If you have been dealing with a bad sore throat in addition to cold or flu-like symptoms, you might be suffering from strep throat. This is a common bacterial infection of the throat that is caused by the Group A streptococci bacteria. This bacteria can cause many types of infections, including skin infections. Here is more information about strep throat and how to treat it.
Are you sure it is strep throat?
It helps to first know a little more about the potential symptoms and side effects of having strep throat, since a sore throat can be caused by many different things. With strep throat, you may notice pain and redness of your throat, but that’s not all. It will also be accompany by any of these side effects:
- White patches in the throat
- Nausea or vomiting
- Red rash on the stomach
How do doctors diagnose strep throat?
You can either see your family physician or an ear, throat and nose specialist if you believe you might have strep throat. Your doctor will start by doing a physical examination and looking at the back of your throat. This can give them a lot of information as to what the cause of your throat could be. They will also perform a throat culture, which requires them to swipe the back of your throat with a swab and run it through a rapid strep test. This allows you to have results right away.
How is it treated?
Since strep throat is a type of bacterial infection, the most common treatment is with a round of antibiotics. Depending on your preferences and severity of the infection, you might be given a shot of antibiotics in the doctor’s office or prescribed oral antibiotics. It is essential that you follow the directions exactly if you take oral antibiotics. Try not to skip a dose and make sure you take the entire bottle as directed, even if you start to feel better. Your body needs all of the antibiotics to get rid of the infection completely.
What if you don’t see a doctor?
Like all infections, strep throat from a bacterial infection can lead to other complications. If you fail to see a doctor and get proper treatment, the infection could spread to other parts of the body and cause kidney issues or rheumatic fever. Since the diagnosis and treatment is not an invasive treatment, it is important to see a doctor, like Scott Callahan MD, right away.