instead of spending ten minutes or thereabouts to talk about how our bodies should fight those bacteria and infection on their own, it is much easier to prescribe with antibiotics.
In the meanwhile, antibiotics are considered to cause some unexpected outcomes. We need to fully understand that treating the infection with too many antibiotics at too many times will lead to the situation of antibiotic resistance.
To be more particular, if you use antibiotics for the very first time, it is helpful for that infection to recover quickly. However, the effectiveness does not work for the fifth or the sixth time, for example.In this case, germs and bacteria have developed their immunity to the increased use of antibiotics. Thats why the overuse of antibiotics will prevent your body from staying healthy.
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How Strep Throat Is Treated
Strep throat is treated with prescription antibiotics, such as penicillin, amoxicillin, and erythromycin, among others. Sometimes, over-the-counter options like ibuprofen or home remedies can reduce pain and ease other uncomfortable symptoms. If you have symptoms, you should see your healthcare provider to find out whether you have strep throatan accurate diagnosis will help you get the right treatment for the infection and help prevent complications of a persistent infection.
Will Strep Throat Go Away On Its Own
We highly recommend being seen by a provider if you are concerned you may have strep throat. Strep throat typically goes away in three to seven days with or without antibiotic treatment. However, if you dont take antibiotics, you can remain contagious for two to three weeks and are at a higher risk for complications, such as rheumatic fever.
Whats more, complications resulting from the bacterial infection can lead to increased susceptibility to other viral infections like influenza which can be fatal.
Pro Tip: If you have been diagnosed with strep throat, you can help prevent repeat infections by changing your and your families toothbrushes and thoroughly disinfecting all surfaces that may have been in contact with the strep virus.
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Treating A Sore Throat
A sore throat generally lasts two to three days and gets better within a week. There are a few things you can try that may soothe a sore throat and quicken your recovery:
Gargle with warm salty water Drink plenty of water but avoid hot drinks Eat cool or soft foods Avoid smoking or smoky areas Take rest Suck ice cubes or hard sweets
Ask your pharmacist which over-the-counter medicines could help relieve the pain or discomfort of your sore throat.
How Do I Know If My Child Has Strep Throat
Visit your healthcare provider if the symptoms suggest strep throat. Your child will be examined and may be given a strep test . Viral illnesses can have the same symptoms as strep throat. This is why it’s important that a throat swab be done to confirm the presence of the Strep bacteria in the throat.
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What Is The Difference Between Strep Throat And A Sore Throat
Sore throat describes the symptoms of having a painful throat. Strep throat means that the sore throat is caused by a particular bacteria, group A streptococcus. While most causes of sore throat will go away on their own, strep throat is treated with antibiotics to prevent complications like rheumatic fever.
Can An Online Doctor Treat Me For Strep Throat
Yes! HealthTap is here to help.
Our online doctors can meet you via video consultation and evaluate you for strep throat, order tests*, offer medical advice, and write prescriptions that are sent electronically to your nearest pharmacy. HealthTap members can compare costs at the nearest five pharmacies and save up to 75% off the cost of their prescriptions. Additionally, if you schedule an appointment with a primary care physician in our Virtual Primary Care clinic, you can text with your doctor for free after your appointment to discuss any questions or clarifications you may have.
*You may need to travel to an in-person clinic if testing for strep is needed.
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What Is The Best Medication For Strep Throat
The best medication for treating strep throat should be discussed with your doctor and will depend on your medical history and current medications you may be taking.
|Best medications for treating strep throat|
|300 mg every 6 hours||Kills the bacteria causing strep throat||Skin problems, yellow appearance of skin, nails, or whites of eyes|
Dosage is determined by your healthcare provider based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and weight. Other possible side effects exist. This is not a complete list.
How You Get Strep Throat
Group A strep live in the nose and throat and can easily spread to other people. It is important to know that some infected people do not have symptoms or seem sick. People who are infected spread the bacteria by coughing or sneezing, which creates small respiratory droplets that contain the bacteria.
People can get sick if they:
- Breathe in those droplets
- Touch something with droplets on it and then touch their mouth or nose
- Drink from the same glass or eat from the same plate as a sick person
- Touch sores on the skin caused by group A strep
Rarely, people can spread group A strep through food that is not handled properly . Experts do not believe pets or household items, like toys, spread these bacteria.
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Can I Prevent Strep Throat
If someone in your house has strep throat, you might get it. But following these tips can help protect you:
- Make sure the person with strep throat covers his or her mouth when sneezing and coughing.
- Don’t handle used tissues or other germy items.
- Wash your hands regularly, especially before eating.
- Wash dishes, drinking glasses, knives, forks, and spoons in hot, soapy water.
- Keep sores and cuts clean because strep can get in your skin and cause problems, too.
Strep throat is no fun, but after feeling sick for 2 or 3 days, most kids start getting back to normal. In other words, they feel less streppy and more peppy!
What Matters Most To You
Your personal feelings are just as important as the medical facts. Think about what matters most to you in this decision, and show how you feel about the following statements.
Reasons to take antibiotics for a sore throat
Reasons not to take antibiotics for a sore throat
I want to take medicine even if there’s only a chance it will help me get well faster.
I may not want to take medicine if it won’t help me get well faster.
I’m worried about my sore throat turning into an ear infection or sinus infection.
I’m not worried about my sore throat turning into an ear infection or sinus infection.
I’m not worried about the risk of taking antibiotics too often.
I’m worried about the risks of taking antibiotics too often.
I’ve had a sore throat for more than a week, and it’s not getting better.
I’ve had a sore throat for just a few days.
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What Should You Do If You Have A Sore Throat
You might know that your sore throat was caused by something like an overuse injury. If so, then you may just need to give your throat a little rest.
If you have an underlying cause such as allergies or reflux, treating that condition should help your sore throat symptoms get better sooner.
If youre not sure whats causing your sore throat, you should see your healthcare provider to evaluate for possible causes such as strep or COVID-19.
You can often help your sore throat feel better by using simple home remedies, like good old fashioned honey .
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Oh, the wonders of winter. Snowball fights, skiing, hot cocoa, and strep throat?
Yes, the season of fun-filled pastimes and sparkling snow can also be marked by sickness. And this winter, our providers at Associates in Family Medicine are seeing higher-than-usual cases of strep throat.
While this bacterial bane on the winter season is familiar to most of us, our team of providers has noticed a number of misconceptions around strep throat. We talked to AFM physician and urgent care director Dr. Shelley Moore to get clarity on common strep throat symptoms, treatment options, spread, and more.
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How Can I Relieve My Strep Throat
To help soothe your sore throat and shorten the duration of suffering, you can
- Gargle with warm salty water three times to relieve discomfort and pain.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Eat cool and soft food to ease swallowing.
- Avoid smoking or smoky places.
- Use over-the-counter medicated lozenges or a throat spray.
- Use medicines to reduce your fever such as paracetamol. You should avoid using these medications in children without consulting your pediatrician.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Strep Throat
Generally, Strep sore throats tend to be very painful and symptoms persist for a lot longer than sore throats due to another cause. Swallowing may be particularly difficult and painful. Symptoms of a Strep throat may include:
- Sudden onset of sore throat
- Very red and swollen-looking tonsils and back of the throat
- Sometimes streaks of pus or red spots may appear on the roof of the mouth
- A headache
- Swollen and tender glands in the neck.
Children are more likely to feel sick and vomit.
People with a Strep throat do NOT typically have a cough, runny nose, hoarseness, mouth ulcers, or conjunctivitis. If these symptoms occur there is more likely to be a viral cause for the sore throat.
Some people are susceptible to the toxins produced by the S. pyrogenes bacteria and develop a bright red rash that feels like sandpaper to the touch. A rash caused by S. pyrogenes bacteria is known as Scarlet Fever . Although it usually follows a sore throat, it may also occur after school sores .
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Do I Need Antibiotics
If you have or are likely to have strep, your doctor will treat you to help you get better sooner, stop you from transmitting strep to others, and also to prevent the rare occurrence of strep infection developing into complicationsâlike rheumatic fever, and heart, kidney, and nervous system disorders. Fortunately, those side effects are rare.
Even if you are starting to feel better from a sore throat that was caused by strep, you still need treatment to prevent these possible complications.
Your doctor will assess the risk that your sore throat is caused by strep, and decide if the chance is high and immediate treatment is warranted, or if you need testing to see if it is strep, or if it’s unlikely to be strep.
The main factors that make it more likely that a sore throat is caused by strep include: History of recent exposure to someone who tested positive for strep, fever more than 100.4 degrees F, tender swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and white exudate or spots on the throat or tonsils. If you have at least 2 of these risk factors, your doctor may decide to go ahead and treat you without doing a test, or before any test results are back.
One caveat is that if you have symptoms that suggest a viral infection â such as cough, runny nose, congestion, conjunctivitis, or sores in your mouth, then it is unlikely that your sore throat is caused by strep.
What Are The Symptoms Of Strep Throat
The most apparent signs that a people experience this bacterial infections is that you may find it hard, painful and raw to swallow. Then, your throat must have been severely sore and red with white patches.
Other visible symptoms can be a headache, rashes, sudden fever, sore stomach, and swollen lymph.
Although fever is a sign of strep throat, many people still feel confused because sometimes they dont get any fever. If you want to understand it is true or not, read more on CAN YOU HAVE STREP THROAT WITHOUT A FEVER.
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When Should I Get Tested For Strep Throat
If you have a sore throat thats accompanied by a fever and/or some of the other symptoms described above , its a good idea to see a doctor.
With strep throat, its better to be seen earlier rather than later, says Moore. The quicker you get treated, the quicker you can be sure you dont spread the infection to others. Also, if you get to the point where your pain is not well controlled and you have trouble drinking fluids, you run the risk of getting dehydrated and weak.
Strep Throat Home Care
Until the antibiotics start to work, these home treatments can help you or your child feel better:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers: Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to bring down a fever and ease the sore throat. Don’t give aspirin to children and teens. It can cause a rare but serious condition called Reyeâs syndrome.
- Rest: Stay home from school or work. You need extra rest to help your body fight off the infection.
- Gargling: Rinse with a mixture of a quarter-teaspoon of salt and 8 ounces of warm water to relieve a scratchy throat.
- Lozenges and hard candy: Older kids can suck on these to feel better. Avoid giving small pieces of candy to children 4 and younger.
- Lots of fluids: Do this especially if you have a fever. Water and warm liquids such as soup or tea soothe the throat and keep you hydrated. If cold feels better on your throat, suck on a frozen pop or ice chips. Avoid orange juice, lemonade, and other drinks that are high in acid. These can burn your throat.
- Soft foods: Examples include yogurt, applesauce, or frozen yogurt. They’re easier to swallow.
- Cool-mist humidifier or saline nasal spray: Moisture can help make your throat feel better.
Steer clear of anything that might bother your throat, like cigarette smoke, paint fumes, or cleaning products.
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