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Do you have a sore throat? Do you know what the symptoms are of strep throat? What are the guidelines for determining if it is a bacterial infection or viral infection? These and other questions might be going through your head right now.
Strep throat (also known as acute pharyngitis) is an inflammation of the tonsils and adenoids that usually starts with an acute sore throat. It’s typically caused by Streptococcus, which leads to swelling and redness around the tonsils, making them swollen and painful.
Strep Throat: Symptoms, Testing, and Treatment
Like any other illness, early diagnosis is crucial in preventing the spread of bacteria to others. In most cases, strep throat can be treated at home by avoiding sweets, staying off work, socializing, and drinking plenty of fluids. However, if you are experiencing unusual symptoms or have a high fever, you must go for a medical check-up at the earliest to avoid complications.
A sore throat characterizes strep throat. It is the first and most prominent symptom that indicates something wrong in your Throat. Other early symptoms include:
Pain in your ears and difficulty swallowing that progresses to a sore throat. You might also feel tenderness or swelling around the neck, just below the ears. The back of the palate may be tender and painful.
A stuffy nose is another symptom associated with strep throat. The tonsils and adenoids swell due to bacterial infection, causing a blockage of your nasal passages and making them more prone to infections.
Discomfort in the back of your Throat, with hoarseness, sneezing, throat clearing, or coughing. Adults commonly experience it over 20 years old.
Coughing that produces greenish or yellow mucus can be another symptom associated with strep throat that you might notice from time to time if you are ill for a more extended period.
Other symptoms like fever and fatigue are common during this illness as well.
If strep throat is confirmed, a variety of tests can be done to help determine the cause and confirm your diagnosis. You might hear the word Throat culture used a lot when talking about strep throat. “Throat culture” refers to swabbing the tonsils and adenoids to find out if they are infected with bacteria or not.
The best way to get an answer is by doing a streptococcal culture and blood test. It can be done at your doctor’s office or a hospital emergency room.
Most commonly, the doctor will swab the tonsils and adenoids to check for bacterial infection. If there is an infection, you must have a medicine that will kill the bacteria (antibiotic) before it spreads to other parts of your body or, worse, your bloodstream. Antibiotics are short-term treatments that can last anywhere between 2–7 days, depending on the severity of your illness. You can get them over the counter or prescribed by a doctor.
So next time you have a sore throat, don’t be afraid to see a doctor. They can help you get some answers, so you can rest easy and get on with your day. If you are concerned about your symptoms, talk to your doctor and ask for a referral to the nearest hospital for further diagnosis and treatment.