Most of us have had our share of suffering from a sore throat. The pain can range from scratchiness to feeling like your throat is on fire and finding it hard to swallow. Sometimes, the eyes and nose might run to add to sore throat misery as well as hoarseness. Yet, how do you really know when a sore throat is serious? The tips I am about to share are especially useful ones with cold and flu season upon us. If you’re curious, then here is how to know when a sore throat is serious and recognize a strep throat.
Unlike other sore throats, strep pain usually comes on quickly instead of just gradually building up in how badly it hurts such as one that may be viral or caused by allergies. In particular, swallowing becomes extremely difficult from the agony it causes. Common to both types of sore throats whether viral or from bacterial infection, you could also experience headache, nausea, vomiting, and body aches.
Though you can also have swollen lymph nodes in the neck or jaw from a viral infection or bacterial infection such in strep, the treatments are different. In the case of a sore throat caused by a virus, the only thing that you can do is relieve the symptoms gargling with salt water, apple cider vinegar to taking acetaminophen to help with inflammation. Salt and apple cider vinegar can kill bacteria, but it may not be enough. Since strep is caused by bacteria, your doctor will probably prescribe antibiotics. However, this is where the similarities stop.
A fever always accompanies strep whereas it does not if the sore throat is a result of a virus or related sinus trouble.
Another thing to look for is redness in the back of the throat. If you have tonsils, they could be swollen and extra red or have some white splotches.
You might not be aware that checking your feet can also clue you into the possibility of strep. Look at your toenails to see if they turned red or swollen. They may even have white spots.
Your body can also hold signs of strep. Examine yourself for any signs of an unexpected red rash with your sore throat, which could point to scarlet fever.
This post isn’t meant to offer medical advice, but only help to educate on how to know when a sore throat is serious to keep you at your best. Only a trained physician can determine the true cause of your sore throat so please visit your doctor if you notice these symptoms. He may want to do a throat culture. After all, a sore throat is nothing you should take lightly because the price of waiting may be higher than you want to pay healthwise.