How Is Strep Throat Treated?

May 28, 2024
How Is Strep Throat Treated?
Do you suspect that you have strep throat, but you’re not sure how to treat it? Learn the steps to take in treating this common bacterial infection and the importance of doing so.

Sore throats can be caused by all sorts of things from colds to allergies to the flu. When a sore throat is from a virus or allergy, it typically clears up on its own after a few days of rest or elimination of allergens. 

However, if your sore throat is caused by strep throat, you need prompt treatment. This is because strep throat is a bacterial infection of your throat and tonsils. If it’s left untreated, the infection can spread and pose a serious threat to your health. 

Because strep throat is so distinct — both in its symptoms and treatment, our team at San Feliz Urgent Care in Glendale, California, wants to take a closer look at this common bacterial infection in this month’s blog so you can be informed. 

Understanding strep throat

Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium called group A streptococcus, which is also known as streptococcus pyogenes. The infection is very contagious since it travels through cough or sneeze droplets of anyone who has it. 

You can typically tell when you have strep throat since it presents with these distinct symptoms:

  • Severe sore throat
  • Swollen glands
  • Sudden and very high fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Nausea and abdominal pain
  • White patches on your tonsils

Since your throat gets so swollen and inflamed with strep throat, you may find eating and swallowing incredibly difficult and even lose your appetite altogether. 

You can also differentiate strep throat from a virus like a cold or the flu because strep throat doesn’t present with any upper respiratory symptoms such as a runny nose or a cough.

Diagnosing strep throat

If you suspect that you have strep throat, it’s vital that you see our team at San Feliz Urgent Care as quickly as you can. Strep throat won’t go away on its own, and in some cases, it can lead to rheumatic fever — a serious condition that causes problems with your heart. 

We start by reviewing your symptoms, taking a look at your throat and tonsils, and performing a swab test. This test is a rapid strep test and can tell us quickly if you have strep throat or not. However, if this test comes back negative, we can also do a throat culture. 

While a throat culture takes a couple of days, it can help us determine if you have strep.

Treating strep throat

The best way to clear the strep throat infection is through antibiotics. These antibiotics should help you start feeling better within a day or two, so if you find that’s not the case for you, contact us so we can reevaluate. 

While the antibiotics fight off the infection, you can do some things on your own to ease your symptoms and discomfort:

  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen 
  • Get plenty of sleep 
  • Drink water and other hydrating fluids
  • Eat easy-to-swallow foods
  • Gargle warm salt water
  • Use a humidifier

Make sure you also stay home for a few days while treating your strep throat to keep it from spreading to others. 

For a strep throat diagnosis and treatment, turn to our team at San Feliz Urgent Care. Schedule an appointment by calling our office at 818-296-0201 or booking online.