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The Best Treatment Options for Strep Throat

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The Best Treatment Options for Strep Throat

Strep throat is common in children between the ages of 5 and 15 years. However, it can affect adults and caregivers who come into direct contact with the infected person. Strep throat is an infection in the tonsils and throat caused by a bacteria known as Group A Streptococcus. Symptoms may include difficulty swallowing, fever, swollen lymph nodes, nausea, and stomach aches. Your healthcare provider can diagnose strep throat by performing a rapid strep test or a throat culture test. Throat culture tests can take up to two days to be confirmed. This is because it can take up to two days for the bacteria to grow. Antibiotics are usually prescribed to treat strep throat. Keep in mind that, if left untreated, it can lead to severe complications. However, there are treatment options for strep throat that can help soothe the throat.

1. Antibiotics

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To treat strep throat, antibiotics are usually the primary treatment. This is because antibiotics kill the bacteria. Your healthcare provider will probably prescribe amoxicillin, penicillin, or azithromycin. Each of these antibiotics treats ear, nose, throat, and sinus infections, as well as chest infections such as pneumonia and intestinal infections. Keep in mind that when prescribed an antibiotic, you should complete the full course even if you are feeling better.

2. Gargling With Salt Water

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To soothe your sore throat, you can gargle with warm salt water. Gargling with warm salt water can reduce inflammation in the throat. It is best to mix ¼ or ½ teaspoon of salt with 8 oz of water (approximately 1 cup). Tilt your head back and swish the water around for about 30 seconds, then spit it out. Did you know that gargling with salt water can benefit infected gums and teeth?

3. Over-the-Counter Medications

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Painkillers such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen can help reduce a fever and sore throat. However, it is advised that children and teenagers recovering from flu-like symptoms and chickenpox should not take aspirin. This is because Reye’s syndrome has been linked to aspirin, which can be fatal in such kids.

4. Humidifiers and Warm Compresses

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Applying a warm compress to the throat can reduce swelling and relieve pain. This can be done a few times a day. Furthermore, using a humidifier can add moisture to the air and ease distress. It is advised to clean humidifiers daily to avoid any bacteria growth or mold.

5. Hydrate

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To keep the throat lubricated, it is important to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. 

6. Rest

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Getting enough sleep helps the body fight off infections. It is also important to stay at home until there is no fever and you have taken antibiotics for 24 hours.

7. Avoid Irritants

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It is best to avoid paint fumes, cleaning products, and cigarette smoke, as these irritate the throat and lungs. Furthermore, spicy foods and orange juice can also aggravate the throat, causing it to be sore.

8. Eat Foods That Are Easy To Swallow

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It is best to eat soft foods that are easy to swallow, like yogurt, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, soups, and apple sauce. Cold foods like ice cream and frozen yogurt can also help soothe the throat. If you have a blender, you can also puree foods to make swallowing easier.

9. Honey

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Mix two tablespoons of honey in a glass of warm water to soothe a sore throat. Honey is a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

10. Throat Lozenges

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Sucking on throat lozenges like Strepsils, Halls, and Ricola can help relieve a sore throat. This is because these lozenges contain antiviral and antibacterial ingredients.

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