Strep throat is a common problem and is medically known by several different terms such as Streptococcal pharyngitis, streptococcal tonsillitis, or streptococcal sore throat. Though the best way of diagnosing the condition is by performing a throat culture test, strep throat treatment may also be initiated based on the symptoms that the affected person is displaying.
A condition very commonly seen among teens and younger children, the most common symptoms of Strep throat include sore throat, fever, inflamed tonsils, pus on the tonsils, headache, nausea, stomach pain, skin rash, joint stiffness, loss of appetite etc. based on which the treatment is decided.
Sometimes symptoms of strep throat may be sever – there could be difficult breathing or swallowing, there could be bleeding in the throat, severe throat pain and swelling, in which case emergency strep throat treatment may be required.
The infection spreads due to close contact with an infected person, and this is the reason that strep throat is often seen to spread among school children, and other places where there may be crowding.
Strep throat should be differentiated from sore throat, which may be a viral infection and may not require any treatment. Strep throat treatment usually includes antibiotics since this is not a viral but a bacterial infection.
If antibiotics are prescribed, it is important to complete the entire course of antibiotics, since if they are stopped half way or as soon as the symptoms start to ease somewhat, there are chances of recurrence or complication. Age appropriate pain medication obtained over the counter may also be used as a treatment.
In addition, there are home strep throat treatment options such as–
- It is important to remember to drink enough fluids since painful swallowing may make the patient hesitant to drink as much fluid as required. Fluid consumption is important for replenishing body salts as well as reducing fever. Drinking soup will replenish both lost salt and water and is therefore a recommended treatment.
- Though throat lozenges or often used as strep throat treatment, they may not offer any long term relief. A more effective treatment is gargling with warm salt water, which may help reduce the bacteria in the affected area.
- Eat soft, bland food which will not irritate the infected throat and which is also easier to swallow.
- Some natural strep throat treatments include chamomile tea, sage (either in tincture or capsule form), warm tea with honey etc which will help to ease symptoms and speed up healing. Certain herbal teas, particularly those that include licorice have shown themselves as being effective in easing the symptoms of sore throat as well as strep throat
- Pain control is an important aspect of strep throat treatment since this will reduce the pain of swallowing and allow a person to drink and eat enough for recovery. It is also important to get plenty of rest because this helps the body fight the infection and recover faster.