People who come down with a very bad sore throat may wonder whether or not it’s just their regular, run-of-the-mill sore throat or whether it’s strep throat. Without going to a doctor such as a bronchitis specialist Los Angeles, a chronic cough doctor Los Angeles or a chronic sinusitis ENT Los Angeles, it can be hard to tell.
It’s important to know the difference because the treatment for strep throat is different from treatment for a plain sore throat. A regular sore throat is most often caused by a virus while strep throat is always caused by Group A Streptococcus bacteria. This type of bacteria is also called group A strep and can be treated with antibiotics. A regular, virus-caused sore throat will not respond to antibiotics. The difference between the types of sore throat can be diagnosed by either a chronic cough doctor Los Angeles or a chronic sinusitis ENT Los Angeles.
Here are some ways to tell the difference between a sore throat and strep throat:
Strep Throat is Really Painful
A sore throat can hurt, but it doesn’t hurt nearly as much as a strep throat. A person with strep throat may find swallowing so painful that they are afraid to eat or drink. This can put them at risk of dehydration.
Strep Throat Isn’t Common in Adults
Nearly every grown-up gets a sore throat now and then, but it is unusual for an adult to get strep throat. The disorder is most often found in children. Adults are most at risk if they live with children who have the disease or are in close contact with children who have the disease.
If the patient still has their tonsils, they are inflamed and sometimes have patches or pockets of pus or white material.
Petechiae on the Roof of the Mouth
When the mouth of a strep throat patient is examined, there are not only inflamed tonsils but petechiae on the roof of the mouth. These are minuscule red spots found on both the soft and hard palate.
Swollen Lymph Nodes
The patient also has swollen lymph nodes in their neck.
Other symptoms are:
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit
Children with strep throat can also develop a rash called scarlet fever, or scarlatina. If they have this disease, they can also have a strawberry tongue. As the name suggests, the tongue looks like a huge strawberry as it is full of bumps and is brilliant red.
It takes between two and five days for a person who’s been infected with group A strep to come down with strep throat.
If the person’s sore throat was caused by a virus, the pain is often accompanied by a runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, a cough and a hoarse voice. If there’s a fever, it’s below 101 degrees F. These types of symptoms may require the care of a bronchitis specialist Los Angeles if it doesn’t resolve after a couple of weeks. Visit our ENT doctor Los Angeles today!