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Tonsilloliths or Tonsil Stones are basically clusters of calcified material that form in our tonsils. They mostly occur in the palatine tonsils, but they may also develop in the lingual tonsils.\n\nThese white spots on tonsils are basically composed of calcium. However, they may contain other minerals; like magnesium and phosphorus. Anaerobic bacteria also reside in them, which causes problems like bad breath.

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Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning

Signs Of Strep Throat

Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning Signs Of Strep Throat

Do you feel like swallowing needles while eating meals? Do you have fever over 101°F?

If you have above symptoms, then these are probably the warning signs of strep

throat and not sore throat. You may think that you have common sore throat and just

follow simple home remedies to get rid of it. But, just wait for a while before you jump

to this conclusion!

Strep throat is more dangerous than a sore throat because if left untreated, it can have

dangerous repercussions. You may feel better automatically after a few days without

taking medications. But, it can lead to serious problems later in your life, which will

be discussed later in the article.

On this page: [show]

What Is Strep Throat & How Does It Differ From

Common Sore Throat?




Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning Signs Of Strep Throat

Don’t misinterpret Strep Throat as Sore Throat

Strep throat is a bacterial infection that causes pain and inflammation in the throat

and the tonsils. You’ll have a sudden sore throat along with a fever over 101°F. Mostly

school going children and teenagers suffer from this bacterial infection.

Many of you must be having a question in your mind – What is the difference between

sore and strep throat? Am I right? For those who don’t know – Common sore throat is

caused due to viral infections while strep throat is caused due to bacterial infection.

Sore throat will usually be fine on its own within a week and you may have minor or

no fever. However, if you have strep throat, you’ll be suffering from high fever, loss of

appetite and swollen tonsils.

Some of you might have taken antibiotics without getting it diagnosed by your doctor.

I have also done it many times when I was a teenager. I would like to inform you that

antibiotics don’t work on viral infections. You may become antibiotics resistant if you

take them without any need.




What Causes Strep Throat?

Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning Signs Of Strep Throat

Strep throat is caused due to streptococcal bacteria. There are different types of

streptococcal bacteria, but your culprit is GAS (Group A Streptococcus) bacteria,

specifically Streptococcus pyogenes.

This bacterial infection will invade your pharyngeal tissue, leading to inflammation

and irritation in tonsils and throat. The infection is usually spread via air passage

when an infected person sneezes or coughs. You may also get infected if you touch any

object that came in contact with the infected individual.

What Are The Signs Of Strep Throat?




Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning Signs Of Strep Throat




Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning Signs Of Strep Throat




Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning Signs Of Strep Throat




Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning Signs Of Strep Throat

These are some common symptoms of strep throat

1. Sudden & Severe Sore Throat Along With Painful


If you have sore throat due to GAS bacteria, then it’ll take only a few hours to develop.

It is one of the early signs of strep throat and is more painful than normal sore throat.

You may feel like swallowing sandpaper while drinking water or eating meals.




2. Fever Over 101°F

Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning Signs Of Strep Throat

If you have sudden sore throat along with a fever over 101°F (38.3°C,) you’re most

probably suffering from strep throat. Usually, viral sore throat doesn’t come with a

raging fever.

3. Red & Swollen Tonsils With White Patches

When you’re suffering due to Group A Streptococcus, then you may see red and

swollen tonsils with white patches or streaks of pus. You may also have above signs

with tonsillitis, but then you won’t be suffering from a fever.

4. Swollen & Tender Lymph Nodes

Another symptom of strep throat is swollen and tender lymph nodes in your neck.

5. Skin Rashes or Body Aches

If you’ve developed sudden unusual rashes on your skin and your whole body is

aching, you should seek for medical help regardless of whether you’re infected with

strep throat or not. These symptoms could be linked with a variety of other medical


6. Headache, nausea or vomiting

These are the common symptoms with the flu and cold, making it difficult for the

doctor to determine whether you have strep throat signs or not. Your doctor will

usually perform a throat swab culture to test if its GAS bacteria which is bothering


Your doctor will prescribe you medications only after the result of this laboratory test.

Is Strep Throat Contagious?




Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning Signs Of Strep Throat

Strep throat is highly contagious

A lot of people have asked this question on various health related forums and

websites. You may also have Googled queries like – How contagious is strep throat?

Well, I would like to inform you that according to various studies and research, it has

been found that strep throat is moderately contagious. Normally, it is spread by the

passage of saliva or airborne droplets from the infected person to another individual.

How do you get strep throat?

You may have caught the Group A Streptococcus (GAS) bacteria from your family

member, classmate or by sharing utensils or drinking cups. It has been found that the

risk of contracting a strep throat infection is nearly 40 percent in household


How Long Does Strep Throat Last?

If you don’t take antibiotics, then strep throat can be contagious for about 2-3 weeks.

However, if you have taken antibiotics, then normally you’ll not be contagious after 24

to 36 hours of initiating antibiotic therapy.




Antibiotics For Strep Throat

Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning Signs Of Strep Throat

You’ll have to take antibiotics if you’re infected with strep throat

According to a research, nearly 15 million people in the United States visit the doctor

for a sore throat annually. It has been found that more than 70 percent of them

received antibiotics, although only 20 to 30 percent of them actually had strep throat.

Strep throat is caused by streptococcus bacteria and not by a virus. People who are

suffering from sore throat due to virus shouldn’t be treated with antibiotics. According

to the published guidelines by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA),

antibiotics are ineffective against viruses.

Before taking any over-the-counter antibiotics, you should get yourself diagnosed for

Group A Streptococcus. Normally, you’ll be given Penicillin for strep throat unless

you’re allergic to it. Amoxicillin, cephalexin  and erythromycin are some other

common antibiotics, which may be given to you during the treatment for strep throat.

In most cases, your doctor will prescribe you to take antibiotics for nearly 10 days.

Your doctor may also give you a single shot of penicillin.




Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning Signs Of Strep Throat

I have often seen people who stop taking medications after seeing signs of

improvement. Even, I have done this many times when I was a kid. Have you ever

done this?

If yes, then I would advise you to not ditch your medications before the full course of

treatment is completed. You may have to face dangerous consequences for premature

halting of your dosage.

In some cases, untreated strep throat has led to complications like kidney disorder and

rheumatic fever. You better finish the entire prescription of antibiotics, so that you

don’t have to face repercussions.

7 Home Remedies For Strep Throat That Can

Ease Your Symptoms

If you have common sore throat caused due to virus, then only home remedies could

help you to get rid of it. However, if you’re infected with strep then you need to

undergo strep throat treatment to avoid aforementioned complications.

According to National Institutes of Health, following home remedies may help you to

ease your symptoms.

1. Delicious Honey May Knock Out Strep Bacteria




Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning Signs Of Strep Throat

Honey can combat strep bacteria

Honey has amazing health benefits and is known to treat various skin problems like

pimples, blackheads, acne scars and lot more. Honey is also helpful in treating

common sore throat due to viral infections.

According to the NIH, if you drinking warm tea with honey, it can help you reduce the

signs of strep throat and give you relief. Some preliminary studies have shown that

honey may possess bacteria-fighting properties. However, it’s not known whether it

can combat Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria or not.

I have tried drinking ginger tea mixed with honey and a teaspoon of lemon juice and it

has worked for me in easing the pain.

2. Gargle With Warm Salt Water To Soothe Your


Gargling with warm salt water is the most common home remedy for a sore throat.

My Mom used to advise me to gargle when I had strep throat after taking antibiotics




Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning Signs Of Strep Throat

to ease pain in throat. It did provide me some relief.

When you’re infected with strep throat, the mucous membranes get inflamed and

swollen. Gargling with salt water will help in decreasing the swelling as the major

function of salt is to draw out water.

As water will be drawn out, your swollen cells will shrink and you’ll be relieved from

the pain. You may think that this home remedy for strep throat is any old wives’ tale,

but it can work wonders in providing relief.

3. Suck On Some OTC Throat Lozenges

OTC Throat Lozenges Can Give You Temporary Relief From Painful Throat

You can easily get OTC throat lozenges from the nearby chemist shop. These herbal

throat lozenges contain analgesics like honey or lemon that can provide you soothing

effect. You can also consume lozenges containing anesthetics to treat strep throat.

I’ll advise you not to consume lozenges containing anesthetics for more than 2-3




Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning Signs Of Strep Throat

days. If you think you only have a sore throat and consume them, it could mask

infection due to strep bacteria that require medical intervention.

You can also buy throat sprays containing ingredients similar to the lozenges.

NOTE: You shouldn’t give lozenges to young children as they can choke on


4. Use Cool-Mist Humidifiers To Get Rid Of Strep Throat

Using cool-mist humidifiers moisten the air and can help in relieving dry and painful

throat. I’ll advise you to properly clean it on a regular basis as bacteria and molds can

thrive in them.

5. Use OTC Pain Medications

You can use OTC medications to reduce pain and fever

If you want to reduce the signs of strep throat (fever and throat pain,) use some of the

OTC pain medications. Acetaminophen is a common medication that is available in the




Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning Signs Of Strep Throat

pharmacy shop.

However, you should make sure that you don’t consume it in excess because

consuming too much of it can cause liver damage. Ibuprofen is another effective

medicine available OTC that can help in relieving pain.

CAUTION: Don’t take these OTC medications for more than 2-3 days and

carefully read the instructions. You can consult doctor or pharmacist

regarding its dosage.

6. Drink Herbal Teas To Soothe Your Painful Throat

You may drink herbal teas containing ingredients such as licorice to relieve your

painful, inflamed throat and reduce the signs of strep throat. According to a 2009

study, patients who gargled with licorice felt relief in their throats.

7. Gargle with Apple Cider Vinegar




Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning Signs Of Strep Throat

Apple Cider Vinegar for Strep Throat

Gargling with the diluted solution of Apple cider vinegar is believed to be effective due

to its antibacterial properties. You can mix 1-3 teaspoons of ACV in 8oz of water. Use

this mixture to gargle 3-4 times a day. If you’re interested in reading other health

benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, you can read our previous post.

Valuable Tips To Get Rid Of Strep Throat Fast




Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning Signs Of Strep Throat

Stay hydrated during strep throat

1. Drink Lots Of Water

Drinking lots of water will not only prevent dehydration, but will also keep your throat

moist. Keeping your throat moist will help in relieving the pain while swallowing food.

It’s advised that you drink lukewarm water rather than water at room temperature.

2. Sleep For A Few Extra Hours

In addition to your normal eight hours of sleep, you should aim to sleep for a few

extra hours during the day. It’ll give your immune system enough time and resources

to combat the streptococcal bacteria with the help of the antibiotics. When you’re

sleeping, make sure you cover yourself with a blanket.

3. Keep An Eye On What You Eat

You should avoid eating dry, rough foods and spicy foods because it’ll only irritate

your inflamed throat. When the symptoms of strep throat are at its peak, you’ll not

feel like eating. It is advised that you should eat soft foods like yogurt, soups, soft-

cooked eggs, etc. because they’ll not much hurt your throat.




4. Stay Away From Throat Irritants

Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning Signs Of Strep Throat

If you come in contact with irritants like air pollution and cigarette smoke, it can

worsen your sore throat symptoms. If you’re a regular smoker, then don’t smoke

cigarettes until you recover. You should also avoid secondhand smoke because it can

hurt your throat more than before.

TIP: Try to quit smoking if you’re a regular smoker.

5. Stay Isolated For At least A Day After Taking Antibiotics

You may already know that Strep throat is extremely contagious. Your doctor will also

advise you to stay at home and avoid going to school, college or work. People who are

near you will be at risk of catching the infection.

After 24 hours of taking antibiotics, you’ll no longer be contagious and signs of strep

throat will start decreasing.

How To Prevent Strep Throat?




Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning Signs Of Strep Throat

Prevention is better than cure

The best way to prevent strep throat from bothering you is to stay away from the

person you know is infected with strep throat.

When you’re in a place where there is any infected person, you should wash your

hands properly and frequently with soap or hand wash. If it’s possible, try to wash

your hands with warm water because people frequently touch their faces or nose

and bacteria can easily be transmitted.

It may sound rude, but don’t let any infected person to sneeze or cough without

covering his or her mouth and nose with a handkerchief. Normally, the bacteria are

transmitted via air passage at this point.

Your mother may have told you that sharing is caring. It’s true in most cases, but if

anyone has been infected with strep throat in your family, don’t share anything

with them, including glass, plates, towels etc.

If the infected person is your family member, then you should always keep his/her

eating utensils and drinking glasses separate from the rest of the family. Make sure

that those utensils are washed properly in hot water.

Final Words

After reading the article, you must have understood that you can’t ignore the warning

signs of strep throat. Once again, I would like to remind you that please don’t ditch

your medications before completing the antibiotics course.

If you find our article helpful, then don’t forget to share it with your friends because

they can misinterpret strep throat as common sore throat. You can also share your

experience of dealing this annoyance in the comments section below.

FAQs Related to Strep Throat

For how long does strep throat last?

Read the answer here.

What does strep throat look like?

The symptoms or signs of strep throat are the indicators of what strep throat looks




Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning Signs Of Strep Throat


How do you get strep throat?

Get your answer here.

Is it possible that I have sore throat but no fever?

Yes, it’s possible. As there are many possible causes of sore throat without other

symptoms like fever, runny nose, and cough.

Because, sometimes throat can become irritated from eating too spicy food or

smoking. If you can identify anything like this and eliminate it, the soreness should

get better.

Another reason would be acid reflux or heartburn. When the acid in the stomach

washes up into the throat, it might cause a mild chemical burn which leads to


This could be strep throat also, which is characterized by bad sore throat without

accompanying cold symptoms. It is more likely if you also have swollen glands and

enlarged tonsils in your neck.

Finally, this can be just the start of common cold. As sometimes, sore throat will

proceed the other symptoms by a few days.

How to cure strep throat?

There are many home remedies to ease out the symptoms of strep throat. And if

nothing works, seek the help of your doctor.

How contagious is strep throat?

It is moderately contagious.

What is the incubation period of strep throat?

The incubation period varies from person to person. However, it usually lasts between




Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning Signs Of Strep Throat

1-5 days. Most of the people, during their incubation period, are not even aware that

they’re contaminated.

How is strep throat spread?

Here is your answer.

Sore throat on one side, what does that mean?

I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but if you’ve sore throat only on one side

then you might be Peritonsillar Abscess or Quinsy.

Can you get strep throat without tonsils?

Yes and here is how:

The main accused in this case is the structure inside your throat. There are 4 main

clusters of lymph tissues in your throat – Eustachian tube tonsils, Pharyngeal tonsils,

Lingual tonsils and Palatine toils.

When any of these tissues are infected by streptococcus bacteria, it can cause strep

throat and you’ve to bear all the pain that goes with it.

Is strep throat dangerous during pregnancy?

No, it’s not dangerous while you’re carrying a baby but you’ve to do something about

the fever. As it is not good for the baby, especially in first trimester when fetal organs

are forming.

So, try to bring down your temperature ASAP.

How to know if I have strep throat?

You’ll get to know about it from its specific signs of strep throat.

Can allergies cause sore throat?

Of course yes. But when your throat is irritated by an allergic reaction to airborne




Ultimate Guide To Combat Warning Signs Of Strep Throat

particles such as pollen, then its treatment becomes a little complicated.

Therefore,addressing the exact cause of your allergies can help you get rid of sore

throat once and for all.

Is strep throat airborne?

Read the answer here.

Can wisdom tooth cause sore throat?

Yes, a wisdom tooth infection along with the pain, might also cause sore throat and

swollen lymph glands under the jaw.

Is it normal to have sore throat after smoking weed?

Of course yes, as it is the effect of drawing in hot dry air down your throat. And this

air irritates the mucous lining of your throat because you’re drying it out, thus

causing a sore throat.