What Happens If Strep Throat Goes Untreated?

If you've ever had strep throat, you know the pain that comes with it is nearly impossible to ignore. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this type of infection often comes with a fever, swollen tonsils and lymph nodes, difficulty swallowing without pain, and tiny red spots on the roof of the mouth.

As stated by the Mayo Clinic, strep throat is caused by a specific type of bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes. It might be hard to track down where you got it from, as it is contagious and can be transmitted by grazing infected surface areas. You can also get it from the cough or sneeze droplets from an infected individual. As uncomfortable as the symptoms of strep throat can be, you may try to tough it out and hope it goes away after a few days. Before you put on a brave face and tell yourself that the pain is not that bad, you might want to reconsider. Here's what happens if you let strep throat go untreated.

Strep throat bacteria can spread in your body

If you see a doctor and test positive for strep throat, WebMD states that you will likely be prescribed penicillin or amoxicillin, two types of antibiotics that are effective against strep bacteria. Even after you get the prescribed medicine you need, you should also take it upon yourself to rest as much as possible post-diagnosis. To help you rest comfortably, you can also consider over-the-counter medicines to ease the uncomfortable symptoms.

It can be inconvenient to drop out of your daily life for the necessary time it takes to recover from strep throat, but it is definitely worth it. Unfortunately, the bacteria that causes strep throat is not the type that will isolate itself. According to the Mayo Clinic, if left untreated, this bacteria can spread and cause an infection in your tonsils, skin, blood, sinuses, and the middle of your ear. In addition, it can also cause an inflammatory reaction and lead to life-threatening conditions such as scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, and inflamed kidneys.

If you suspect you have strep throat, don't put on a brave face and try to tough it out. Consider making an appointment with your doctor at the first sign of symptoms. This can get on the road to recovery quicker, and help you avoid the serious implications of the bacteria spreading.