There are many reasons for having a sore throat such as the common cold, the flu, a sinus infection or even acid reflux. Streptococcal pharyngitis, or more commonly known as strep throat, is another reason for having a sore throat. It is caused by a bacterial infection and is spread from person to person by sneezing and coughing. This may be why it is more frequently seen with children between the ages of 5 and 15 since they spend most of their days at school and come into close contact with other children (who may or may not be ill).
Streptococcus pyogenes is the name of the bacteria which causes strep throat. It is highly contagious and can be easily spread by being exposed to the airborne droplets in the sneeze or cough of an infected person. It can also be spread by touching surfaces that have been exposed to the bacteria then touching one’s eyes, nose or mouth.
Having a sore throat alone is not enough to conclude that you have strep throat. However, you are highly advised to see a specialist – such as some of the best Houston ENT doctors at our ENTAC clinic – if your sore throat is persistent and/or accompanied with some or most of the following symptoms:
-Swollen lymph nodes
-Loss of appetite
It is very important not to ignore persisting symptoms as your condition may rapidly worsen if left untreated. Seeing an experienced throat doctor such as the best ear, nose and throat doctors at our clinic, will be your first crucial step into speeding recovery. Our specialists will begin by carefully examining your throat and checking for signs of inflammation. They will also check your temperature as well as swollen lymph nodes. A rapid strep throat test can be done at the clinic and a more extensive one may be sent to the lab if needed. Depending on your specific situation the doctor will then proceed to the next step.
Since strep throat is caused by a bacterial infection, if diagnosed with it, you will be prescribed antibiotics to kill the bacteria. It is advised to take extra precautions around vulnerable people such as the elderly and infants. Using a cold-mist humidifier may help with improving the symptoms. Drinking a warm drink and sucking on throat lozenges can also be very helpful in soothing your sore throat.
To get a professional diagnosis with the best Houston ENT doctors, schedule an appointment with ENTAC Houston, TX by contacting us at 713-621-2556.