Chances are that when you have a sore throat, it’s not caused by a bacterial infection. Strep throat only accounts for a small percentage of sore throat cases and it’s not usually associated with an upper respiratory illness, like cold or flu.
The pain can start very quickly, feeling sharper and more intense than a typical sore throat. The bacteria responsible for strep throat can be persistent and, without treatment, they can cause several other serious health issues.
When you’ve got a sore throat that’s different from the usual, schedule a visit with Alpha Internal Medicine, the strep throat specialists in Fayetteville, Georgia, for an examination and treatment. You should never ignore strep throat symptoms.
A viral infection of the upper respiratory system is frequently an illness that you can “feel” coming. If you’re not sure in the early stages, it’s often obvious you were getting sick when you consider it in hindsight. Your throat symptoms may similarly build slowly.
Strep throat hits suddenly. You can feel fine upon waking and then be unable to swallow by lunch time. This rapid onset is characteristic of strep and it’s often enough to make patients realize that medical attention is urgent. The common signs of strep throat include:
Unlike viral infections, you probably won’t have a cough when you have strep throat. The same is true with other common viral symptoms, such as nasal congestion, vocal hoarseness, and pink eye. With strep, the focal point for symptoms is typically the throat.
While cold and flu typically follow a progression of build-up, illness, and recovery, strep throat hits hard and endures. Without treatment, there’s usually no sensation as though the condition is improving over time.
The initial round of complications involves the spread of bacterial infection to the tonsils, sinuses, middle ear, skin, and blood. Following this, inflammatory reactions can start.
Rashes on the skin, called scarlet fever, can appear. Rheumatic fever also affects the skin as well as joints, heart, and nervous system. Strep throat can lead to a form of arthritis as joints become inflamed. The streptococcal bacteria can also cause inflammation of the kidneys.
Strep throat is, however, easily treated with antibiotics. Throat pain eases within 24 to 48 hours of starting medication and any potential complications. To avoid the spurious use of antibiotics, strep throat can be confirmed with a simple throat swab test.
Contact Alpha Internal Medicine at the first sign of strep throat. The sooner you’re diagnosed, the faster your pain will ease. You can reach the office by phone or online, and same-day appointments are often available, an ideal situation for an illness that comes on as quickly as strep throat. Don’t delay. Schedule your visit as soon as possible after symptoms begin.