Sore Throat vs Strep Throat: Learn the Difference and Get the Right Treatment
Do you have a sore throat that just won’t go away? It’s essential to understand the difference between a sore throat and strep throat. Strep throat can lead to more serious health complications if left untreated.
In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about strep throat, including symptoms, causes, treatment options, and strep throat tests in Edmonton.
What is a Sore Throat?
A sore throat is a common symptom caused by inflammation in the throat. It can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection, allergies, or irritants like smoke. Symptoms include pain, scratchiness, and difficulty swallowing. Treatment options include over-the-counter pain relievers, gargling with salt water, and staying hydrated.
However, it’s important to recognize when a sore throat may be a sign of a more serious condition and seek medical attention. If you have persistent or severe sore throat pain, difficulty swallowing, fever, or swollen lymph nodes, it’s important to see a healthcare professional for a diagnosis and treatment.
What is Strep Throat?
Streptococcus bacteria cause strep throat. Strep throat symptoms include a sudden sore throat, white spots at the back of the throat, swollen tonsils, difficulty swallowing, headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, and general discomfort. Strep throat bacteria are highly contagious and spread easily through coughing and sneezing.
To prevent the spreading of the bacteria, it is important to practice good hygiene, such as washing hands frequently, covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and avoiding close contact with others who are sick.
If you suspect you have strep throat, seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. Left untreated, strep throat can lead to complications such as rheumatic fever and kidney damage.
Strep Throat Treatment Options
Strep throat is usually treated with antibiotics, which can help clear the infection and prevent complications. Commonly prescribed antibiotics for strep throat include penicillin, amoxicillin, and azithromycin. It is important to take the full course of antibiotics as prescribed, even if symptoms improve before the medication is finished. Failure to complete the full course of antibiotics can lead to the infection returning and potentially causing more severe complications.
Other treatment options include:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers: acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Throat lozenges.
- Rest and hydration.
- Gargling with salt water.
- Using a humidifier.
How Can a Pharmacist Help?
A pharmacist can play a crucial role in helping to manage and treat strep throat. Here are some ways a pharmacist can help:
- Conduct a strep throat test to confirm the diagnosis and determine the appropriate treatment plan.
- Recommend over-the-counter pain relievers and throat lozenges to relieve symptoms.
- Provide guidance on proper antibiotic use and potential side effects.
- Offer advice on self-care techniques to promote healing and prevent the spread of infection.
- Monitor symptoms and adjust treatment as needed.
Don’t suffer in silence with suspected or diagnosed strep throat. Our pharmacists at Brintnell Pharmacy are here to provide strep throat testing in Edmonton and assist with treatment options.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment or visit our website to learn more.