Any run of the mill ailment generally gets ignored by us or receives some home treatment at the most. Strep throat is one of those conditions that generally come and go once or twice in a year during the change of season, without having us visit doctors.
However, a simple and innocent strep throat can lead to a bigger problem if it keeps coming back shortly. It is a warning your body sends to tell you that all is not well, and it’s time you see a doctor.
Strep throat is a type of inflammation and pain in the throat caused by a bacterial infection that affects people of all ages. However, young children and aged people are more likely to fall because of less immunity and ease of catching infection. Chances are that you may have experienced strep throat and therefore are aware of its symptoms. However, it is still worth a look at the symptoms listed below to stay aware and take prompt action in case they keep coming back.
If your strep throat symptoms recur for more than seven times in a single year then it’s considered a tonsillectomy which requires surgery. But even after surgery strep throat returns to some people. The reasons for the recurring strep throats are -
The researchers in CDC (Centers For Disease Control And Prevention) point out that it is not possible to diagnose a strep throat condition from the symptoms or by looking at your throat because often they are similar to the symptoms of sore throat. Instead, the healthcare professionals insist that you take the tests called ‘rapid strep test’ and a ‘throat culture’ at your local ‘family care center’ to see if your problems are really because of the strep bacteria.
The ‘rapid strep test’ involves using a quick swab of the back of your throat that gives results in minutes. If the test results come positive it means that the treatment should start quickly. A throat culture is recommended to be more sure when the results of ‘rapid strep test’ comes negative.
Rheumatic fever- Untreated or chronic strep throat may lead to a serious complication called Acute Rheumatic fever (ARF), in which the bacteria reside in the tonsils and promote a immune system disturbance called persistent immune response.
As a result, the immune system mistakenly attack the joints, and heart valves, causing a condition of inflammation and acute pain called ‘arthritis’ and heart failure.
Kidney problems - Untreated or chronic strep throat may also result in kidney inflammation (post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis or PSGN) caused by the immune process malfunction which results in immune attack on the kidneys.
Tonsillectomy - Mostly children are treated with this surgery. If a child gets repeated strep throat (more than seven times in a year) it may be necessary to remove his / her tonsils through surgery. However, it has to be diagnosed as a genuine case of strep throat using the test methods mentioned above. The required criteria for tonsillectomy are as follow -
Strep throat can still occur in children even after their tonsil surgeries, but the frequency and severity will be much less.