It is common for people to have sore throat, but many people often ask if they can get strep without tonsils or not. They start looking for a clue when they have a sore, dry, and swollen throat for a week or so. It is usual to feel nauseous as well. They think they cannot get strep because they have already removed their tonsils. Are they justified in thinking that way? Can you get strep without tonsils? Let's find out the answer.

Can You Get Strep without Tonsils?

The simple answer is, "Yes, you can."

Strep throat refers to acute exudative tonsillopharyngitis. A bacterium called streptococcus pyogenes causes this infection and it can hurt a person even if they have removed their tonsils. The only thing is that people without tonsils are usually at a lower risk of developing this infection. You have four main clusters of lymph tissues in your throat – pharyngeal tonsils, Eustachian tube tonsils, lingual tonsils, and palatine tonsils. A band of tissue called Waldeyer's Ring surrounds the back of your throat. Any of these tissues can get infected and cause strep throat. Your doctor may consider removing all of the lymph tissue, but they usually remove pharyngeal tonsils only when you experience recurrent strep throat.

How to Get Rid of Strep Throat Quickly

Can you get strep without tonsils? Now that you have the answer, it is important to learn exactly how to rectify the issue.

Get Medical Assistance

Instead of asking, "Can you get strep throat without tonsils?" you should go see your doctor for assistance. If it is strep throat, it isn't going to go away in a few days, as it might be a bacterial infection and you may have to take antibiotics.


Follow Your Doctor's Advice

You need to pay attention to what your doctor suggests. You may have to take plenty of rest and use liquid antibiotics, because it's usually painful to swallow anything.


Get Some Sleep

You need to take plenty of rest and get some sleep as well. You need to rest to give your immune system enough time and resources to clear the infection. Add at least 4-5 hours of sleep during the daytime, and sleep at least eight hours at night. Turn overhead fans off or else it will lead to postnasal drip.


Gargle Several Times

Add some salt in water and use this saline solution for gargling. Rinse your mouth well after gargling. Be sure not to drink the salt water.


Use Lozenges

You can consider sucking on herbal lozenges to feel better. Avoid giving these lozenges or candies to small children as it may cause a choking hazard. Don't mix lozenges and throat sprays as it will affect the lining of your throat.


Drink Plenty of Water

You need to keep yourself hydrated and drink plenty of water as well as chicken broth, fruit juices and green tea. Prepare a cup of green tea by adding lemon and honey to it. The presence of vitamin C in lemon will help fight the strep bacteria, whereas the honey will soothe your throat.


Try Humidifiers or Vaporizers

Avoid overexposure to dry, hot air. The best thing is to invest on a humidifier if you find yourself dealing with a strep throat quite often. This will add moisture to the air and make breathing easier. You can create the same humidifying effect by boiling a couple of cups of water and pour it in a heat-safe tray. Now, place this tray in your room to add moisture to the air. Be sure not to go overboard with the idea of raising humidity level in your room.

FAQs About Strep Throat

It is possible that something else is still troubling you. Here are some other common questions related to strep throat.

Is it possible to have strep throat without a sore throat?

No, it is not possible.

Strep throat itself is a condition that refers to the symptom of acute sore throat. It usually accompanies with fever, headache, and swollen neck lymph glands. Younger children may also develop certain stomach symptoms as well. It is possible to have strep bacteria in your body with no symptoms at all. In this case, you're only a carrier.


What are the complications if you leave strep throat untreated?

It is important to take antibiotics in most cases, but your symptoms may also disappear within ten days or so. Antibiotics are usually important to prevent complications, such as an infection of the tonsil called abscess. You may also develop scarlet fever or rheumatic fever if you don't use antibiotics or leave strep throat untreated.


Will tonsillectomy prove to be beneficial for strep throat?

Removing tonsils will definitely decrease the frequency of strep throat, but it is not a surefire way of eliminating the issue. You may experience fewer infections, but tonsillectomy won't offer complete protection.


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  • I had my tonsils out with adenoids when I was 4. I never had strep, never caught it from my 3 children. I really thought that if you had your tonsils out you could not get strep. I'm 57, had a sore throat for about 2 weeks blamed it on allergies until I woke up and could not put my toothbrush in my mouth. Went to Dr, did the strep test I was so taken back. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, so everything is always more with me. I was shocked when test came out positive. I'm allergic to penicillin, sulfur. My primary Dr was away put me on bioxion.. A week later not as bad but fever (low grade) is back pain is back. I just feel like crap, and have all sores inside my mouth. Praying Dr will put me on something that will not only give me relief, get my energy back. No work, no paycheck!
  • Samantha LeCuyerSep.17 13:57
    You absolutely can have strep without displaying the average symptoms. I had recurring strep throat every couple of months for over 2 years and there were several times I displayed no symptoms of strep at all and felt as healthy as a horse yet tested positive for strep. It could, however, be due to the fact that after that significant amount of time having the recurring strep, the symptoms didn't seem to affect me personally because I had grown accustomed to that continually feeling but, my tonsils were never once swollen, I never had a cough. I felt like I had a constant sinus infection. It was always just strep. Since I've had my tonsils removed, less than 3 months ago, I've displayed more signs systematic of strep than when I had the recurring strep. I.e. swollen throat, painful swallowing, redness
  • BrettJul.29 16:09
    P.S. I did get strep twice after having them removed and my son just caught it from his sister and he had his out 4 yrs ago. P.P.S. fun fact if you have them out very young they can apparently grow back, this happens more often with the adenoids but it is possible.
  • BrettJul.29 16:07
    You ABSOLUTELY can get strep without a sore throat. I suppose some people don't experience a "sore" throat because of pain tolerance and it may only be an annoyance, but the first three times my daughter had strep I waited way to long to take her to the doctor and get antibiotics because she NEVER ONCE complained about her throat. She had head aches only upon standing and a temp that wouldn't go away even with Tylenol/ibuprofen. I was driving her pediatrician crazy because she I know my child and knew it wasn't just a bug but apparently a fever in young children isn't a cause for concern until it reaches 105 and stays there after giving meds or if the fever doesn't go away after 3 or 4 days. Anyway as I stated this happened THREE times and every time I had to tell them I was coming in anyway around day 3 and EVERY TIME it was strep twice with an accompanying ear infection and she also had no ear pain or discomfort. ALSO I ended up developing a couple different conditions that have completely destroyed my immune system so every time she got strep so did I and them my tonsils became so overworked and damaged that if someone within a 5 mile radius of me sneezed I would get strep(yes tested and confirmed) it got to the point I had it AT LEAST once a month for almost a year and finally convinced my doctor my tonsils had to go, I was 28 at the time so my doctor wanted to try everything else first because it is pretty serious surgery as an adult and the recovery time is waaaay longer. But anyhoo point is most of the time I was just exhausted and had migraines sometimes I would have a cough that wouldn't quit and lose my voice but it was only when I had it more than once a month that my throat would actually hurt. My daughter actually has strep right now, her tonsils were so swollen they were touching, but not red and no pain. Sooo ya sorry this is WICKED long but yes, yes you can have strep without a sore throat and in children ear infection and strep often go hand in hand so if they complain of one ask their doctor to check for both.
  • Amanda Apr.28 16:46
    I second the other comments. I just tested positive for strep and I had no sore throat at all. Only swollen tonsils.
  • KenseyApr.26 12:11
    I had my tonsils removed because of reoccurring strep I had a tonsillectomy when I was 7 or 8 and I'm 18 now and haven't have strep once since then.
  • EMar.20 19:14
    I'm 53! I haven't had strep throat since I was in my twenties. Yes you can get Strep without having a sore throat! I kept thinking my ears were infected! They did a strep test and had it very bad! I'm moved back to my home state and had it twice in 4 months!
  • S Elizabeth Feb.22 06:44
    I agree, my daughter had strep with no symptoms
  • SecretOct.4 01:30
    I would like to point out that a portion of this article was incorrect. You can have strep without a sore throat.
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