Is This Strep Throat?

Are you worried you might have “strep throat”? How can you tell when it is time to head to your family doctor for a sore throat? Certainly the majority of sore throats are not caused by the streptococcus bacteria, and do not require antibiotics. In fact, seasonal allergies often cause extremely painful throats, but do not involve bacterial infection at all. While there is very little in medicine that is completely black and white, there are several clues to clinicians that a particular sore throat may be caused by strep (and therefore, respond quickly to antibiotics.)

Typically with strep infections, … Read more

Can’t Swallow That?

Difficulty swallowing, known medically as “dysphagia”, is a very common complaint. In fact, up to nearly a quarter of patients seen in primary care settings will suffer from this problem. Dysphagia is definitely more common in the older population, whether they are in nursing homes or living independently.

What causes dysphagia? The most common cause depends on the age. In small kids, there may be structural problems present from birth that may need surgical correction. In adults, however, the cause is often something that can be fixed more simply, with medications and/or behavior changes.

Smoking, excess alcohol, and obesity all … Read more