Strep Throat – Symptoms, Treatments, Home Remedies
A strep throat refers to an infection that affects the tonsil, oral pharynx resulting in soreness and an itchy sensation. It gets its name from the streptococcal bacteria that cause the infection which is highly contagious in nature.
Strep Throat Symptoms:
Strep throat affects mostly children between the ages of five through fifteen, but adults can get it too. The symptoms are similar across all age groups, the most common of which are a sore throat and fever. The other symptoms of the infection show up after three days. A spike in the fever is usually the first indicator of strep throat, there may also be rashes on the mouth palate. The next symptom is tonsil enlargement; there may also be accumulation of pus on the enlarged tonsils. Some people may experience muscle pains, headaches while infected. Normally a GP will swab the area and test the area for the presence of antigens. A person with strep throat will have difficulty swallowing and may also have breathing difficulties.
If strep throat is left untreated, it will spread to the ears; chest and sinus cavity and can also lead to the development of scarlet fever and are capable of infecting the kidneys.
Home Remedies for Strep Throat:
Most people choose to take antibiotics to kill the bacteria and wipe out the infection completely. There are a few natural treatments that you can make at home that help in the reduction of the pain, discomfort and irritation that comes along with strep throats. The simplest method involves a saltwater gargle; mix one to two teaspoons of salt in warm water. The salt deactivates the bacteria soothing the soreness. Drink plenty of warm liquids like herbal teas, and soups; try lemon teas sweetened with honey. The anti bacterial properties of the honey will help fight the infection while the tea works wonders for that headache and muscle pain. For temporary relief from the soreness try lozenges, humidifiers, sprays meant for the nasal area and popsicles; apply lime oil, geranium oil or thyme oil directly on the neck and cover your neck for instant relief. You can dilute these oils with olive oil if you have sensitive skin. Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water, this will also lubricate the throat and enables you to swallow easily.
If you are already taking antibiotics, consider taking some probiotic foods as well. Antibiotics kill all the bacteria affecting your throat, including the good bacteria present in your immune system. The probiotic foods will help to strengthen this bacterium and will help you immune system to fight the infection. Try massaging the area where the lymph nodes are present, using circular motions, massage behind the ears, then move around the neck, chest, heart. Stay away from foods that are spicy and rich, they irritate the throat causing more soreness; have a lot of light broths, fruit juices mixed with water, or warm herbal teas. Have something that is mildly flavored; eat a lot of fruits that have high war or juice content, like oranges and strawberries, they have vitamin C which will help with the infection.