Over the course of a single year, approximately 1 billion people suffer from colds across the United States. The common cold can be annoying, sure, but it’s usually shortlived and can be easily treated. Sometimes, what might seem like the common cold early on can actually be something far worse such as strep throat.
To avoid sick days, here are the warning signs of strep throat and a few ways to treat it.
Warning signs of strep:
- Painful sore throat — Though a slight soreness in your throat might not be too serious, pain in your throat can lead to serious strep issues.
- Difficult to swallow — If you are having trouble swallowing both liquids and chewed up food, that could mean that you have strep.
- Swollen tonsils — Another sign of strep throat is red or swollen tonsils, sometimes with white patches or even streaks of pus.
- Vomiting — Vomiting is primarily a strep sign for children, but nausea and vomiting can be a warning sign for adults, too.
- Swollen lymph nodes — If you notice the lymph nodes in your neck are swollen and hard, that could mean you have strep throat, as well.
What you should do:
- Over-the-counter pain medications — If you can’t see a medical professional right away, using ibuprofen can help temporarily alleviate pain and inflammation.
- Gargle salt water — Gargling salt water for a minute or two is a great natural remedy that can help clear your throat and relieve pain.
- Throat lozenges — Cough drops can help keep your throat moist, and the anesthetics contained within can help relieve strep and pain.
- Humidifier — Using a humidifier can help keep your mouth and throat from drying out, subsequently soothing and alleviating pain.
- Throat sprays — Certain throat sprays contain topical anesthetics that can provide short-term reline until you can see a medical professional.
Make sure you’re taking care of yourself both before, during, and after any health scares. If you are experiencing a sore throat, severe flu symptoms, or are in need of fracture care in Hawaii, give Island Urgent Care a call right away.