Strep throat is an infection of streptococcal bacteria that often causes painful inflammation in the back of the throat. Strep throat is a particularly contagious disease which is often associated with white spots in the back of the throat and sore throat. Young children are most at risk for strep throat, but any person of any age can be infected.
If you or someone in your family contracts this disease, you have a few different treatment options. Whether you decide to use a home remedy or prescription medicine, you can get relief from this painful condition relatively easily. Bear in mind that you will also need to practice strict healthy hygiene in order to try to prevent infection in other people in the family.
At-home remedy for strep throat
Gargling with salt water is an easy but effective treatment for strep throat. The salty water will help to lessen sore throat pain and make swallowing a little bit easier. Salt water will act as an antiseptic, killing the nasty bacteria as well as reducing the swelling in your tonsils. It may take several applications to completely kill the bacteria, and antibiotics may still be needed if gargling every hour or so isn’t enough.
Medical strep throat treatment
Antibiotics are not needed in every instance of strep. If you have contracted a severe case, then it’s more likely that antibiotics will be necessary. If your throat is exceptionally painful, or the infection persists for more than a few days, then antibiotics may be recommended. Busy moms or working professionals may also want to take antibiotics so that they can return to their lives as soon as possible. Antibiotics offer the advantage of faster recovery times and shorter periods of potential contagion.
Whether you want to take antibiotics or not, you should make an appointment with your doctor. Similar symptoms can result from different types of bacterial infection. Any infection can be dangerous, but especially to small children or anyone with an under-functioning immune system.
Other strep throat considerations
Do not underestimate the danger of dehydration when you have strep throat. Many people avoid drinking water and eating since these activities are so painful, but keeping hydrated is essential to regaining your health. Drink plenty of fluids, including water, sports drinks, and salty drinks such as broth.
The symptoms of strep throat will usually subside in three to seven days. While you let the illness run its course, you should focus on alleviating as many symptoms as you can. There are several treatment options to help you feel better, so choose the one that works best for you. You may want to try cough drops, soothing teas, or vapor rubs to ease your symptoms. Try to avoid alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, or other potentially irritating substances. Get plenty of rest and your body should start to heal.