Stephenville, TX

Abilene, Stephenville and Brownwood, TX

Do I Just Have a Sore Throat or is it Tonsillitis?

Woman with a sore throat on the couch concerned that it might be tonsillitis.

Everything from dry air to a cold to allergies or even tonsillitis can bring about the incredibly common symptom of a sore throat. The question is: how can you tell when you may need to turn on your humidifier or when you should come in and see us?

There can be severe consequences if you have tonsillitis and you disregard it. It’s a good idea to get checked out if you believe that your sore throat is being triggered by something other than dry air or allergies. Tonsillitis itself can have numerous causes.

Symptoms of Tonsillitis

A sore throat is a pretty consistent symptom of tonsillitis but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have it. There can be a number of common factors that can cause a sore throat so it can be kind of confusing for most people. When the tonsils become inflamed and infected this causes tonsillitis.

The symptoms of tonsillitis include:

  • Trouble or pain swallowing and bad breath
  • Stomach ache or headache
  • Fever
  • A sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes, particularly in the neck
  • Tonsils covered by yellow or white patches
  • A stiff neck or pain in the neck
  • Swollen, red tonsils (this can be seen by your doctor)

It’s essential to watch how these symptoms manifest in kids because tonsillitis is not very uncommon for them. Kids often have trouble expressing the nature of their symptoms and discomfort. Rather, tonsillitis will normally present as refusal to eat or fussiness. Due to of the pain of swallowing, children may drool more.

What Causes Tonsillitis?

If you’re asking yourself whether you’re dealing with a sore throat or tonsillitis, the answer could be something like this: so far, just a sore throat. That’s because some things that lead to a sore throat can eventually cause tonsillitis.

It all begins with your tonsils doing what they’re meant to do. When bacteria and viruses enter your body through your mouth, your tonsils are your body’s first line of defense. This can sometimes cause the tonsils to get infected.

Streptococcus pyogenes, the bacteria that causes strep throat, is a common bacterial cause of tonsillitis. Tonsillitis can also be caused by several viruses. The best way to protect against tonsillitis is to practice good hygiene. The development of tonsillitis will be limited when the spread of germs is decreased by frequently washing your hands, for example.

When Will Tonsillitis Require a Doctors Visit?

In many situations, your tonsillitis might start off as a little different than a sore throat, which means it might be challenging to recognize when to call us and when you would be better off waiting. Most people looking in a bathroom mirror won’t be able to see swollen tonsils or white spots in their throat.

But you should certainly make an appointment if you have numerous or ongoing symptoms.

A general rule of thumb would be to visit us if have any of the following:

  • More than 2 days go by and your sore throat doesn’t get any better.
  • You have a fever with your sore throat.
  • It’s painful to swallow.

And, of course, if there’s any difficulty breathing, you need to seek immediate emergency care.

You should also schedule an appointment if your child has been very fussy, has been feeling week, or doesn’t want to eat.

Treatment For Tonsillitis

Years ago it was normal to remove tonsils. However, this surgery is normally considered a last resort and will only be done in cases of repeated infections or when other therapies have not worked.

Because both bacteria and viruses can cause tonsillitis, it will be important to determine the correct treatment path. It isn’t uncommon for antibiotics to be prescribed.

Antibiotics don’t address viruses effectively so if they are the cause of your tonsillitis, fluids, bed rest, and symptomatic therapies will be the best course of action. Removing the tonsils may be considered if none of these therapies are effective.

Tonsillitis will require a medical diagnosis in order to begin effective treatment. So if your sore throat hasn’t gone away, it’s important to determine the exact cause. Schedule an appointment with us so we can help you get to the bottom of it.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

Questions? Talk To Us.