How Can I Tell If I Have Strep Throat?


This time of year, we have a lot of patients wondering whether or not their sore throat is just a cold or strep.  Sore throats are often caused by viruses, allergies, or (less commonly) bacteria.  Here are some common symptoms associated with sore throats:

  • Fever (usually less than 101)

  • Runny/stuffy nose

  • Cough

  • Congestion

  • Earache

  • Swollen glands

  • Pain with swallowing

  • Body aches

Home remedies that can help alleviate symptoms include:

  • Humidified air

  • Warm water salt gargles

  • Throat lozenges

  • Over the counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil)

  • Tea, broth, or soup

  • Throat sprays such as Chloraseptic

If your sore throat lasts longer than 7-10 days, recurs frequently, doesn't respond to home remedies, or is associated with difficulty breathing, a rash, unusual drooling or inability to swallow, or muffled voice, it's time to be seen by a health care provider!

 Strep throat, caused by a bacteria, usually presents differently than viral infections.  Symptoms of strep throat may include:

  • Swollen, red tonsils

  • High fever (usually 101 or higher)

  • White patches on the back of the throat and tonsils

  • Red spots on the roof of the mouth and back of the throat

  • Headache

  • Abdominal pain

  • Rash (known as scarlet fever)

  • Left untreated, rheumatic fever

  • Swollen lymph nodes under the jaw and ears

Strep throat can be detected easily with a rapid strep test at the Corner Clinic.  These tests are specific and sensitive. The test may miss a small percentage of people who have strep throat, so if it comes back negative, the provider sometimes will send the swab for culture to see if any bacteria grow.  If the strep test comes back positive, antibiotics are prescribed.  Most patients begin to feel better within 24-48 hours of taking the antibiotic.  It's important to finish the prescription of antibiotic even if you're feeling better!  Finishing the prescription ensures that all the bacteria are killed and helps lessen bacterial mutation and antibiotic resistance.  Strep throat is contagious, as are viruses.  It's important to practice good hand hygiene, as well as other preventative measures to help the spread of infection.  

Got a sore throat? Don't spend hours waiting in the waiting room! At Corner Clinic, our up front pricing makes it easy to know ahead of time what your costs will be AND we can see you the same day! Most of our patients are in and out within 30 minutes.

How to Save Money with a High Deductible


Let’s face it: health insurance is expensive. That’s why many people opt to buy high-deductible health plans, which cost less every month. The downside? High-deductible plans make you pay full price for most of your medical care. If you don’t feel like you’re getting your money’s worth out of your high-deductible plan, read on for our cash-saving tips.

What is a high-deductible health plan?

First things first: a deductible is the amount of money you have to spend out-of-pocket before your insurance company will start covering some of your costs. Typically, the lower your deductible, the more expensive your health plan.

A high-deductible health plan is any health insurance plan with a deductible greater than $1,500 for an individual or $2,700 for a family. On average, though, deductibles tend to be much higher than that, typically around $4,300 for an individual and $8,000 for a family.

If you’re not sure what your plan’s deductible is, you can usually find out by looking at your insurance card or by Googling “[Your plan name] Summary of Benefits.”

Money-saving tip #1: Use a Health Savings Account

If you have a high-deductible plan, you most likely qualify to get a Health Savings Account (HSA). Any money you save in your HSA is tax-free and can only be used on medical expenses. HSAs are a great financial tool for anyone with a high-deductible, saving you big at tax time and helping you reserve funds for unexpected medical bills.  

Money-saving tip #2: Use Your Plan’s Free Benefits

All Affordable Care Act-compliant health plans come with fully covered services that help you stay healthy. As long as you visit a doctor in your health insurance network, you can get these services at no cost:

  • Annual check-ups

  • Annual well-woman visits, including pap smears

  • Vaccinations

  • Mammograms (for women over 40)

  • Diabetes and cholesterol screenings

  • Contraception

  • Vision and hearing screenings (for children)

  • And more!

Money-saving tip #3: Price Shop for Affordable Care

If you’re on a high-deductible plan, you’ll be paying full price for most of your medical services… but that doesn’t mean you can’t shop around. Every health care facility, including pharmacies, lab/imaging facilities, doctors’ offices, and more, will charge different prices for the same services. Here are a few ways to find affordable options:

  • Only go to the ER if it’s an actual emergency. Hospitals have special staff and equipment, and they charge accordingly. 7 in 10 people who go to the ER could be treated somewhere else! If your health issue is not an emergency, head to an urgent care. Corner Clinic, for example, saves you an average of almost $2,000 over the ER.

  • Ask medical providers for their cash prices. Sometimes, doctors, pharmacies, and more will discount the cost of your care if you pay cash up front. This could be a good option for the occasional prescription and one-time specialist visit. Have an HSA? Use your savings to pay these bills.

  • Get your lab work and x-rays at Corner Clinic. At Corner Clinic, we charge fixed prices for our services. This can save you hundreds of dollars on blood tests, x-rays, and more. Plus, we help you apply your visit cost to your deductible, so you’re still working towards those health insurance savings.

Want to learn more about what we do? Check out our clinic in St George!

Can Urgent Care Treat a Broken Bone?


Let’s face it: accidents happen.  Any slip, trip, fall, or sports accident can result in an orthopedic injury requiring medical attention.  The next best step? Head to an urgent care!

Urgent care facilities offer extended hours and can treat injuries quickly and affordably. On average, fixing a broken bone at Corner Clinic will save you over $7,000 than if you were to pay out-of-pocket at the ER.

When you head to an urgent care with a bump, bruise, or break, providers can help you determine the severity of your injury (yes, they can even use x-rays!), treat your injury, and refer you to an orthopedic specialist if necessary.

Common injuries that are treated at an urgent care facility include:

  • Sports injuries

  • Sprains, strains, & discolorations

  • Simple fractures

  • Cast or splint issues

  • Cuts/lacerations

  • Painful, swollen joints

  • Pediatric injuries

Emergency departments (ED) are designed and have the necessary setup to handle injuries of all severity, especially those that are serious and/or potentially life threatening. You should get emergency care if you have:

  • Obvious deformities of the arm or leg

  • Any bone that has broken through the skin

  • Any injury that has caused significant blood loss

  • Complicated or traumatic injuries (falling from heights or motor vehicle collisions)

Learn more about our services and what we do at Corner Clinic here.

Seasonal Allergies:  A Common Diagnosis in Our Community


What is Allergic Rhinitis and who is affected?

Seasonal allergies (sometimes called “hay fever”), or allergic rhinitis, are a very common complaint in healthcare and one we see in our clinic very often, especially in the spring and fall. Rhinitis is simply the inflammation of the nasal passages, while Allergic Rhinitis is inflammation of the nasal passages triggered by an allergy. It can affect people of all ages, but the risk of developing allergic rhinitis seems to be higher in patients with asthma or eczema, or with those patients who have a family history of asthma or seasonal allergies1.

Although allergic rhinitis can begin at any age, most people will report the onset of their first symptoms in childhood and early adulthood.  This tends to be a lifelong condition that waxes and wanes over time. Fortunately, symptoms can be controlled through environmental factors and medications.  

What are some symptoms of allergic rhinitis?

The severity and frequency of seasonal allergies can vary from person to person, range from mild to severe, and occur seasonally or year round (perennial).  Symptoms of allergic rhinitis include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Watery nasal discharge
  • Sneezing
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Loss of taste
  • Facial pain and pressure
  • Itchy / watery eyes
  • Swelling and redness of eyes
  • Sore throat or hoarseness in voice
  • Congestion or popping in ears
  • Itching of throat or ears. 

These symptoms can really decrease a person’s quality of life by causing missed work, school absences, disrupted sleep, and impaired cognition.2

Can the effects of allergic rhinitis be minimized?

Yes!  One of the most important factors in preventing allergic rhinitis is identifying allergens or other triggers that may provoke your symptoms. Here are some ways to minimize or eliminate common indoor allergens:

Mold:  Try to decrease excess moisture in your home using dehumidifiers and frequently cleaning damp areas (bathrooms) with a bleach-and-water solution.  

Pet Dander:  Pets should be avoided altogether, but if you already have a furry friend, dander may be reduced by using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters and allergen-resistant bedding. Washing pets twice a week can help to decrease allergen levels.

Dust Mites:  These may be reduced by avoiding carpet, frequently washing sheets and bedding, frequently washing drapes, and wiping surfaces with a damp cloth or mop daily.

Outdoor allergens: Exposure to outdoor allergens such as pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds is more difficult to control, but you can decrease their effects by showering before bed, keeping windows shut, and using an air conditioner2. Avoid being outside when pollen counts are high and change your clothes after being exposed to pollen.

How is allergic rhinitis diagnosed?

A medical provider can diagnose allergic rhinitis by reviewing your medical history and performing a medical examination.  Allergy testing may be performed when your diagnosis is uncertain or as needed to target a specific allergy. The goal of treatment is to minimize or eliminate symptoms in order to decrease suffering and restore quality of life.  Allergic rhinitis can lead to other complications including sinus infections, ear infections, allergic conjunctivitis, anxiety, and depression. Oftentimes, allergies can also affect the quality and quantity of sleep making it difficult to feel well rested and leads to daytime sleepiness.  

If you suffer from symptoms of allergic rhinitis, the providers at the Corner Clinic can quickly and easily provide you with a diagnosis.  We will offer you an individualized treatment plan including medications to help you feel better or referral to the appropriate specialist if necessary.  Let’s get you feeling better!

1. Allergic Rhinitis: Counseling Points for Better Patient Outcomes

2. Patient education: Allergic rhinitis (seasonal allergies) (Beyond the Basics)