Can Strep Throat Be Prevented Or Avoided
Strep throat is very contagious. It can be hard to protect yourself when you are around people who are infected with strep throat. Try to avoid people who have strep, when possible. If you must be around someone who has strep throat, be sure to wash your hands frequently. Hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs.
How Long Does A Sore Throat Last
It really depends on whats causing your sore throat. Most sore throats will dissipate within three to 10 days if its caused by a viral infection like a cold, says Dr. Allan.
If a bacterial infection like strep or allergies is the culprit, your sore throat could last longer if not treated with appropriate antibiotics or medications.
Once youre properly diagnosed and treated for a bacterial infection, your sore throat should clear up within a day or so.
Pharmacy First Scotland: Sore Throat Treatment From Your Pharmacy
If you have a sore throat you can get advice and treatment directly from a pharmacy. Find your local pharmacy on Scotland’s Service Directory.
You don’t usually need to get medical advice if you have a sore throat however your pharmacist may advise you see your GP if:
- your symptoms are severe
- you have persistent symptoms that haven’t started to improve after a week
- you experience severe sore throats frequently
- you have a weak immune system for example, you have HIV, are having chemotherapy, or are taking medication that suppresses your immune system
If they’re not open, you should phone the NHS 24 service
If you have a persistent sore throat , you should see your GP who may refer you for further tests. This is because your sore throat may be a symptom of a more serious condition. Some possibilities are described below.
Visit your nearest accident and emergency department or call 999 for an ambulance if you have severe symptoms such as:
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- current or past stomach problems, such as a stomach ulcer
- current or past liver or kidney problems
Children under the age of 16 should never be given aspirin.
Take painkillers as necessary to relieve your pain. Always read the manufacturers instructions so you do not exceed the recommended or prescribed dose.
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How Do I Know If My Sore Throat Is Caused By Bacteria
You don’t unless a doctor has taken a throat swab and sent it away to the lab for culture. But there are a few clues to look for that can help you decide if your sore throat is more likely to be caused by a virus or a less serious cause such as an allergy or an irritant, or more likely to be caused by bacteria.
Viral sore throats are generally accompanied by cold symptoms, such as a runny nose, watery eyes, or a cough. Symptoms such as sneezing, red eyes, or an itchy roof of the mouth usually accompany sore throats caused by an allergy. Sore throats caused by pollutants generally get better once the cause has been eliminated whether it be smoking or bad air.
Bacterial sore throats tend to come on quickly and are more likely to affect children aged between five and fifteen rather than adults. A type of bacteria called Streptococcus pyrogenes is the most common cause of bacterial sore throats. People living in overcrowded environments such as boarding schools, military camps, or in damp homes are more at risk and the condition is more prevalent between November and April. Strep throat is very contagious and can be passed on from person to person by coughing, sneezing and close contact. Very rarely, the bacteria may be passed on through food. If somebody in your household has a Strep throat, there is a one in four chance you may also get it within two to seven days.
Strep Throat: When To Suspect
- Symptoms include sore throat, fever, headache, stomach pain, nausea and vomiting.
- Cough, hoarseness, red eyes, and runny nose are usually not seen with Strep throat. These symptoms point more to a viral cause.
- Scarlet fever rash is highly suggestive of Strep throat.
- Peak age: 5 to 15 years old. Not common under 2 years old unless sibling has Strep.
- If you think your child has Strep, call your doctor.
- Your doctor will do a Strep test. If the test is positive, they will start treatment. There is no risk from waiting until a Strep test can be done.
- Standard treatment is with antibiotics by mouth.
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When Should I See My Doctor About A Sore Throat
In general, you should see a healthcare provider if:
You have a fever. You should see a healthcare provider if you have a sore throat and fever to make sure you dont have strep throat. This is especially important for children and teens.
You think you could have COVID-19. Sore throat is a common symptom of COVID-19 illness.
Your sore throat is getting worse. A sore throat from a virus should go away within a few days. It also shouldnt get worse over time. If your sore throat isnt getting better after 2 to 3 days you should see a healthcare provider even if home remedies are giving you temporary relief. You could have a sore throat for a different reason.
You have concerning symptoms. This includes neck swelling, trouble swallowing, voice changes, trouble speaking, or pain that makes it hard to move your neck.
Preventing A Sore Throat
As sore throats are caused by bacterial or viral infections, they can be difficult to prevent.
If you have a sore throat caused by an infection, you can help prevent the infection spreading by practising good hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly and keeping surfaces clean and free of germs.
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Routinely Advising Ibuprofen Steam Inhalation Not A Good Idea
Study leader Paul Little, professor of Primary Care Research in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton, says:
Paracetamol, ibuprofen or a combination of both are the most common courses of treatment for respiratory tract infections.
But following their findings, he says:
Although we have to be a bit cautious since these were surprise findings, for the moment I would personally not advise most patients to use ibuprofen for symptom control for coughs, colds and sore throat.
However, he says ibuprofen does appear to help children and those with chest infections.
Regarding steam inhalation, which is often advised as a treatment for respiratory tract infection, he also adds:
Clinicians should probably not advise patients to use steam inhalation in daily practice as it does not provide symptomatic benefit for acute respiratory infections and a few individuals are likely to experience mild thermal injury.
The trial results suggest around 1 in 50 patients who use steam inhalation to alleviate symptoms of colds and sore throats may suffer mild scalding but not serious enough to see the doctor.
The study also found that patients advised to take ibuprofen or ibuprofen with paracetamol were more likely to return within a month with unresolved symptoms or new complications, compared with patients advised to take only paracetamol.
Between 50-70% more of the participants who took ibuprofen or ibuprofen with paracetamol came back.
What Else We Recommend
- Ricola Original Herb : While Ricola products do the trick, the herbaceous taste and fragrance can be off-putting. These are worth a try if you don’t mind an earthy, medicinal taste .
- Halls Cough Drops : Halls products use cooling menthol to soothe your throat and nasal passages. These are widely available products and very affordable.
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Naproxen For Sore Throat
Sore throat is a common allergy that can be seen within people, that doesnt mean it should not be taken care of. There are multiple options for treating sore throat with medications Naproxen is one of them.
It has a different working style for your body, making it stronger to impact.You have to use the medication for the recommended time from a doctor. Always follow the instructions given by a medical practitioner before consuming the drug.
There are chances of you not getting cured with the medication within a few days, so you should talk to the doctor and get yourself checked for the proper treatment.
Ibuprofen Or Paracetamol For Sore Throat
The throat infection is one of the most common causes of sore throat, which also occurs with inflammation, redness and pus production. Its origin can be basically of two types: viral infection or bacterial infection .
There is no doubt that everyone at some point has had a sore throat. That uncomfortable annoyance that appears especially when speaking, when we swallow a drink or when we eat. In these cases we always tend to seek a treatment or remedy that helps us to alleviate it, not always being very effective, especially when we tend to self-medicate and actually use drugs not indicated according to the cause of sore throat.
In case the cause is bacterial, antibiotics become the medical treatment of choice, to be really effective. But when we have a sore throat caused by a viral infection, there are no medical treatments that eliminate the virus, but only alleviate the symptoms.
It is at this point that we find the ibuprofen and the paracetamol, and also with the eternal doubt: Which of the two medications should we use to relieve sore throat?.
When we have a sore throat caused by the flu or a common cold, many doctors consider it appropriate to take paracetamol, since it is a medicine with analgesic action, which means that it is effective at the time of reduce pain. Taking into account that the flu also causes fever , paracetamol is also suitable to be antipyretic .
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Living With Strep Throat
Strep throat is an infection that typically comes and goes, especially when youre younger. If you have recurring strep throat, it could be that someone in your family is a carrier of strep. Carriers have the strep bacteria in their throats, but it does not make them sick. Treating carriers can help prevent the spread of strep.
How Well Do Antibiotics Work To Treat A Sore Throat
Antibiotics don’t work at all for a sore throat caused by a virus. These kinds of sore throats usually go away on their own in 4 to 5 days.
If you have strep throatwhich is caused by bacteriayour doctor may prescribe an antibiotic, such as penicillin. But strep throat goes away on its own in 3 to 7 days with or without antibiotics.
Antibiotics may not make you well faster. But they may shorten the time you are able to spread strep throat to others by a day or so.
Antibiotics may also lower the risk of a bacterial infection spreading to other parts of your body, such as your ears and sinuses. They can also prevent serious but rare problems such as rheumatic fever in children.
Antibiotics may cause side effects, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and skin rashes.
Besides side effects, there are other good reasons not to use antibiotics unless you really need them.
- Antibiotics cost money.
- You will probably have to see the doctor to get a prescription. This costs you time.
- If you take antibiotics when you don’t need them, they may not work when you do need them. Each time you take antibiotics, you are more likely to carry some bacteria that were not killed by the medicine. Over time, these bacteria get tougher and can cause longer and more serious infections. To treat them, you may need different, stronger, and more costly antibiotics.
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Questions To Ask Your Doctor During Your Appointment:
- What caused my sore throat?
- What is the best sore throat treatment for my symptoms or condition?
- Is there anything I need to avoid during treatment?
- How long after treatment will my sore throat last?
- What can I do to prevent sore throats in the future?
- How can I avoid spreading this sore throat to my family and friends?
Keep Your Throat Moist
Sip plenty of liquids to stay hydrated. Warm drinks — not hot ones — can soothe your throat. Try broth or herbal tea with honey or lemon. Caffeinated drinks like coffee or soda may dehydrate you, so skip them.
Suck on a throat lozenge, crushed ice, ice pop, or a piece of hard candy to get your saliva flowing. Try a peppermint, since its main ingredient, menthol, thins mucus and helps break up it up.
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What’s Causing Your Sore Throat
Viruses are the most common reason for a sore throat. If your sore throat is accompanied by sneezing, a runny nose, a cough, or a low fever , a cold or other virus has probably infected your upper respiratory system.
In such cases, theres no need to rush to the doctor. Youll simply have to wait until the virus runs its course, usually in about 7 to 10 days, for most colds, says Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., Consumer Reports chief medical adviser.
Sometimes the virus behind your sore throat is the flu. If so, you are likely to also experience a sudden high fever, a cough, intense muscle aches, and fatigue.
Most people recover from the flu in a week or two with rest and some self-care strategies. But if you think you may have the flu and are at high risk for complications , ask your doctor whether you should consider an antiviral medication.
When Should You Go To The Doctor For A Sore Throat
At-home remedies and over-the-counter medication will improve most sore throats, since most are caused by viral infections, such as the common cold, or environmental factors. However, if a sore throat persists or comes with a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, it is important to visit your primary care physician. A sore throat accompanied by a fever could be a sign of something more serious and may require treatment with a prescription. For example, it could be tonsillitis, scarlet fever, pneumonia, mononucleosis, rheumatic fever, or streptococcal pharyngitis .
Your primary care physician or pediatrician can treat sore throats. First, the physician will perform a routine exam, feeling the throat and looking at the back of the throat by depressing the tongue and shining a light into your mouth.
Based on your symptoms, the doctor may run a strep throat test in the office with a rapid test. In this test, he or she will swab the back of your throat and send a sample to the lab to confirm the diagnosis. This is also known as a throat culture it tests for Streptococcus pyogenes,the bacteria that causes strep throat. In rare circumstances where you may need more specialized treatment, such as a tonsillectomy, it is possible the primary care physician may refer you to an otolaryngologist or ENT doctor.
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The Sore Throat That Lingers
If youre still feeling relatively severe pain when you swallow after three to five days, especially if your symptoms arent improving, Lipman says, its reasonable to call your doctor and ask whether you should come in for an evaluation.
Your doctor should check for signs of other conditions that may also cause a sore throat, such as allergies or gastroesophageal reflux disease. The viruses that cause mononucleosis can also cause throat pain, along with fever, fatigue, and swollen glands.
Certain sexually transmitted infections, including gonorrhea and herpes, may cause a sore throat, too. Some people who are newly infected with HIV may experience flu-like symptoms that can include a sore throat.
Throat pain is rarely an emergency. However, throat swelling can block your airwaysigns include difficulty breathing, drooling or pooling saliva, and harsh, noisy breathingand warrants a trip to the emergency room, according to UpToDate, which provides evidence-based treatment information to healthcare providers.
Narcotic Pain Relievers After Throat Surgery
If your throat is sore because of a surgery, such as a tonsil removal, a thyroidectomy, or intubation, your healthcare provider may prescribe a narcotic pain reliever.
Because narcotic pain relievers can be habit-forming, they are typically only prescribed for short-term pain relief. Opioids, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone bitartrate, are commonly prescribed after a surgery.
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When To Seek Medical Care
Talk to your doctor if you or your child have symptoms of sore throat. They may need to test you or your child for strep throat.
Also see a doctor if you or your child have any of the following:
- Difficulty breathing
Since bacteria cause strep throat, antibiotics are needed to treat the infection and prevent rheumatic fever and other complications. A doctor cannot tell if someone has strep throat just by looking in the throat. If your doctor thinks you might have strep throat, they can test you to determine if it is causing your illness.
Anyone with strep throat should stay home from work, school, or daycare until they no longer have fever AND have taken antibiotics for at least 12 hours.
If a virus causes a sore throat, antibiotics will not help. Most sore throats will get better on their own within one week. Your doctor may prescribe other medicine or give you tips to help you feel better.
More aboutC. diff
When antibiotics arent needed, they wont help you, and their side effects could still cause harm. Side effects can range from mild reactions, like a rash, to more serious health problems. These problems can include severe allergic reactions, antibiotic-resistant infections and C. diff infection. C. diff causes diarrhea that can lead to severe colon damage and death.