Have you ever had that scratchy, itchy feeling at the back of your throat? The one that starts in the back of your throat then suddenly turns into a painful burning sensation. Some people mention that it feels like trying to swallow broken glass. Now that’s a pretty vivid description of the common sore throat but if you have ever had one that bad then you’re most likely to not forget it. Usually, a simple sore throat will come along with some other symptoms, like a cough or runny nose, and it will likely go away on its own in a few days. But what if the pain lingers for more than a couple of days? That can be a sign of the dreaded strep throat.

Sore or Strep?

The common sore throat is usually caused by irritation (like post-nasal drip) or a virus, so antibiotics will most likely not help in this case. Strep throat is caused by bacteria (group A streptococcus), and the only way to find relief is to make an appointment to see your doctor or with a quick visit to AFC Urgent Care Shelton. In certain situations some patients, usually children and teens, experience strep never going away. If it keeps coming back then this is known as “recurring strep throat.”

Recurring Strep Throat

If you are diagnosed with strep throat more than seven times in a single year, then it’s likely your doctor will consider a tonsillectomy. Even after the surgery, there are some people that may still develop strep. Along with being painful, this can mean many days of missed school or work. So why does this happen?

  1. Antibiotic Resistance – Some forms of strep throat are resistant to the antibiotic that has been prescribed. Penicillin and cephalexin are the go-to antibiotics in the case of strep. If these don’t knock the bacteria out, your doctor will go a different route. Remember to take ALL of your prescribed antibiotics! Some patients will stop taking their medication after they start feeling better. This is a huge mistake. Don’t give the bacteria a chance to develop a resistance to your medication. Knock it out by completing your medication cycle.
  2. Weak Immune System – The strep bacteria is a formidable opponent. If you are in overall poor health or have a weakened immune system because of an underlying condition, then you are at risk of a recurrence.
  3. Hidden Carrier – They walk among us! There are many people who are actually carriers of the strep bacteria, even though they show no signs of having strep throat. It could be that someone you come into close contact with every day is a carrier.
  4. Dental Disinfecting – After a strep diagnosis (or any contagious illness!) you should toss out your toothbrush for a new one. But that alone might not be good enough. Make sure and disinfect your toothbrush holder as well or you may just pick the bacteria up again on your new toothbrush.

As the CDC points out, no one can diagnose strep throat just by looking at your throat. Instead, healthcare professionals use two tests to see if the strep bacteria are at the root of the problem. With our in-house laboratory, AFC Urgent Care can perform both the “rapid strep test” and a throat culture. The “rapid strep test” is a quick swab of the back of your throat that gives results in minutes, which allows our doctors to begin treatment immedately. A throat culture may be considered if a rapid test comes back negative, but your doctor still suspects strep.

The Right Care. Right Now.

Strep throat is painful. The good news is that most patients begin to see improvement shortly after treatment begins. AFC Urgent Care is committed to providing you with the right care, right now! A convenient visit, with thorough treatment and we’ll help you feel better in no time.

We are open every day from 8am to 8pm! No appointment is ever needed and we accept most major and CT state insurances.