Strep throat, medically known as streptococcal pharyngitis, is among the most common medical ailments that school-aged children experience. It can also be found in adults, but most reported cases are suffered by those from 5 to 15 years of age. Stretococcus is the bacteria that causes strep throat. It can easily be transmitted from one person of another through airborne particles during a cough or sneeze. It is important that you know the signs and symptoms of strep throat so that you can get yourself or your child to the doctor as soon as possible.
Signs and Symptoms of Strep Throat
The severity of strep throat symptoms can range greatly between cases and people. It is possible that someone will exhibit all of the signs of the condition, while others will only have one or two symptoms. Because strep throat can lead to further medical complications left untreated, it is important that you seek medical attention if any of the signs become apparent.
The most common, and usually the first, sign of strep throat is soreness in the throat. Throat pain can be quite severe, and may reach the point that even swallowing water is excruciating. If the sore throat is accompanied by nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing and watery eyes, then it is likely not strep throat.
However, there are some other tell tale signs and symptoms of strep throat to look out for. A fever will usually quickly occur within the second or third day of the sore throat. If you look at the affected throat, you will begin to notice white or red patches on one or both sides if the problem is caused by the Strep bacteria. The throat is also likely to be swollen, which could make it difficult to eat, talk, or swallow.
Other less common symptoms of strep throat include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, chills, headache, swollen lymph nodes in the neck and a general feeling of being ill.
Treatment of Strep Throat
If you have any of the above signs and symptoms of strep throat, it is important that you visit your doctor as soon as possible. A throat culture or similar test will be conducted to determine if the signs are caused by a bacterial infection. If you test positive for strep throat, antibiotics will be administered right away. Penocillin tends to be the most common medication for strep throat, though others can be given if an allergy is present. It is vital that you complete your antibiotic treatment for the full 10 to 14 days to ensure the bacteria has been completely eliminated.
There are a few other remedies that you can use to help relieve your pain and discomfort while dealing with strep throat. Gargling warm salt water can help soothe the throat to make talking and swallowing easier. Warm honey and lemon tea can also help. Over the counter pain medications, such as Tylenol, can also help relieve your discomfort.