Strep throat is a relatively common bacterial infection affecting the throat. It causes pain and inflammation in the throat and may also make it feel scratchy and sore.
Strep throat symptoms are strikingly similar to those of an ordinary sore throat, so it may be easy to mistake it for just a regular sore throat when you’re dealing with a more complicated issue. The notable difference is that strep throat is characterized by white patches at the back of the throat or tonsils. A visit to an ENT clinic in Singapore can help you uncover this since; this isn’t a symptom you can easily spot on your own. Read more details about it here.
Can an ENT Diagnose Strep Throat?
If you suspect that you could be having strep throat, you should get it treated since; an untreated strep throat may only open the way for more complicated health issues. It may cause problems like rheumatic fever and even kidney inflammations.
ENT doctors are specialists in diagnosing, treating, and managing ear, nose, and throat complications. Therefore a qualified ENT doctor can diagnose and even treat strep throat.
Strep throat is predominantly common in children, but this doesn’t indicate that it cannot affect adults. It can affect any person regardless of age.
To prevent it from causing other complications, the best indicators you may need to look into are your symptoms. You may also need an appointment with your primary doctor, who will have to examine your symptoms or how you respond to medications before suggesting a visit to an ENT specialist.
Note that strep throat is also highly contagious, so your best bet for protecting your loved ones from this bacterial infection if you suspect that you’ve got it is to seek immediate medical care. It is such contagious that if you sneeze or cough, it would become airborne and spread through the tiny respiratory droplets that would come from your mouth.
With that in mind, you should contact your doctor or ENT specialist if you get any of the symptoms we’ve summarized right below.
Strep Throat Symptoms
- Swollen tonsils which appear red. They may also be painful and lined with pus or have white patches
- A sore throat that persists for more than 24 hours
- Body pains
- Swallowing difficulties where you experience pain when attempting to swallow food
- Throat pain
- Tiny red spots on your hard or soft palate. The palate is located at the rear end of the roof of your mouth
- Swollen and tender glands on your neck. The swelling here is a response of your lymph glands to the infection
- Nausea and vomiting. This is particularly common with children
Your primary doctor may direct that you visit an ENT specialist if you have strep throat so they can determine if you are dealing with a bacterial or viral strep throat infection. During your appointment, the ENT doctor will examine your throat.
They will also look for any signs of inflammation and examine your neck for swollen glands. One of the common tests you can expect at the ear, nose, and throat specialist’s office is the rapid strep test.
It aims to check if your condition is due to a strep infection or a different germ or type of bacteria. For this test, the doctor will use long cotton swab to swab the back of your throat and gather samples which will then be forwarded to the lab for testing.
If the rapid test reveals that you are within normal limits (WNL), which means that you do not have a strep infection, but the doctor still suspects that you are dealing with a strep throat infection, they will forward the samples for further testing. You will be requested to come back to the facility after a few days to check the results.
Can Strep Throat go away on its Own?
Strep throat can go away on its own. Usually, it should go away within 3 to 7 days. Still, it isn’t worth the wait, considering that it is contagious, and leaving it untreated may only leave you with more complicated medical issues.
Again, most people believe that taking antibiotics can cure sore throat. Not every sore throat case is due to bacterial infection; therefore, if your strep throat is due to viral infection, your strep throat will not resolve if you immediately go for the OTC antibiotics to manage them.
Now, if you schedule an appointment with an ENT specialist for strep throat and they determine that it is the cause of your discomfort and swallowing complication, they will prescribe antibiotics if the tests reveal that your strep throat infection is caused by bacteria. The antibiotic medications, in this case, will stop the further spread of the infection and bacteria.
In most cases, you can expect the doctor to prescribe you amoxicillin or penicillin for your treatment. If you cannot use either of those due to allergies, they give you an alternative antibiotic prescription; azithromycin.
Like in any condition, if the ENT specialist diagnosed you with strep throat, you will need to complete the antibiotic treatment course to finish off the bacteria. During the treatment, you can always use OTC pain relievers like ibuprofen or aspirin to manage pain due to strep throat.
It may not be wise to discontinue the medication when your symptoms improve. This may only trigger a relapse, which may make the symptoms return.
Is it Possible to get Strep Throat Twice in One Month?
If you are getting strep throat-like symptoms for the second time in one month, it is still advisable that you see your ENT doctor. Recurring strep throat may be triggered by having a weaker immune system, having a strep throat that’s resistant to antibiotics, dental disinfecting, and living with someone who is a hidden carrier.
Now, if you get strep throat more than seven times in one year, your ENT specialist may recommend a surgical procedure known as tonsillectomy to remove the tonsils.
You cannot detect strep throat by just looking at the throat. Besides, just using antibiotics without being sure whether you are dealing with a bacterial strep throat or would not only predispose you to unwanted complications.