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Why is Strep Throat Different from a Sore Throat?

Strep throats and sore throats are both very common conditions to deal with but confusing the two could lead to longer recovery times and worse symptoms. Strep throat almost always causes a sore throat, but not every sore throat is caused by strep throat. Let’s take a look at some of the things that will help determine if you have strep throat or just a sore throat. 

What is Strep Throat? 

Strep throat is a type of sore throat caused by a bacterial infection. Strep throat is most common in young children and the symptoms come on very quickly. Strep throat often causes: 

  • Fever
  • body aches
  • difficulty swallowing
  • red or white patches on the roof of the mouth and back of the throat
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • nausea 
  • runny nose
  • cough

Key Differences

The biggest difference between a sore throat and strep throat is that only a strep throat is caused by a bacterial infection. A normal sore throat tends to come on more gradually than strep throat does. Sore throats also don’t cause fevers, red or white splotches, and any of the other symptoms listed above. A sore throat can be caused by a variety of factors ranging from seasonal allergies to a common cold, and even breathing dry air. Sore throats tend to get better on their own over time without the use of prescription medications and antibiotics. 

Treating Strep Throat 

Before a strep throat can be treated, it needs to be diagnosed. Strep throat is diagnosed using a simple swab test along the back of your throat. In addition to the swab test, the physician will ask you to describe your symptoms and examine your throat. Once you’ve been diagnosed with strep throat, you’ll be prescribed an antibiotic to clear the bacterial infection. You may also be able to take over the counter pain relievers and throat lozenges to soothe your symptoms until the antibiotics begin to work. Remember to take your antibiotic until it’s gone, even if your symptoms begin to improve after a couple of days of treatment. 

Walk-In Strep Throat Treatment in Aberdeen, Matawan & Morganville, NJ

If you’re in need of diagnosis and treatment for your strep throat, AFC Urgent Care Aberdeen is the best option for quick and effective care that you can afford. Our center accepts most major health insurance plans, and walk-in patients are welcome seven days a week for efficient care. If you think there’s a chance you have strep throat, don’t delay treatment any longer, stop in today! For questions, please call 732-583-5100.