As you age, you’ll find that your immune system is not as strong as it used to be, meaning you might get sick more often. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of the illnesses that you might be more susceptible to can help you take the proper measures to get better as quickly as possible. For example, you might be more susceptible to getting strep throat, but you might not recognize this infection, because it is often mistaken for a simple sore throat. It’s important to recognize strep, because if it lasts for a week or more, it could leave you open to further infections and illnesses that can put your health and wellbeing at serious risk.
What Is Strep Throat?
Strep throat is a bacterial infection that lives in the nose and throat, and can make your throat feel sore and scratchy. It can also present as an upset stomach, though, and can even spread into infected sores on the skin. Strep throat can also cause complications such as:
- Kidney inflammation or disease
- Rheumatic fever, a type of heart disease
- Ear infection
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Sinus infections
- Abscesses around the tonsils or in the neck
Although strep throat is most common in children, it does affect people of all ages, including seniors.
Signs & Symptoms of Strep Throat
Because strep throat can turn into a serious issue, especially for seniors, it is important that you seek care from your doctor as soon as you experience any signs or symptoms, including the following:
- Throat pain that usually develops quickly and becomes severe almost immediately
- Pain when swallowing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swollen tonsils
- Redness and streaks, or patches of pus, on the tonsils.
- Red spots along the hard or soft palate of the roof of the mouth
- Swollen lymph nodes that are tender to the touch
- Aching throughout the body
If you experience any of the following, you need to see a doctor immediately:
- Painful lymph glands
- A high fever that persists for more than 48 hours
- A rash that appears along with a sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Lack of improvement after following doctor’s guidelines for medication and treatment after receiving a diagnosis of strep
If you are diagnosed with strep throat, your doctor will treat it with antibiotics, like penicillin or amoxicillin. The antibiotics will help shorten the length and severity of the illness, prevent bacteria from spreading to others, and prevent any serious complications like rheumatic fever from occurring.
Medicare Part B can help cover the cost of treatments for strep throat. Part B is medical insurance, which covers doctor visits, any necessary tests needed to make a diagnosis, and any therapy or medications. Medicare Part B will cover 80% of your medical services, but you will have to meet your Part B deductible, as well as pay for the 20% that Medicare does not cover.
If you need to be hospitalized for strep throat, Medicare Part A will cover the cost of the hospital stay and any in-patient rehab.
If you want extra coverage, you can opt to get an affordable Medicare Supplement Plan. Medicare Part B covers a lot, but as we pointed out above, it will only cover 80% of expenses, leaving you to pay the remaining 20% out-of-pocket. This can be quite expensive, especially if you are living on a fixed income, as many Medicare beneficiaries are. Fortunately, though, you can save money on medical expenses and get extra coverage by purchasing a Medicare Supplement Plan.
There are 10 different Medicare Supplement Plans to choose from, each offering different coverage options and rates. It’s worth looking into a Medicare Supplement Plan to save as much money as you can, so speak to an EZ agent for all of your options. EZ’s agents work with the top-rated insurance companies in the nation and can compare plans in minutes for you at no cost. To get free instant quotes for plans that cover your current doctors, simply enter your zip code in the bar on the side, or to speak to a licensed agent, call 888-753-7207.