What Is Strep Throat?
If at one instant you are perfectly fine but at the very next instant, you have suddenly encountered a severe throat problem, have started suffering from a high fever and in that state of illness all your energy has gone leaving you in a miserable condition, then you may have strep throat! Strep, stands for Streptococcus pyrogens, also called Group A strep. This refers to a common strain of bacteria that may be living in your nose or throat for months but doesn’t cause any harm, so doesn’t need to be tested or treated. But, once in a while because of your weak body position or extreme stress, they may become harmful suddenly and start attacking your body with certain inflammatory substances. This can give rise to a sore throat and other symptoms.
Strep throat feels awful, but it can still be treated with certain antibiotics like amoxicillin, clindamycin, and azithromycin, etc. Strep throat is often mistakenly diagnosed as cold and flu whose symptoms are flu and fever. Strep throat usually comes in a hurry. It doesn’t have any other flu or cold symptoms. Once identified through tests, you should treat it as soon as possible before it is spread to others and to prevent it from getting worse or developing and, even more, serious disease. Strep throat should certainly be taken seriously. It continues to spread to others when it is left untreated. The strep throat bacteria would spread to other tissues and causes a more serious infection. If left untreated, it may develop into a more severe illness such as the rheumatic fever ( a serious heart condition that can be fatal).
The Home Treatment- Prevention Along With Medication
If your doctor has prescribed any medicine to you for your strep throat, then continue taking it exactly as prescribed. This is essential to stop the infection from coming back and to prevent it from further complicating the infection that would occur if medicine not taken as prescribed. Now, while you wait for the strep infection to go away, you still can make yourself feel better, and there are many ways to do so
- Keep your throat moist. You can do this by increasing the humidity of your home and by drinking plenty of fluids. To relieve the symptoms, the herbal teas that were formulated for colds may help as well.
- Sit back and relax. Take some rest and let your body come to a better position. Take plenty of rest on the first day of your antibiotic treatment. Try to stay home because you are contagious and going out will have all the possible chances of spreading the infection to others. Bed rest is recommended if the person feels sick.
- Take some medicines to relieve your painful sore throat and reduce your fever.
Preventative Measures To Avoid Passing Strep Throat To Others
On the first day of your antibiotic treatment, you are still contagious, and you need to take complete measures that you are not passing the strep throat to others and also not re-infecting yourself. For that purpose, you may take the following measures.
- Avoid coughing and sneezing on others.
- Don’t have a handkerchief with you. Rather than that prefer tissues so that you may throw them away too.
- Do wash your hands quite often.
- As soon as you feel sick, use a new toothbrush which you should replace when you are well again, or you may clean your toothbrush well before you use it again.
- While you are waiting for your strep throat to go away, do increase the fluids inside your body. You must be taking in a lot of fluids and preventing dehydration. This is because the fluids shall help in thinning the secretions and will also soothe an irritated throat. To reduce the throat irritation, take in hot fluids like tea, coffee or soup, etc.
- Relieve discomfort and reduce the swelling by gargling with warm salt water.
- You may also use saline nasal sprays and nose drops to keep the inside of your nose moist.
Increasing The Humidity Of Your Home
To increase the humidity or the moisture in the air:
- Use a humidifier or a vaporizer in your home.
- You may be more comfortable by the cool or warm mist that would help you to soothe the swollen air passages. The mist may also relieve the gruffness. But do take care and don’t make your room too damp or too cold that it becomes uncomfortable for you.
- In the absence of a humidifier, to increase moisture in the air, you can use evaporation from a shallow pan of water. But do place it in a fine location where nobody accidentally falls into it.
- It would be a lot better if you take frequent steamy showers.
- You may breathe the steam out of a pan or a sink of hot water after draping a towel over your head. While doing so, do take great care that you are not getting harmed by the hot water or steam burns.
There are certain medicines that may help you in relieving some symptoms of strep throat. You have to be safe with the medicines, though; they are not going to make you better any faster. The medication is just to relieve some of the symptoms of strep throat. The medications are mentioned below:
- Throat pain and fever can be reduced by using ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
- To help relieve the pain, the anesthetic throat sprays numb the throat area.
- There are some medicines (the local anesthetic) that numb the throat to soothe the pain.
- Some people can also be benefitted by using cough drops or hard candies.
Avoid getting a strep throat and for that purpose, avoid contact with any person who is suffering from a strep infection. Also, make this a habit of washing hands often whenever you are around people with bacterial or viral or cold illnesses. Do not share the eating drinking utensils and the toothbrushes.