If you’re concerned about strep throat, you’ve come to the right place. With treatments led by an ENT Specialist, Dr Jon Hughes, we can help people in London manage ear, nose and throat conditions and feel well once again. To find out what strep throat is, what signs and symptoms it has and how it’s treated, read on.
A bacterial infection
Strep throat is classed as a bacterial infection, with typical symptoms including a sore and scratchy throat; fever; spots or red patches in the mouth or on the tonsils; headache; nausea; vomiting; general aches and pains; and swollen lymph nodes (found on the neck). The infection is spread through coughing and sneezing, as well as sharing food and drink and touching infected surfaces (such as door handles).
Diagnosing strep throat
There are three ways to diagnose strep throat. First and foremost is a throat culture, where a swab is swept over the cheeks and back of the throat, which is then tested in a lab. This is one method we use here in London. A PCR test can also be taken (similar to tests for COVID-19). Finally, a rapid antigen test can be carried out.
Dangerous if untreated
Strep throat can lead to complications, including rheumatic fever. This is an inflammatory condition which can affect the heart, joints, brain and skin. In the most serious cases, it can lead to fluid around the heart or an enlarged heart. Untreated strep throat can also develop into kidney inflammation. Other complications include sinusitis, tonsillitis and sepsis.
Treatments for strep throat
Treating strep throat depends on the signs and symptoms, and we will always discuss these options with you when you book a consultation at our London clinic. As a bacterial infection, antibiotics can be used as an effective strep throat treatment. In people who frequently contract strep throat, other treatments might be recommended, such as a tonsillectomy (where the tonsils are removed). This can prevent reinfection.
There are some things you can do to help stop the spread of strep throat and keep yourself protected against it. These include handwashing (20 seconds at a time with soap and water or sanitiser), covering your mouth for coughing and sneezing and not sharing food/drink with others.
Contacting Dr Jon Hughes
To enquire about treatments for strep throat, get a diagnosis or book a tonsillectomy or other procedure, talk to our London team today.