Strep throat is a contagious infection caused by Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria that thrives in the colder season. If your throat is starting to sore, your lymph nodes are swollen and you start to develop a fever without any cold symptoms, you’ve probably come down with a case of strep throat. By following these 5 steps, you will learn how to treat strep throat effectively so you can recover as soon as possible and hopefully you won’t spread it to anyone else:
Step 1 – Visit Your Doctor:
A medical health care provider will be able to correctly diagnose you by giving you a test. This way you will find out how serious it is and if you should take antibiotics. When the doctor does the test he swabs the inside of your throat and wipes it on a swab. Then he puts the swab in a dish and somehow the speed up the growth while you are there. That is how they tell if you have strept by the way the bacteria grows while you are there.
Although many people believe they know how to treat strep throat, taking antibiotics without a prescription can be dangerous. If your doctor gives you a prescription, take it to the drug store and follow it without missing any doses. Antibiotics can prevent any medical complications caused by strep throat. Moreover, 24 hours after you begin the treatment you will no longer be contagious. If you are in pain you can always buy some over the counter acetaminophen like Tylenol, Advil, ibuprofen, or Aleve. Throw away your toothbrush and avoid alcohol consumption while you take the antibiotics.
Step 2 – Bed Rest and Sleep:
Once you get home, go straight to bed and try to get as much sleep as you can. Sleeping will help your immune system fight the bacteria. Doctors recommend that you sleep at least nine hours a night when you are ill, and about four to five hours a day. Make sure you are not exposed to fans, air conditioning or drafts and cover with blankets to stay warm. You may have that hot to cold feeling for a few days but that is just your body’s way trying to fight it off.
Step 3 – Home Remedies:
Besides the prescription your doctor has given you, you can use some effective home remedies to speed up the recovery and alleviate the symptoms. It is important to know how to treat strep throat at home, especially if you experience intense pain. These are the most efficient methods:
Gargle: Mix 1 teaspoon salt with 1 cup warm water and gargle a few times a day. Make sure you don’t swallow the saline solution. If the pain is intense, you can gargle once every hour. Salt water creates healing abilities and heals cuts and sores you may have.
OTC pain medication: You can take OTC pain medications such as acetaminophen or spray your throat with OTC throat spray. Make sure you don’t use throat sprays and lozenges simultaneous, because it can damage your protective throat lining.
Humidify the air: Because the hot, dry air is hard on your lungs you can use a humidifier to moisture the air. If you don’t have a humidifier, you can boil water in a pan and put it in the room where you rest. Or if you don’t want to do that you can always just take a hot shower to create steam!
Lozenges: this can help keep your throat moist from all the anesthetics in the lozenge. Remember to not take too much because you are taking other medicine along with this. Use it in moderation to help relieve the pain in your throat.
Step 4 – Maintain A Proper Hygiene:
The more germs you kill on your hands, the quicker you will recover. Wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water and keep a bottle of hand sanitizer close to your bed. Remember when washing your hands to sing either the ABC song or happy birthday. You need to make sure your washing your hands for the right amount of time to kill the germs. Before you go to sleep every night, take a shower or a bath to wash off the bacteria. Remember when the sickness is over to change the sheets in your bed to have fresh sanitized sheets.
Step 5 – Monitor Your Situation:
If you’ve never had strep throat and don’t know how to treat it, it is wise to monitor your situation. Even if the symptoms disappear in a few days, continue taking the antibiotic treatment even if you believe the streptococcus is gone from your system. If you do not feel better after five days of treatment, seek advice from your doctor. Look for any signs of ear infection, sinusitis, scarlet fever and rheumatic fever. If you develop any of these conditions, go to a doctor without delay.
If other people in your home are getting sick take them to the doctor as well. Then they can get antibiotics to get treated! Remember to never share prescriptions because even though it may be the same pill it could be a lower dose. Never share prescriptions or medicine! If you feel like something is wrong head to the emergency room!