Pharyngitis is a form of infection that affects the pharynx and or the throat, both of which are located in the upper respiratory tract. Pharyngitis is characterized by inflammation and pain of the aforementioned areas and can be acute (resulting from a viral or bacterial infection and usually short lived) or chronic (usually resulting from an underlying problem, and therefore long term). Strep throat, scientifically referred to as streptococcus pharyngitis, streptococcus tonsillitis and streptococcus strep throat, is a form of pharyngitis. Strep throat is caused by coming into direct contact with an infected person. This can be by kissing, drinking or eating from the same source (same glass or utensils), and even by using the same tooth brush. Other forms of transmitting the infection can be through sneezing or coughing. Once you get strep throat it is easily gotten rid of by using anagesics for pain, and antibiotics to fight against infection.
Some symptoms of strep throat include,
- Sore or scratchy throat
- High fever; usually the body temperature rises above 100? F
- Enlargement of the lymph nodes in the neck.
- Pus like discharge observed on tonsils.
- Muscle pain and soreness can occur
- Headache due to high fever, inflammation or pain resulting from the condition.
Diagnosis of strep throat
A lack of a cough, swollen lymph nodes of the neck, high temperature, inflammation, appearance of pus on the tonsils, and the age of the patient are all criteria used to diagnose strep throat. Based on the amount of symptoms and their severity, antibiotics can be prescribed or not. If a patient presents with two or more of the previously mentioned symptoms then a culture of their throat is done and the results will then determine with what treatment to proceed.
Treatment of strep throat
- When your physician diagnoses strep throat then he/she will determine the next step in treatment.
- Something maybe given to dry the mucus or pus if the amount is excessive.
- Analgesics may be given for the pain and inflammation. Aspirin is safe for adults in the correct dosage but is unsafe in children. Aspirin can cause Reyes syndrome in children. The drug Paracetamol may be given as an alternative to aspirin.
- Antibiotics may or may not be given. Amoxicillin, a drug in the same class as penicillin is given as tablets to adults and is given in its suspension form to children. If you think you will be unable to swallow the tablets, you may request that your doctor write a prescription for the suspension form instead. Antibiotics should be taken until they are done, do not break your treatment as this will affect how fast you get rid of your strep throat. Do not take antibiotics unnecessarily, resistance to these drugs are easily developed.
- It is important that you also rest. Stress on the body prolongs sickness time and is an unnecessary evil.