Is Your Sore Throat a Cold, Strep Throat, or Tonsillitis?

Sunday, October 10th, 2021, 8:27 am

A sore throat is a symptom of many common illnesses. So, if you’re experiencing a sore throat, it can be difficult to tell which sickness you’re coming down with. 

Cold viruses, strep throat, and tonsilitis can all cause a sore throat. While these ailments are all easily treated, understanding the differences between them can help you get the care that you need to make a fast recovery. 

Sore Throat from a Cold

A sore throat is often the first sign that you’re coming down with a cold. A sore throat with a cold will generally go away within the first day or two of getting sick. If you have a cold, you’ll also likely have other symptoms including nasal congestion, a runny nose, headache, sneezing, and mild body aches. 

While there’s no cure for the common cold, there are countless over-the-counter pain medications to relieve many of its symptoms. Resting, having warm drinks, and gargling salt water can also help relieve cold symptoms. 

Sore Throat from Strep Throat 

Strep throat is an infection caused by streptococcus bacteria. You can catch strep throat by being exposed to saliva or nasal discharge from someone with the infection. 

Typically, a sore throat from strep develops suddenly. Other symptoms of this infection include fever, pain while swallowing, lost appetite, and red tonsils with or without white spots in the back of the throat. Your doctor can perform a strep test to determine whether or not your pain is from strep throat.   

Sore Throat from Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis is caused by a virus that leads to inflammation in the tonsils, which are pads of soft tissue at either side of the back of the throat. A sore throat from tonsillitis is often very painful and you may notice white or yellow spots on the tonsils. Besides a sore throat, tonsillitis may also cause a fever, bad breath, swollen lymph glands in the neck, voice changes due to inflammation, and pain while swallowing.   

If you’re experiencing a sore throat, visit Suncoast Urgent Care today! Our experienced physicians can determine the cause of your sore throat and provide the treatment that you need to make a full recovery. 

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Category: Infections


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