Why You Shouldn't Let Your Teen's Strep Throat Go Untreated

Health & Medical Blog

When you're raising teenagers, you can feel like they're always complaining of some ache or mysterious symptom as they grow and experience rapid body changes. While it's true that your teen will recover from most sore throats without any specific care, a case of strep throat can turn into a much more serious threat without a round of antibiotics. Find out how to tell if testing is needed and what can happen to untreated strep throat.

Signs of Strep

Not every sore throat is being caused by an infection of Streptococcus bacteria. Signs that specifically point to this type of infection include:

  • A sudden onset of severe pain in the throat
  • Fever, usually above 101° F
  • Both red and white spots in the back of the throat and on the tonsils
  • Trouble swallowing, even after using throat numbing sprays and menthol cough drops
  • Stomach pain and nausea
  • Lymph node swelling in the front of the neck rather than the sides
  • Headache that comes and goes or persists the entire time.

Since sore throat is often a secondary symptom of a cold or the flu, ruling out secondary nasal symptoms and coughing will help you determine if it's a case of strep throat or not.

Complications of Infection

While adults often fight off the strep bacteria without even getting sick, teens under the age of 15 are particularly susceptible to the bacteria. Waiting more than a few days to see a doctor could allow the bacteria to spread to the sinuses, skin, middle ear, or even blood and create secondary infections that are potentially life threatening. It's also possible for a teen's body to react badly to the inflammation caused by the infection and create a far more serious condition. Poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis is a dangerous kidney inflammation disorder that occurs in reaction to untreated strep bacteria, leading to blood poisoning as the kidneys stop functioning. It's even believed that some neuropsychiatric disorders may be caused by strep throat and other infections of the bacteria.

Options for Treatment

It only takes a simple swab test to confirm if your teen has strep throat or just a scratchy sensation from talking too much or yelling at a concert or sporting event. When strep bacteria is detected, a quick round of targeted antibiotics wipes out the colonies before they can spread or cause secondary conditions and reactions. Don't wait to see if your child recovers on their own when a five minute test could prevent such serious potential risks. Contact a clinic like Rural Health Services Consortium Inc. to learn more.


23 March 2017

Staying in Great Health Requires Exercise

My parents taught me healthy eating habits and I played outside a lot as a kid. Once I was old enough to work, I got a job as a waiter at a restaurant and kept waiting tables throughout high school and college. After college, I got my very first desk job, and my health started declining. I soon realized that even though I had never stepped foot in a gym, I was living a sedentary lifestyle for the first time in my life. I wasn't getting exercise playing outside or running around at work, so I decided to commit to going to the gym. My health began to improve and I now greatly enjoy bodybuilding. I know many other people are in ill health and can't figure out why, so I decided to start a blog to share my health tips and inspire everyone improve their health!