Strep throat is a common infection in the U.S., affecting around 11,000 to 24,000 Americans every year. While it is a very treatable infection, it can become severe if not dealt with quickly.

Our team at AFC Urgent Care Hixson provides some further information about strep throat below, so read on.

What Does Strep Throat Do to My Body?

Strep throat is an infection in the throat and tonsils caused by bacteria called group A Streptococcus.

When not treated quickly, strep throat can cause complications, such as kidney inflammation or rheumatic fever. Both can lead to more problems, but rheumatic fever can lead to painful and inflamed joints, rash or heart valve damage. If you experience any of the symptoms that we’ve listed below, you likely have strep throat.

Common Strep Throat Symptoms

  • Sudden sore throat
  • Red tonsils that have white spots on them
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Fever
  • Swollen neck glands
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain

Does a Sore Throat Always Mean Strep Throat?

No, it doesn’t. While a sore throat is one of the main symptoms of strep, things like a common cold, sinus infection, postnatal drip and acid reflux are also common causes of throat discomfort.

One of the most reliable ways to know whether or not you have strep throat is by getting a rapid strep test. If your doctor suspects strep, this simple, painless and quick test can confirm the diagnosis. If it comes back positive, your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics to help you recover. We’ve listed some additional at-home remedies to help you feel better below.

At-Home Remedies for Strep Throat

  • Drinking warm liquids, such as lemon water and tea
  • Drinking cold liquids to help numb the throat
  • Turning on a humidifier
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Sucking on throat lozenges
  • Adding 12 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of water and gargling the mixture

Strep throat can be quite painful, but it’s treatable! Don’t hesitate to visit AFC Urgent Care Hixson today if you are feeling under the weather.