Many people, when they experience sore throat don’t usually worry all that much and opt for a series of home remedies, before grabbing pills and antibiotics. Although it is always advisable to see a physician before deciding on any course of treatment for any kind of illness, not jumping straight ahead to antibiotics is a very wise thing as far as sore throats are concerned. Moreover, nowadays, it is very easy to find medical advice online for common health problems. You will be surprised to discover that an overwhelming 90-95% of the sore throats are actually caused by viral illnesses, which are not responsive to antibiotics and only the rest of 5-10% of the cases are in fact bacterial infections, also known as strep throat from Streptococcus bacterium, which is what causes it. There are several differences between a regular sore throat, of viral nature, and a strep throat.
For instance, one of the main difference between one and the other is that the strep throat, due to the streptococcal infection, is accompanied by a great level of pain and you will have high difficulties swallowing, not to mention speaking. As in any case of infection, a strep throat always presents itself with fever, while that is not the case with sore throat, which is more commonly associated with a runny nose and cough. However, sometimes, it is possible to have a streptococcal infection along with a viral condition, in which case all of those symptoms may present themselves. If the lymph nodes in your neck are significantly swollen, then it is definitely bacterial infection. Moreover, if the infection is accompanied by a rash, which occurs more often in children, then the condition is widely known as scarlet fever, which can be very dangerous, unless treated properly. In fact, there are many severe diseases and illnesses that can develop from an untreated streptococcal infection, but also from wrong diagnosis of sore throat or strep throat. A bacterial infection that has been left untreated can lead to rheumatic fever, which consequently affects your heart valves and joints. Glomerulonephritis, a malfunctioning of the kidneys, is another possible complication of untreated strep infection. However, since a strep throat is easily curable with antibiotics, these cases are very rare nowadays.
Distinguishing between a regular sore throat and a bacterial infection may be tricky for you in terms of symptoms, but it is very easy for a physician to do so, by performing a very quick strep test. There is also the method of throat culture that can tell whether bacteria is growing in your throat. Whatever diagnosis method your doctor uses, it is very important to go see a physician when you have a sore throat, even if there is nothing to worry about, just to make sure you are treating it right. Starting to take antibiotics on your own is highly unadvised and it can do more damage than good in case it isn’t a bacterial infection. While it may sound very easy to identify your symptoms based on various medical advice online articles, you should always consult a doctor before applying any treatment. If you can’t go to a doctor, call a medical advice hotline in order to see if you have serious reasons to worry.
All things considered, a sore throat may not be a reason for worry, but just to be safe, one should go and have it checked out by a doctor, especially if it comes with fever or swollen glands and difficulty in speaking or swallowing. Furthermore, having life insurance for this kind of situations is very much advised, because then you can get free treatments and not worry about paying for costly procedures. In fact, it is easy to get free life insurance quotes from agencies in your area, and use them to figure out which has the best offers for you. A simple step such as getting free life insurance quotes before you get sick will save you a lot of trouble in the future, whereas getting them during illness, or suffering from things such as a sore throat can result in more expensive premiums, because insurance companies also ask for medical exams.