Doctor Oz wants everyone to know the difference between Step Throat and Sore Throat. Strep throat is caused by a bacterial infection, so you will need antibiotics for it. How do you know when to go to the doctor and when it is just a sore throat?
Signs of Strep Throat:
1. Swollen lymph nodes is a classic sign of strep throat.
2. White spots on your tonsils is another classic sign of strep throat.
Signs of Sore Throat:
1. Coughing or Sneezing
2. Runny Nose
With both Strep throat and a sore throat you can get fever, redness, and difficulty swallowing. Dr. Oz demonstrated how to check for strep throat: you should have a person stick their tongue out (push down on the tongue with a popsicle stick) and have them say “Ahhhh.” In the back of the throat is something that hangs down – these are the tonsils, which are basically lymph nodes. Tonsils should look red and not be covered with white spots. If the tonsils are swollen and there are white spots (this is puss coming out of the tonsils), then you should see a doctor because you likely have strep throat.
How you catch strep throat:
Strep throat is caught by coughing or sneezing for example – Streptococcus is an airborne bacteria that people can pickup from anywhere: toilet seats, doorknobs, etc.
Strep Throat Causes Rheumatic Fever if Untreated:
This happens a little bit in America, but especially in other countries. If you don’t treat Group A Streptococcus within 14 days, then your body can overreact and make strong antibodies that actually kill your heart valves, and this is Rheumatic Fever.
Strep Throat Tests:
1. Rapid Strep Test – the rapid strep test is accurate 90% of the time and only takes 15 minutes to get results. If the results show that you don’t have strep throat, but your tonsils have white puss and look swollen, then your doctor will do a culture.
2. Culture Test for Strep Throat – your doctor will swab your tonsils with a cotton swab, and put the specimen in a tube which is sent to a lab. After a few days, you will get the results back.
Strep Throat Treatments & Sore Throat Cures:
If you have strep throat, your doctor will give you 7 to 14 days of antibiotics. It is important to take the full dosage, even though you will feel better after a few days. With antibiotics, always complete the full amount of medicine prescribed!
2. Salt & Warm Water
Gargle with a mixture of salt and warm water, which irrigates the bacteria away.
3. Aspirin or Ibuprofen
Over the counter medicines like Aspirin or Ibuprofen can often help.
The cold feeling of the popsicle will soothe sore throats.
5. Toss Your Toothbrush
Throw away your toothbrush, or at least boil your toothbrush to make sure you don’t keep reinfecting yourself.