Complications of Strep Throat

Strep throat, which causes a painful, scratchy sore throat, impacts individuals of any ages. The majority of sore throats are triggered by a virus and typically solve on their own, however strep throat results from a bacterial infection of the throat and requires timely treatment. A strep infection left without treatment causes complications, such as a rash, and can even result in kidney swelling.

Strep Throat Complications & Tonsillitis

Grownups with strep throat may experience a problem that influences the tonsils– lymph nodes located on the top of the throat. The tonsils assist the body by straining bacteria, therefore preventing infection. When the tonsils have problem straining the strep bacteria, they swell and become swollen, resulting in tonsillitis. Symptoms of tonsillitis include reddened, swollen tonsils with white spots, inflammation of the jaw and throat when touched, problem swallowing, fever and headache. Antibiotics are used to fight the infection.

The University of Maryland Medical Center reports symptoms typically subside in two to three days after initiation of antibiotic therapy. Generally, one course of antibiotics remedies the infection although some tonsillitis infections need more than one course.

Strep Throat Complications & Scarlet Fever

A neglected strep infection frequently leads to the complication referred to as scarlet fever. Scarlet fever associateds with currently existing symptoms of strep throat, reports the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Scarlet fever starts as a red rash, usually on the chest and abdomen, before topping most of the body. The rash include tiny bumps that feel like sandpaper when touched. The skin folds, if impacted, become a darker red color. The tongue shows a strawberry-red color and the face appears flushed.

complications of strep throat

complications of strep throat if untreated

We suggest medical treatment when any signs and symptoms of strep throat or complications are identified.

Strep Throat Complications & Post-streptococcal Glomerulonephritis in Adults

According to Medline Plus, after an untreated strep infection, the kidneys end up being infected with the strep bacteria, leading to the disorder referred to as post-streptococcal GN. The infection affects kidney function, which causes swelling and issues with filtering urine.

Symptoms of post-streptococcal GN include a reduction in urine output, urine with visible blood, a swelling of the abdominal area, face, or eyes and swelling of the lower extremities, such as the feet or ankles. Other symptoms connected with the disorder impact the joints, triggering pain and tightness.

Medline Plus reports no particular treatment for post-streptococcal GN but antibiotics are necessary to ruin any staying strep bacteria present in the body. Grownups dealing with post-streptococcal GN as an outcome of an unattended strep infection normally find the condition solves itself within a few weeks or months, however in some the condition progresses into chronic kidney failure.


A strep infection can cause pain in the sinuses and throat. When left unattended, you may end up handling strep throat complications, which can be rather major.

Last Update - September 21, 2017


The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures. Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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