Having a strep throat is unfortunately quite common in both adults and children. What is less normal is to have recurring strep throat. This is a bacterial infection after all.
If you or your kids are constantly getting infected, it can be a sign that something is amiss. Spending a lot of time with someone who carries the infection is the primary reason for recurring strep throat. Nevertheless, it can also indicate a weak immune system, a resistance to antibiotics or that the bacteria causing the inflammation is of a different type than initially thought.
Reasons for having recurring strep throat in adults
For adults, the most common cause of recurring strep throat is treatment neglect. It’s easy to stop taking the antibiotics once you’re feeling better, but it’s important to finish the treatment plan.
Even after the symptoms are gone, there are still remaining bacteria that require fighting off. If the treatment plan is not carried out the exact way a doctor prescribed, you are at a higher risk for recurring strep throat.
Additionally, you may be around someone who is a carrier. While this cause is more common in children, it does happen in adults as well. It isn’t always easy to figure out if someone around you is a carrier, though. There is a good chance they don’t even know themselves.
Causes of recurrent strep throat in children
Strep throat is common in children from age 5-15. The exact reason that recurrent strep throat develops isn’t exactly known. It is most likely due to frequent contact and proximity with carriers.
As soon as a child gets strep throat it won’t take long for his or her friends with whom he or she spends the day at school or daycare to get one too. As the infection takes turns, it won’t be long until the first carrier to get it again.
You can try and limit how often your child gets strep throat by practicing prevention methods, such as:
- Make sure they wash their hands (properly).
- Keep them away from anyone you know is a carrier.
- Keep them away from anyone who appears sick.
- Don’t let them share a glass or utensil with anyone.
- Don’t let them put any foreign object in their mouth.
- Don’t let them touch their eye/mouth/nose after touching a foreign object.
- Make sure they cover their mouth when they cough.
- Make sure they proper wipe their nose when they sneeze.
- Make sure your child knows what causes the infection and how to try and prevent it.
Please note that white spots on your child’s tonsils are not always an indication of strep as other bacteria can be causing the inflammation. Talk to your doctor about all the possibilities in order to keep your child healthy.
The most common treatment method for strep throat is an antibiotic prescribed by your doctor, like penicillin and amoxicillin. You must take the antibiotics exactly as they are prescribed, for the entire duration, as it is the only way to ensure their effectiveness.
Strep throat infections should be treated as quickly as possible to avoid getting bedridden. Moreover, is left untreated for long there are several complications that may result, such as rheumatic fever or damage to the kidneys.
There are several effective home remedies for strep throat that you can try out to help with the symptoms and to speed up recovery. Regardless, an antibiotic is still required to eliminate the bacteria that it’s causing the infection.
In severe cases, your doctor may advise surgery. There are many complications that may arise from this decision, so it’s best as a last resort.
Essential oils and strep throat
If you have recurring strep throat it is useful to know some essential oils that can provide temporary relief from symptoms in a natural way. This is an aromatherapy treatment. All you need to do is add two drops of oil into a diffuser and breath in its aroma.
Peppermint – Since peppermint has anti-inflammatory properties, it can be used to reduce the swelling in the throat. In addition, it will provide some relief as peppermint can also be numbing.
Lemon – Used to fight off bacteria, lemon is a great way to encourage healing. It can provide relief by opening up breathing passages as well.
Thyme – Often used with individuals who have a weakened immune system, Thyme can help boost the ability to fight off infection. Along with boosting the immune system, Thyme promotes respiratory health with can help drastically when you have strep throat.
Spot the carrier
Since recurrent strep throat is mostly caused by frequent contact and proximity with a carrier, it is very important to spot the source. Sometimes, though, the symptoms can be absent which makes it harder to determine where the bacteria is hiding.
Be aware that your dog can also be a carrier! If you suspect Fido might be the “culprit”, make sure to take him to the vet to get his own antibiotics prescribed.