How to Know When It’s Strep Throat
A common sore throat is brought on by a virus, which can be very contagious and produce symptoms like drowsiness, congestion, stuffiness, coughing, aching and fever. While the symptoms are miserable, the good thing about a virus is that it will run its course in about a week with no antibiotics needed. On the other hand, a condition called strep throat is a bacterial infection that’s more difficult to treat. Also highly contagious, strep throat spreads by coughing sneezing and even talking.
If you suffer from a sore throat, there are ways to determine if what you’re feeling is viral or bacterial. And if you experience any of the following symptoms, you probably have strep throat:
- Sore throat that makes swallowing extremely painful
- A fever of 100.4 of more
- Swollen lymph nodes on your neck
- White spots on the back of your mouth
- Headache or nausea
- Swollen and painful tonsils (in some cases)
Treating Strep Throat
Once strep throat is diagnosed, antibiotics are used to treat it. It’s important to take the entire dose of your medication in the time-frame recommended, even if you feel better after just a few days, to make sure the infection is truly gone.
To make yourself more comfortable as you recover from strep throat, try the following measures:
- Run a humidifier in a confined area to moisturize your irritated mucus membranes
- Drink plenty of fluids like water, tea with honey or clear, warm soup broth.
- Avoid smoking cigarettes or being around others who smoke
- Stay home from work to rest and to make sure your co-workers don’t contract the infection
- Try a sore throat spray or throat drops for temporary pain relief
If your sore throat pain does not get better on antibiotics after 10 days, or if your pain worsens,
visit your health care provider as soon as possible.
For more information about identifying the symptoms of strep throat, or to learn more about the other services we
provide, please call our office at 732-280-7855 or visit our website.