Are you in search of a safe and effective way to treat strep throat? You’re in luck–this article will outline exactly how to treat strep throat at home. Learn how to identify the symptoms, alleviate discomfort, and when you should seek medical attention.
Quick facts: Treating Strep At Home
- ✅ Antibiotics are the most effective way to treat strep throat, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- ✅ Antibiotics are appropriate for treating strep throat, as long as symptoms are severe enough, advise the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
- ✅ The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends treating strep throat with antibiotics, as this is the best way to prevent complications.
- ✅ Overuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains, warns the American College of Physicians (ACP).
- ✅ Natural home remedies like salt water gargles, steam inhalation and honey can help to relieve the symptoms of strep throat, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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Understand the Symptoms
Strep throat is a bacterial infection that can cause symptoms such as sore throat, fever, difficulty swallowing, swollen lymph nodes, and white patches on the tonsils. It is important to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of strep throat in order to make an accurate diagnosis. Being aware of the different signs and symptoms can also help you determine when to seek professional medical assistance.
Know the common symptoms of strep throat
Strep throat is an infection caused by Group A Streptococcus bacteria and can present with a wide variety of symptoms. Common signs and symptoms of strep throat include throat pain, fever, red and swollen tonsils, difficulty swallowing, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, headache, abdominal pain or rash. Strep throat may also be associated with vomiting or diarrhea in some cases.
If your child has a fever of over 101°F (38.3°C), they must be seen by a doctor right away. In adults, the most common symptom is severe sore throat without any cold-like symptoms such as sneezing or coughing.
If you suspect that you or your child have strep throat, it is important to visit your doctor for a proper diagnosis so the condition can be correctly treated. To diagnose strep throat your doctor will take a swab from the back of your throat and send it to a laboratory for testing – this is known as a rapid antigen test – usually results are available within minutes.
Understand the difference between a sore throat and strep throat
It is important to understand the difference between a sore throat and strep throat in order to accurately diagnose the condition and treat it.
Strep throat is an infection caused by the Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. Symptoms of strep throat include sore throat, fever, headache, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes and white patches on the back of the throat or tonsils.
A sore throat can be caused by a variety of different illnesses or irritations including allergies, bacterial infections or viral infections. Symptoms typically include soreness in the back of the mouth as well as an itchy or scratchy sensation. In most cases, additional symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and congestion are also present.
If you think you may have strep throat it is important to see a healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment options.
If you suspect strep throat, it’s important to get tested. A rapid strep test, a throat swab, or a blood test can all help to diagnose strep throat. If you test positive for strep, then the doctor can recommend the best course of action.
Let’s learn more about other ways to treat strep at home:
Get a strep test to confirm diagnosis
It is important to get a strep test to confirm the diagnosis of strep throat before attempting any sort of treatment at home. Strep throat is caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes, and can pose a serious health risk if not properly treated.
To diagnose strep throat, doctors use an assay called a “rapid strep test” which takes around 20 minutes and checks for the presence of antibodies in the throat. A positive result indicates that you have been infected with the bacteria and that antibiotics are necessary to eliminate symptoms.
It is important to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before attempting any sort of at-home treatment because if you are unsure whether you have been infected with the bacteria, it could cause further harm if left untreated.
Understand how to interpret the results
Understanding the results of a Strep test can help you determine the best course of action for treating the infection. Generally, results are available within 48 hours.
If the test is positive, it means you have strep throat and should begin treatment immediately. If it is negative, this means that other causes may be responsible for your symptoms and further tests may be needed to make a diagnosis.
In general, if your test is positive you will need antibiotics prescribed by your doctor to treat Strep Throat. It is important to take all the medicine prescribed to you or to complete all treatments recommended by your doctor in order to prevent any complications or relapses; otherwise, Strep Throat could spread and become more difficult to treat. If you are looking for strep throat treatment without antibiotics, then you should definitely explore your options.
Additionally, knowing the results can help reduce the spread of germs since individuals with an active Strep infection need to avoid close contact with others until they have completed their course of treatment.
Treating Strep at Home
Treating strep throat at home is possible if the symptoms are mild and there are no signs of a more serious condition. The best course of action is to follow your doctor’s instructions while also taking steps to reduce discomfort and speed recovery.
Let’s look at some recommended treatments to help you manage strep throat at home:
Take antibiotics as prescribed
If your doctor suspects that you or a family member has strep throat, they will likely prescribe antibiotics in order to treat the infection. It is important to take these antibiotics exactly as prescribed by your doctor and complete the entire course even if you start feeling better. This will ensure that all of the strep bacteria are completely destroyed and reduce your risk of getting strep throat again in the future.
Your doctor may also recommend taking pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help relieve some of the pain and discomfort associated with strep throat. Additionally, it is essential to:
- Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to replace any fluids lost during illness.
- Get plenty of rest.
Get rest and drink plenty of fluids
When you suffer from strep throat, the most important thing to do is get rest and stay hydrated. Rest helps your body fight off the infection, while hydrating your body with fluids helps it to flush out any toxins or bacteria. If you have a mild fever, take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil). Do not give aspirin to children.
Drinking fluids will help prevent dehydration and keep your throat moist so that the bacteria can be flushed out. It’s best to drink warm liquids such as herbal tea, warm water with honey, chicken soup or broth. Warm liquids can also soothe the throat and reduce irritation from coughing or throat clearing. Avoid cold beverages as they may cause further irritation in the throat.
Gargle with salt water
Gargling with salt water is an effective and easy treatment for strep throat. The saltwater helps reduce swelling in the throat, reduces inflammation, and helps flush out bacteria.
To make a saltwater gargle solution, mix one teaspoon of table salt into one cup of warm water. Stir the mixture until the salt is dissolved and then gargle it for several seconds before spitting it out. It’s recommended that you do this 3-4 times a day to relieve symptoms including soreness in the throat and to help clear up any infection caused by strep bacteria.
Although this remedy is effective, it’s important to seek medical attention if your symptoms persist or worsen after trying this home treatment.
Strep throat is a bacterial infection that can cause symptoms like a sore throat and fever. Although it’s best to visit a doctor for a diagnosis and proper treatment, there are also several home remedies you may consider using to help with the symptoms.
Let’s look at some of the most common home remedies for treating strep throat:
Use a humidifier
Using a humidifier is one of the most simple and effective ways to help treat strep throat at home. Strep throat is caused by bacteria, which can enter your body through droplets in the air. Having dry air in your home can also irritate your throat further, so using a humidifier helps to reduce the amount of irritants in the air, making breathing easier and reducing irritation.
Make sure to:
- change out the filter periodically and
- clean it with warm water as recommended
to make sure it’s free of dust and any other airborne irritants. Additionally, since strep throat is an infection caused by bacteria, adding essential oils into the humidifier can also help kill any lingering bacteria that may be present in your home’s air.
Suck on throat lozenges
Sucking on throat lozenges is a popular home remedy for treating strep throat. Throat lozenges coat and soothe the back of the throat, providing immediate relief from discomfort. In addition, many throat lozenges contain ingredients, such as menthol and eucalyptus, which act as analgesics and can provide temporary relief from pain and discomfort.
It is important to choose a lozenge that does not contain ingredients that could worsen an allergy or any other existing medical condition. If the symptoms persist after sucking on the throat lozenge it is best to consult with a doctor who may recommend additional treatments such as antibiotics or other medications depending on the severity of the infection.
Additionally, it is important to remember to drink plenty of fluids in order to keep hydrated and help flush out bacteria from your system:
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Consult with a doctor if symptoms persist.
- Choose a throat lozenge that does not contain ingredients that could worsen an allergy or any other existing medical condition.
Try a warm tea with honey and lemon
A warm tea with honey and lemon is one of the most popular home remedies for treating Strep throat. The warmth of the tea soothes the throat irritation while lemon and honey help to reduce inflammation and ease discomfort.
To make this remedy, start by adding freshly squeezed lemon juice, a tablespoon of raw honey, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder to a cup of hot water. Stir it all together before drinking. This remedy is especially helpful for people who are experiencing feverish symptoms associated with Strep throat. Additionally, it is important to make sure that the water used for this remedy is lukewarm and not too hot to prevent further irritation.
When to See a Doctor
While it is possible to treat strep throat with over-the-counter medications and home remedies, it is important to seek medical attention when symptoms persist. In certain cases, advanced antibiotics may be necessary to treat the infection completely. Additionally, certain cases may require additional treatment such as drainage of abscesses.
Let’s explore when it is important to seek medical advice for strep throat:
Seek medical attention if symptoms worsen
When an individual has strep throat, it is important to monitor symptoms and seek medical attention if they worsen. Mild to moderate sore throats or colds may be treated at home with rest and over-the-counter medications, but severe sore throats should be evaluated by a doctor.
Strep throat can cause severe symptoms such as difficulty swallowing or breathing, fever above 101°F, swollen lymph nodes in the neck area, severe pain, rash in the surrounding areas of the throat or any other sign that suggests a bacterial infection. If any of these symptoms occur or worsen within 48 hours, it is best to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Additionally, individuals who are immunocompromised should always consult with their healthcare provider as soon as they begin experiencing any signs of illness in order to receive appropriate treatment.
See a doctor if fever persists or if antibiotics don’t help
It is important to visit a doctor if symptoms of strep throat persist or if antibiotics don’t seem to help. Strep throat can be an indication of a more serious infection, and it can cause complications if it goes untreated.
If fever persists after 48 hours or if antibiotic treatment does not improve symptoms within two to three days, then a doctor should be seen. Additionally, any severe symptom such as difficulty breathing should be assessed by a medical professional right away.
It is also important to seek medical attention if you have a weakened immune system due to illness or injury, or have other underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or lung disease that could elevate the risk of infection. Finally, anyone who has had recent exposure to group A Streptococcus bacteria should get tested even without symptoms in order to avoid potential spread.
FAQs about: Treating Strep At Home
Q: What are some common treatments for strep throat?
A: Some common treatments for strep throat include taking antibiotics, drinking lots of fluids, getting plenty of rest, and avoiding irritants like cigarette smoke. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen can also help reduce pain and inflammation.
Q: How long does it take for antibiotics to work for strep throat?
A: Antibiotics usually start working within 48 hours of being taken. However, it’s important to take the full course of antibiotics even if you start feeling better before you finish the entire prescription.
Q: Can strep throat be treated at home?
A: Yes, strep throat can be treated at home with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. It is also important to drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of rest, and avoid irritants like cigarette smoke. If symptoms do not improve after a few days, it is recommended to see a doctor for a prescription of antibiotics.