Strep Throat Symptoms and Diagnosis

Are you experiencing a sore throat, fever, and difficulty swallowing? These could be signs of strep throat - a bacterial infection that affects people of all ages. While it is common among children and teenagers, but adults are not immune to this highly contagious infection. Strep throat can cause serious complications if left untreated, making it crucial to know its symptoms and how to diagnose it. In this blog post, we'll guide you through the telltale signs of strep throat so that you can seek medical attention promptly and get on the road to recovery faster!


Throat Pain − This goes without saying that the first and foremost symptom of strep throat is soreness in the throat. While many argue that a sore throat can also be due to a cold, it's important to understand under what circumstances a person has a sore throat. If you have a sore throat without any visible signs of a cold already, there is a high chance that you might be suffering from strep throat. Another important thing to remember is that a sore throat from a cold comes with a runny nose. So, you can also consider running nose a factor while deciding on strep throat. This also explains why washing hands regularly is considered one way to avoid strep throat.

Pain − If you're facing pain while swallowing, it's a common sign that you will develop strep throat. This happens for the simple reason that in strep throat, our tonsils get swollen. This also results in pain while swallowing. Hence, if you're starting to experience pain while drinking or swallowing, there is a high chance you might develop strep throat.

Fever and/or chills − Another early symptom of strep throat is developing a fever along with experiencing chills. A person first develops a sore throat without any symptoms, which is followed by a fever. The person might also experience chills. It’s important to know that the temperature would be the highest on the second day of the infection.

Loss of Appetite and Abdominal Pain − The person with strep throat also loses their appetite. This is rather a symptom that generally results due to other symptoms. For example, if a person is already experiencing pain while swallowing, they would simply not want to eat since they have pain. However, a person might lose their appetite without any existing throat pain. The person would start to lose appetite and experience abdominal pain. It is important to check the symptoms and not mistake them for other common issues like stomachache or acidity.

Headache − A person developing or having strep throat might also experience headaches and a voice change. They might get a hoarse and rough voice. While these symptoms are more prevalent in children, many adults also complain about headaches and a change in their voice when they develop strep throat or if it is still developing. Thus, any symptoms should not be ignored and should be taken properly.


Medical Care − The first and rather the most obvious thing that can be done to diagnose strep throat is to consult a doctor. One of the main reasons consulting a doctor is one of the best ways of diagnosis is because the doctor would consider all the symptoms while doing the checkup. As rational humans, we tend to ignore or mistake the symptoms for other common issues. For instance, we can mistake the headache for a normal one, while a doctor can determine the exact cause for the headache and see if any other symptoms support it too.

Strep Test − If a doctor thinks you might have strep throat, their next action is to make you take a strep test. A strep test is one of the easiest ways to diagnose strep throat. The doctors would take a long cotton swab and swab the back of your throat. This sample is simply tested to check for bacteria in your throat. Based on the results, the doctor can easily check and make out if you have strep throat or even developing one. This test is easily available, and even the reports for this take just around 5 – 10 minutes.

Throat Culture Another way to diagnose strep throat is Throat Culture. This test is done for better clarity. Simply put, a doctor may prescribe you to take the strep test and wait for the results. If the results come out negative, the doctor might take another sample from your throat with the swab, called the Throat Culture, and send it to an outside laboratory for a second opinion. This is mainly done with severe symptoms, or the doctors feel there is a high risk of developing serious complications. One of the common examples of this is rheumatic fever. Primarily children have more risk of developing rheumatic fever, and for this simple reason, a doctor might go for Throat Culture. It's important to understand that a doctor doesn't need to do a throat Culture if the reports are negative. Throat Culture simply depends on the reports and the decision of the doctor.

Home Remedies for Strep Throat

Strep throat is a painful illness that can be hard to manage, but luckily many home remedies can help provide relief. Gargling with salt water can reduce inflammation and clear away bacteria to soothe an irritated throat. Drinking warm liquids like tea or broth can also help reduce the pain and fight infection. Adding honey or lemon to your tea is an additional way to ease discomfort and make it more enjoyable. Eating lighter, softer foods like yoghurt or soup is also beneficial since they tend to be easier on the throat than harder, crunchy foods. A steaming shower with eucalyptus essential oils can help open up inflamed airways for better breathing. Lastly, propping the head up on extra pillows at night will aid in breathing and give you a more restful sleep!


Strep throat is a common but serious infection that can be difficult to diagnose without the help of a doctor. Knowing the signs and symptoms of strep throat and what tests are available for diagnosis can help you ensure prompt treatment at an early stage if possible. If you suspect that you may have strep throat, it is important to seek medical attention right away to avoid complications. With proper diagnosis and treatment, most cases of strep throat can be dealt with quickly and effectively.