Strep throat can be one of the causes that can make you feel soreness in your throat; however, not all sore throats are strep throat. Strep throat can be identified based on their symptoms. Besides, your physicians might also suggest you get certain health tests done for proper diagnosis. Strep throat is caused by Group A Streptococcus bacteria, also called Streptococcus Pyogenes. You might experience inflammation and pain in the throat as a result of this type of infection. It can affect children as well as adults of various ages. The important aspects associated with this health condition are discussed in this digital healthcare platform.
How to distinguish a Strep throat from Sore throat
Strep throat differs from sore throat both in terms of causes as well as in terms of symptoms. Let’s discuss them in this section.
Causes and Risk factors of Strep throat
A sore throat can be caused as a result of allergy, smoke, cold, flu and many other forms of bacterial or viral infection. Whereas strep throat is caused by a bacteria called Streptococcus Pyogenes.
Coming in contact with an infected person
These bacteria are highly transmissible as they can spread through airborne droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes or when you share food and drinks with them.
Touching a contaminated object
You can also get infected if you come in contact with an object such as a doorknob or any other surface that is being contaminated by an infected person and then touch your eyes, mouth or nose.
People are at risk of developing this form of infection mostly in winter and in early spring.
By following certain steps you can prevent developing strep throat
Wash your hands
Washing hands properly is the best way to prevent the spreading of infection. You should develop a habit of cleaning your hands properly with soap and water and teach the same to your children. If you cannot use soap and water every time, it is advised to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer instead.
Cover your mouth
This step is also applicable to you as well as your children. Always remember to cover your mouth while coughing or sneezing.
Avoid sharing utensils for eating and drinking. Remember to clean them in hot soapy water or a dishwasher.
Symptoms associated with Strep throat
Strep throat is usually characterized by following symptoms
Difficulty in swallowing – You may experience difficulty while swallowing food items.
Swollen tonsils – You may notice red and swollen tonsils. Sometimes, white patches might appear on them.
Pain in the throat – You might experience pain in the throat that can come quickly.
Swollen lymph nodes – Tender and swollen lymph nodes might also occur in the neck.
Fever – Another common symptom of strep throat is fever. You may also experience headache, body aches and rashes.
Nausea – Young children might experience symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
Another thing, you must bear in mind, that if you develop any of these above-mentioned symptoms, you must not panic. You might develop these symptoms as a result of any other viral infection or disorder apart from strep throat. Therefore, you should seek medical assistance for diagnosis.
Once you are diagnosed with strep throat, usually doctors prescribe you different medications to relieve the symptoms and also to help you recover. An oral antibiotic can reduce the severity of the symptoms and its duration. It also helps in preventing the risk of complications and the possibility of spreading the infection to others. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help in reducing fever and throat pain. However, it is always suggested, to consult with your physician regarding the intake of any medication.
In most of the situation, antibiotics are effective in eliminating bacteria. At the same time, you might try the following tips to relieve your symptoms.
Consume easy-to-swallow foods
Food items such as broths, cooked cereal, soups, mashed potatoes, soft fruits, yogurts are similar are easier to swallow. You might find it easy to consume these foods. Besides, cool drinks such as sherbet, frozen drinks might also be effective in providing some relief to your throat. It is recommended to avoid spicy or acidic foods such as orange juice.
Consume adequate fluid
Drinking plenty of water can not only soothe your sore throat for easy swallowing but also will keep you hydrated.
Gargle with warm water
Add ¼ teaspoon of table salt to eight ounces of warm water and use it for gargling. It can help in relieving your throat pain. Make sure that your child should spit out the water after gargling.
Sleep can help your body in fighting infection. It is advised to keep your sick child with strep throat and fever at home till they feel better to go out and have taken an antibiotic for a minimum of 24 hours.
Use a humidifier
Placing a cool-mist humidifier can ease some of your discomforts. You should always remember to clean it regularly; otherwise, bacteria and molds can flourish in them. Saline nasal sprays are also effective in keeping the mucous membrane moist.
Thus, by following the above-mentioned steps you can relieve the symptoms of strep throat to a great extent.
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