Red streaks in the throat are common this time of year. Here’s what you need to know.
It’s that time of year for many in our region: sore throat season. If you have red streaks in your throat, pain or swelling in the throat or other symptoms, you may wonder is it strep? Read on to learn some of the common causes and what do to about a sore throat or red streaks in the throat.
Common sore throat causes
Pharyngitis (more commonly known as a sore throat) is a symptom of many conditions. Sore throat comes from inflammation of the pharynx in the back of the mouth at the opening of the throat.
Viruses such as the common cold, mononucleosis or the flu can cause sore throat. New variants of CoVid may also have a sore throat present. Some sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can have sore throats associated with them, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia.
Reasons for sore throat not caused by germs include dry indoor air, allergies, smoking, pollution, chronic rhinitis and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) — all of which can irritate the tissues of the throat.
Do I have strep throat?
Streptococcus bacterium (strep throat) causes a bacterial infection that can clear on its own or be treated with antibiotics. If you have any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with a provider for a quick in-office or drive-thru test.
- Tiny red bumps on the roof of your mouth
- White or red streaks in the back of the throat or on the tonsils
- Tender or swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Sore throat without also a runny nose, pinkeye, cough or hoarseness
- Fine bright pink rash on the body
- High fever (over 101° F)
Your provider may test you for other viruses as well if you are experiencing other symptoms. It’s easy to confuse viral sore throat with strep throat but treatment of each is different. Your provider will be able to confirm your diagnosis and guide you to the appropriate treatment. Strep is often treated with antibiotics to decrease how long you feel sick and to prevent the bacteria from spreading to others.