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strep throat
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strep throat

  My 14 year old son has strep throat quit a bit.  I would say 8 times in the last year.  A few times he gets a rash with it and this time he got white bumps all over his tongue.  He feels miserable when he gets it.  His nose is now clear but he always sounds like his head is full.  He has had frequent bloody noses since he was a toddler and last year in school, he was hit with a football and his nose bled so bad they called us to come get him as they thought he needed to go to the hospital.  We got the bleeding stopped.  I guess my questions are:
1.  Can getting strep so much be harmful?  Can it hurt your heart?
2.  Do these bloody noses mean he might have a structural problem?
3.  My GP has never reffered us to an ENT but I am thinking about going to the ENT we all go to.
Thanks for any help!!!
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First, frequent strep infections are taxing on the immune system, heart, etc.  Eight times in a year sure is ALOT.  

Secondly, the cause of nose bleeds was never determined?  He has had these since he was a toddler which has been a while.  

Thirdly, you should have been referred to an ENT specialist.  He/she would be the appropriate physician for your son to see at this point.  
I think your son definitely should be seen by an ENT.  Having strep throat 8 times in a year is definitely out of the norm.  Strep throat that is treated effectively, in itself, shouldn't be a problem for the heart, however, since you say that your son has had rashes with some of the strept throat episodes, it sounds like he may have had scarlet fever along with the strep - and that can definitely cause heart problems down the line.

It's possible that your son's problems with getting strep so often could be related to his tonsils (has he had them out?), adenoids (adenoids) (again, has he had them removed?), or even allergy issues.  I know strep and allergies are definitely two different things, but it could be that if he has an allergy issue, his nasal passages and throat get irritated from that and then an infection occurs - the strep throat.  This past winter I, myself, got strep throat twice and pneumonia once - the first bout of strep actually landed me in the hospital for 4 days.  I was treated with many different antibiotics, but almost as soon as I was done with them, I got the strep back - this time it ended up in pneumonia also.  My family doctor referred me to a pulmonologist (I also have asthma) and as soon as he took one look at my nasal passages, he told me my nose was the worst looking nose he had seen in over a month!  He put me on some nasal spray (flonase) and told me he was almost certain that my infections had actually started out as bad allergy issues.  Within three days of being on the flonase, I was feeling MUCH better and haven't had a problem since.  I had no idea (and obviously my other doctors didn't either) that allergies could end up being a cause of an infection, but apparently it can.

I would most definitely get him in to see an ENT - if your family ENT would prefer he see a pediatric ENT, perhaps he can give you at least the name/number of someone he would recommend.

I hope he feels better soon!
Wow, thanks for all the great responses!!  He had seen our family ENT for the nose bleeds when he was younger.  He prescribed an ointment to put around his nasal passages.  It helped for a while.  He was tested for allergies and he was negative!!  The only one in our family of 6 that does not have allergies!!  So then he started up with the nose bleeds again and the strep just keeps getting worse.  One problem is he kind of hides the nose bleeds from me.  I find shirts in the wash, bloody kleenex, pillow cases, and of course sometimes it just starts bleeding right in front of us no matter where we are.  I think he is afraid.  So I have been putting it off.  Now since the strep has been so bad I was just hoping the GP would tell HIM he needed to see the ENT.  The rashes and tongue thing got me worried.  With your repsonses, I will be calling and making him an appointment.  He is fairly big for a 14 year old, lineman on the football team and a wrestler, so I guess I worry about strain on his heart and was wonderign if the frequent strep was a problem.
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