Diagnosing Strep Throat

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Pharyngitis, or strep throat, or sore throat, are all terms that we use interchangeably, but actually, not every sore throat is a strep throat. Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by the Streptococcus bacteria. That bacteria actually needs to be treated with an antibiotic. Believe it or not, in most cases, you don’t need an antibiotic for treatment. In most cases, it’s a viral origin. Now, how do doctors tell that? The best way to tell is through a test to see if there is a bacterium. If there is a bacterial infection, then doctors go ahead and treat it with an antibiotic.

 

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Causes of Pink Eye

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It’s called pink eye. The medical term is conjunctivitis, and when conjunctivitis occurs, it basically causes red or pink eyes. There is an inflammation of the conjunctiva. Antibiotics can be used and it is the topical antibiotic applied directly to the eye that is the most effective at treating pink eye. Pink eye is caused by a virus and it can sometimes be confused with allergy symptoms.

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Treating Throat Infections

Sore-Throat

When medical experts talked about sore throats and pharyngitis, it used to be very simple.  They would begin treatment with an antibiotic because doctors felt that was the most effective way to treat the throat infection.  But what researchers are learning, in many cases, is it’s not necessary to prescribe an antibiotic.  In fact, in many cases, a throat infection might be due to a viral origin and an antibiotic really isn’t that helpful at all. It’s one of those things doctors started to learn over time and are realizing that they have to take their time figuring out what treatments there are before they aggressively go at it.  

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Ear Infections Are a Part of Childhood

Ear Infections Are a Part of Childhood

There are many causes of ear infections. Ear infections can be frustrating because they can come and go, but we’re learning more and more that viral infections are by far more common than bacterial as causes of ear infections, so we don’t have to treat with antibiotics as often as we used to. That’s a very important point…to make sure we are evaluating children the way we should and that we’re not overdoing it with the medications. Ear infections are a part of growing up and it has to do with the Eustachian tube and the way that infectious agents can get there.

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Treating Pharyngitis (A Sore Throat)

Treating Pharyngitis (A Sore Throat)

Pharyngitis is often treated with antibiotics and, in those cases, it should because we’re dealing with strep or other bacteria that can cause long-term problems. But sometimes we have a viral cause of pharyngitis and in those cases, we don’t necessarily need to have an antibiotic; we actually need to counsel the patient. In other words, when you go see the doctor, you may not always get an antibiotic for your sore throat, or your child may not. We know that’s difficult to understand because we used to give it reflexively, but now we understand that we don’t want to overuse those antibiotics and in some cases, we don’t have to.

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Evaluating Ear Pain

Evaluating Ear Pain

Otitis usually occurs in children, but many older women who tell physicians, “I’m having trouble with my ears, I feel pressure” and they think they have the old classic ear infection, the otitis. Well, in many cases what they really have is not otitis. They have a sinus infection or a problem where they feel pressure in the ears. Obviously, in many cases we don’t need antibiotics for either and in some cases we do, but they can be evaluated by your family doctor who can look at it and make a determination and talk it over with you.

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Overuse of Antibiotics

Overuse of Antibiotics

Antibiotics are certainly effective tools and they have revolutionized people’s lives and their lifespan. Antibiotics are clearly one of the best ways that we can deal with problems in life. However, we have been overusing many antibiotics and as a result, there’s a greater role for antibiotic resistance. Many of the drugs we use just don’t work the way they used to because we’ve overused them in the past. We have to be careful about not using them unnecessarily.

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