Strep Throat Treatment in Chicago, IL
When your throat and tonsils become inflamed as the result of a bacterial infection, thereby causing a scratchy pain sensation, you may find yourself the victim of strep throat. Most commonly affecting children between the ages of 5 and 15 (though strep throat in adults may occur as well), strep throat is highly contagious and should be treated promptly so as not to allow symptoms to worsen or cause more serious complications.
To schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider in Chicago that specializes in strep throat treatment, call (708) 435-2381 or contact Rita N. Oganwu MD, SC online.
Strep Throat Causes
Strep throat is caused by a bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes. For those with strep throat, contagious bacterial infections may transfer and spread from a number of sources. Airborne droplets created when someone with the infection coughs or sneezes, for instance, may cause the bacteria to spread, or it may spread through sharing food or drinks with an infected person. Bacteria left behind on doorknobs or other surfaces may also cause you to pick up the infection when you transfer this bacteria from its source to your nose, mouth or eyes.
Strep Throat Symptoms
The severity of strep throat is largely dependent on the individual. While some experience a mild sore throat, others may experience more severe symptoms including a high fever and difficulty swallowing. A sore throat, while the most common symptom of strep throat, is not necessarily indicative of the infection, as there are a number of health complications that may cause a sore throat, hence making it important to discuss your individual symptoms with your healthcare provider to determine whether you definitively have strep throat. Strep throat symptoms in adults as well as children may include:
- Sudden, severe sore throat
- Pain when swallowing
- High fever (over 101°F or 38.3°C)
- Swollen tonsils and lymph nodes
- White or yellow spots on the back of a bright red throat
- A headache
- A loss of appetite
Other common conditions causing a sore throat include the common cold, a sinus infection, postnasal drip and acid reflex. If the cause of your sore throat is something other than strep throat, it is likely that your sore throat will improve on its own within a few days. If your sore throat lasts longer than two days, it is important to meet with your healthcare provider as you might have strep throat. Other possible indicators of strep throat include:
- White patches accompanying your sore throat
- Dark, red splotches or spots on your tonsils or on the top of your mouth
- A fine, sandpaper-like pink rash on your skin
Strep Throat Diagnosis
To diagnose strep throat, your healthcare provider will begin with a discussion of your symptoms accompanied by a physical exam in which he or she inspects you for signs of inflammation. This will include an inspection of your lymph nodes. If you, your healthcare provider or both of you suspect you have strep throat, he or she will start by distinguishing whether the cause of your sore throat is a strep throat infection or some other type of other bacteria or germ. This process is called a rapid strep throat test and will include a swab of saliva taken from the back of your throat and sent to the lab for closer evaluation. Confirmation of strep throat will take only about 10 minutes.
Strep Throat Treatment
If it is determined that you have strep throat, your healthcare provider will prescribe an antibiotic such as penicillin or amoxicillin to treat the infection by inhibiting the spread of the bacteria. Your healthcare provider will recommend a duration of time for taking this medication and it is important to follow this recommendation in order for the infection to be completely eliminated. While symptoms will generally begin to subside, if you don't follow your healthcare provider's orders and end treatment early, the infection may reoccur. In addition to a prescription antibiotic, your healthcare provider may recommend taking an over-the-counter medicine like acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin) to help reduce pain and lower your fever. Your healthcare provider may also recommend a probiotic to counteract an antibiotics effects on your gut health and to keep a healthy balance of good bacteria.
Receiving proper strep throat treatment is essential as a bad case of strep throat can lead to a number of complications including:
- An ear infection
- Rheumatic fever, an inflammatory disease affecting the joints, heart and skin
- Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis, an inflammation of the kidneys
- Mastoiditis, an infection of the mastoid bone in the skull
- Scarlet fever, which occurs when toxins created by a strep throat infection cause a scarlet-colored rash to develop on different parts of the body
- Guttate psoriasis, a condition causing small, red teardrop-shaped spots to appear on the body
- Pus-filled infections called peritonsillar abscess which develop behind the tonsils
To reduce the likelihood of developing complications of strep throat, it is important to meet with your healthcare provider if a sore throat lasts longer than two days. To schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider in Chicago that specializes in strep throat treatment, call (708) 435-2381 or contact Rita N. Oganwu MD, SC online.
Rita N. Oganwu MD, SC
Address20303 S Crawford Ave
Olympia Fields, IL 60461
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed 12:00-1:30pm for lunch
Tue: 12:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Wed: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Office closed to patients, calls only
Thu: 12:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Fri: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed 12:00-1:30pm for lunch