Ryan is an experienced health writer helping educate and inform people on all types of important health topics. He lives in Salt Lake City, UT and can be found recreating in the local mountains.
Po-Chang Hsu, M.D.
Dr. Hsu received his medical degree from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and holds a Master’s of Science degree from both Harvard University and Tufts University. Outside of the medical profession, Dr. Hsu loves to write, learn new languages, and travel.
April 13, 2021
Strep throat is a common infection that can make a simple sore throat even worse. Although it’s a common infection, it can cause injuries and problems with your mouth if left untreated.
EverydayDr partners with PlushCare to provide telehealth services. PlushCare is an award-winning company that can get you booked with a top US doctor in as little as 15 minutes. Doctors at PlushCare can help you treat your strep throat and prescribe antibiotics online. Book an appointment with PlushCare here.
While strep throat primarily affects children, it can appear in adults as well. If you think you have strep throat, you should visit a doctor.
Signs of strep throat usually originate in the throat, and some people even mistake strep throat symptoms for a sore throat. One of the most prominent strep throat symptoms is sudden throat pain that comes on quickly, often without any warning.
Another symptom of a sore throat is having trouble swallowing or painful swallowing. When you look in your mouth and down your throat, you might see swollen red tonsils or tiny red spots on your palate and may feel that your lymph nodes are swollen.
Other signs of strep throat can include:
If you are only experiencing throat pain, but think it is strep throat, keep an eye out for developing other symptoms.
Strep throat is an infection caused by the highly contagious bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes. If someone has strep throat and sneezes or coughs, they will spread through the droplets they eject.
Shared food, drinks, and surfaces can also transfer the bacteria from one person to another. If you touch an infected surface with your hand, you can transfer it into your bloodstream by touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
The risk factors of strep throat mainly depend on age. Most of those infected with strep throat are children, and the bacteria tend to arise during winter and spring.
Strep throat, if untreated, can spread and might lead to serious complications. The bacteria inside your mouth can spread to other areas of your body, including your chest, face, nails, and ears. This spread can cause infection in these other areas, which may require additional treatment.
The infection can lead to inflammatory reactions in the rest of your body, including:
Get strep treated early, before it can spread out of your throat.
To prevent strep throat, you will need to use some standard self-care techniques useful for all types of bacterial infections.
The most common and effective method of preventative care is washing your hands. If you wash your hands every day with soap and warm water, you will reduce the chances of getting infected by strep throat or any other potential bacterial infections. Washing your hands might seem negligible, but it is highly effective.
To prevent the spread of germs, including the bacteria that cause strep throat, you should also cover your mouth and nose when you cough. The bacteria spread through the air, so you will need to get into the habit of covering your face. Don’t share personal items and utensils with friends, especially if one of them is sick.
Make sure to wash shared items in hot water with lots of soap, and sanitize any commonly used areas with wipes and cleaners. Clean everything and take time to remove all the bacteria.
To help reduce the spread of infections like strep throat, consider a telehealth visit. A doctor can diagnose and prescribe medication without you having to leave home. Not only is it convenient, but it also helps keep others safe too.
There are some cases where someone can test positive for strep throat but not have any symptoms at all. If you have strep but don’t have symptoms, you are less likely to require any antibiotics. You also have a smaller chance of spreading the bacteria to others.
If you do not experience any strep throat symptoms, it will eventually go away on its own as the body’s immune system gets rid of the infection. Still, if you are a carrier, keep an eye on your throat health for any signs of strep throat.
Strep throat isn’t fun, but you can limit discomfort if it is adequately treated. If you have a sore throat and think that it may be strep, see a doctor or schedule a telehealth visit. The faster you can get on your antibiotic prescriptions, the quicker you will begin the healing process.
Make sure to practice good health practices, such as washing your hands and covering your mouth when you sneeze and cough. Those good habits will prevent you from getting strep in the first place, and they’ll defend you from a host of other bacteria and illnesses too.
Our partners at PlushCare have experience diagnosing strep throat virtually. After doing so, they can prescribe you medication online. Strep throat is typically treated with antibiotics, usually either penicillin or amoxicillin. The antibiotics can provide several benefits for your healing process, primarily ensuring that the infection doesn’t spread or turn into something worse. The doctor can send the prescription electronically to your local pharmacy.
A regular prescription of antibiotics and bed rest will typically heal your strep throat given time. You should eat cold and soft foods that will be gentle on your throat to avoid irritating the inflamed skin. After a few days, you should notice the symptoms lessening.
Click here to make an appointment with a PlushCare doctor.
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