Alpha Internal Medicine
Internal Medicine & Internal Medicine located in Fayetteville, GA
Strep throat is a common but painful illness that can affect children at any age. As a board-certified doctor of internal medicine, Dr. Betsy Horton provides quick diagnosis and effective treatment for people who have the symptoms of strep throat. Alpha Internal Medicine is proud to provide strep throat diagnosis and treatment to patients throughout Fayetteville, Georgia. If you think your sore throat might be due strep throat, don’t let your symptoms worsen. Call the office to make an appointment or schedule one online.
Strep Throat Q & A
What is strep throat?
Strep throat is a common throat infection caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria. It’s most common in children but can affect adults as well. Because it’s a bacterial infection, strep throat responds well to antibiotics.
What are the symptoms of strep throat?
The symptoms of strep throat may include:
- Pain in the throat that comes on quickly and worsens with swallowing
- Swollen lymph nodes in the front of the neck
- Red spots on the roof of the mouth
- Swollen, red tonsils
Some patients with strep throat may also experience nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and headache.
How is strep throat diagnosed?
Dr. Horton can’t diagnose strep throat based solely on the patient’s symptoms. Instead, she’ll use a swab to collect a sample of bacteria from the back of the throat. In most cases, she’ll be able to run a quick test in the office to confirm or exclude strep throat. However, if the rapid strep test is negative and Dr. Horton still suspects strep throat, she may send a swab for more extensive testing.
What treatments are available?
Dr. Horton will first perform a quick and painless strep test by taking a swab of mucus from the back of the throat and checking for the offending bacteria. If the test is positive, she’ll typically prescribe antibiotics to the patient to eliminate the infection.
You should take these antibiotics exactly as directed to prevent complications and ensure that the infection resolves. Dr. Horton may also prescribe medications to keep the patient more comfortable and alleviate symptoms.
If prescription medications aren’t an option, some at-home remedies include:
- Over-the-counter ibuprofen for pain and fever relief
- Gargling with warm salt water
- Throat lozenges
- Drinking warm liquids, such as tea
- Ice popsicles to soothe the throat
How long will my strep throat last?
Strep throat is contagious, and you can spread it to others if you return to work or school too quickly. A person with strep should stay home from work or school until the fever is gone and they have taken the antibiotics for at least 24 hours.
Are antibiotics necessary for strep throat?
In rare cases, untreated strep throat can lead to inflammatory reactions, such as rheumatic fever, scarlet fever, or other health issues. To prevent these complications, patients with strep throat should take their antibiotics as directed by Dr. Horton.