Trick or Treat: Strep Throat

Another common reason for visit to the doctor’s office in the fall is concern for strep throat. This is not necessarily due to the fall season, but there tends to be a spike as school starts back.

Everyone is at risk. Strep throat is not isolated to pediatric patients. So… How do you know the difference between strep, allergies, or a run of the mill viral infection?

Here are a few things to look for whenever you start to feel your throat getting scratchy:

  1. Do you have fever?
  2. Do you have a cough?
  3. Do you have white patches or “pus pockets” on your tonsils?
  4. Do you have swollen lymph nodes in your neck?

If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, it would be worth going to get tested for strep by your primary care physician. Strep throat generally requires an antibiotics, while viral infection and allergy symptoms are relieved by over the counter medications. Your physician can determine what is causing your symptoms and prescribe the right treatment for you and get you on the road to recovery.

Things that you can do for a sore throat:

  1. Stay hydrated! Drink cold water or suck on ice chips.
  2. Warm liquids also help to soothe. Try honey in tea. Honey helps especially if you have a cough or a lot of post nasal drainage.
  3. Chloraseptic spray or cough drops can help lessen the pain in your throat temporarily.
  4. Tylenol and ibuprofen can also help relieve the pain of a sore throat.
  5. If you are having a lot of congestion and drainage, take guaifenesin plus sudafed. Sudafed is a controlled substance in Mississippi, so a prescription is required. This may not be so in other states.

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