Streptococcus group is a type of bacteria that causes strep throat, or a strep infection of the throat. This is typically thought of as a childhood illness, since it happens much more frequently in kids. Aside from pain or discomfort, people who experiencing recurring strep throat may miss several days at school or work; sometimes, a surgery is needed. Figure out the possible causes of strep throat that recurs and how you can treat it here.
What Is Recurring Strep Throat?
Strep throat that isn't cured after just one round of antibiotics or occurs several times each year can be deemed as recurring strep throat. Someone who develops strep throat again and again can also have a strep throat that recurs.
Experts now know that strep throat that recurs can be due to one of more than one factors. In some cases, you contract bacteria in resistant form or the antibiotic failed for certain reason. It is also possible that you have a weak immune system or you or a family member of you is a strep carrier.
What Causes Recurring Strep Throat?
1. Antibiotic Resistance
Many people are diagnosed with recurring strep throat because the type of strep they contracted is resistant to the antibiotic the doctor prescribed. Or, the antibiotic failsto work due to incorrect dosage or allergy.
2. Weak Immune System
A large number of those with recurring strep will also have a weak immune system, such as those undergoing chemotherapy, diagnosed with AIDS or HIV, or those on a corticosteroid. With a weak immune system, people may find it hard to fight against the strep bacteria, therefore the strep throat will occur again and again.
3. Carry Strep Throat Bacteria
Other people have strep throat recur because they or someone they contact often carries the bacteria that causes it. Many people have these bacteria in their throat yet not showing the symptoms and they are known as carriers.
How to Deal With Recurring Strep Throat
1. Wait to Grow Out Naturally
There have been numerous observational studies showing that children naturally experience a decrease in strep throat infections over the course of time. In fact, without severe symptoms, this is so common that tonsillectomies are rarely recommended for just a throat infection.
2. Turn to Antibiotics
Antibiotics for strep throat not only can help to prevent strep throat in healthy people, but also works to shorten the duration of the disease by around 16 hours.In some cases, however, antibiotics won't make sense since they kill beneficial bacteria as well as those that cause strep, increasing the risk of fungal or viral infections.
3. Take the Right Antibiotics
There are many different antibiotics used to treat recurring strep throat. It is quite essential to take the right antibiotics.
- Penicillin and Amoxicillin. Penicillincan be administered via injection if the patient is a young child and suffering from vomiting and hard swallowing. Amoxicillin, similar to penicillin, is more preferred for giving to kids with better taste in the form of a chewable tablet.
- Amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (Augmentin) has been evaluated to treat strep throat with superior or equivalent results in comparison to penicillin.
- Acute and recurrent strep throat can be treated with rifampin or clindamycin combined with amoxicillin, penicillin or cephalosporin. Yet, remember that regular usage of clindamycin, although rare, can cause diarrhea.
- Rifampin should always be used with another antibiotic, since strep quickly becomes resistant to it when used alone. As for side effects, rifampin can leads to orange discoloration of tears and urine.
- Oral cephalosporin, including Keflex, ceftin, Cedax,is growing in popularity for treating recurrent strep throat and the failure rate can be less than 5%. They are, however, more expensive.
4. Self-Care Tips
If your child has recurring strep throat, there are some simple things you should do to support your kid.
- Always make sure that you do have a strep throat. Don't take antibiotics if your doctor simply says it looks bad but doesn't test for strep throat using a swab.
- Take the entire dose of medication, even if the symptoms are gone. Make a chart or set an alarm if you have to.
- Change your child's toothbrush when your child is halfway done with their course of antibiotics. An alternative is to put the toothbrush in the dishwasher.
- Practice routine hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently.
- Be patient and wait for him to get better.
When Is a Tonsillectomy Needed?
A doctor will typically only suggest a tonsillectomy if people experience 6 or more severe cases of strep throat within one year. The procedure will reduce the frequency with which the patient experiences sore throats as well as strep throats in particular for two or three years following surgery.Severe cases will need to have at least one of the following factors:a positive strep throat test; white spots along the tonsils; tender, enlarged lymph nodes of the neck; an oral temperature of 101 Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) or higher.
The expected risks of a tonsillectomy include some bleeding, which is common, particularly when the healed scab on top of the cut falls off.
It is less common or rare to experience more serious bleeding, breathing problems related to the surgery, or anesthetic complications.