Recurring Strep Throat In Adults: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Streptococcal throat infection is very common infection in children, but it can also affect adults. Streptococci are gram positive bacteria and are most common pathogens to cause throat problems. Strep throat is often confused with sore throat, but the symptoms and consequences have vast difference.

Strep throat is mostly caused due to Group A streptococcus bacteria. Many adults get recurrent strep throat infection that may not only affect their work, but can have serious implications on their health.

What Causes Recurring Strep Throat In Adults?

Episodes of strep throat in adults can recur for following reasons.

  • Weak immunity: Healthy immunity plays an important role in warding off infection. It prevents proliferation of pathogens that cause damage in the body. However, if your immunity is low, number of microorganisms can attack your body to produce diseases. One of the reasons for recurring strep throat infection in adults is weak immunity. People suffering from certain diseases such as HIV, AIDS, cancer are at greater risk of contracting repeated strep throat infection. It is also common in people whose immune system is compromised due to chemotherapy or long term use of corticosteroids.
  • Drug resistance: Several strains of bacteria have become resistant to many drugs. If you are resistant to a specific group of antibiotic that has been prescribed by the physician, you are likely to suffer recurring episodes of strep throat. Sometimes the dosage of antibiotic may be incorrect. Low dosage of antibiotic may not be sufficient in eradicating group A streptococcus. Often drug resistance develops as patient does not complete the course of antibiotic that has been prescribed.
  • Strep carrier: Many people suffer from recurrent strep infection because they unknowingly are exposed to a close carrier of the germs.
    Carriers are those individuals who carry the germs in their throat without manifesting any symptoms.

Symptoms Of Strep Throat In Adults

After entering into the body, streptococcus bacteria manifest its symptoms within 3 to 5 days. Patient develops flushed face with high fever. Fever is accompanied with chills and sweating. The throat is painful and congested. It is inflamed and edematous. Sometimes yellowish thick layer is seen on the back of throat or on the tonsils. Lymph nodes in neck become large and tender.

Patient also complains of severe headache, rapid pulse and pain while swallowing solid or liquid. If voice box is affected patient may have hoarseness of voice. Streptococcus may spread to nearby tissue to cause complications such as paranasal sinusitis, pus and inflammation in ear, and in rare cases acute rheumatic fever.

Treatment Options For Recurrent Strep Throat

One of the main criteria of treating recurring streptococcus throat infection is to stop the repeated episodes. It is necessary to search the cause which is instrumental in causing recurrent strep pharyngitis.

  • If low immunity is the reason, extra care must be taken to protect the patient from contracting infection. He should stay away from crowded places. He has to quit smoking. Should avoid coming in contact with people who are suffering from strep infection.
  • Patient has to complete the course of antibiotics that are prescribed by the physician. He should not stop the medications in the middle even if he feels better. This will result in drug resistance and the antibiotic may not act upon the germs if there is recurrent episode.
  • Regular warm water gargling is beneficial in relieving pain in throat. Add pinch of salt to warm water. Salt has natural antibacterial quality which will help in eradicating the germs.
  • Patient suffering from frequent strep throat should eat foods to build stronger immune system. He should eat foods and fruits that contain vitamin C and B and other essential nutrients. Green leafy vegetables, fruits, cereals, and pulses provide nutrients that help to boost immunity.