Help! Is it Sore Throat or Tonsillitis?


There are people who love to diagnose their own illnesses. Every once in a while, you’ll meet someone who refuses to consult a specialist regarding a health problem; Instead, they tell you that they know what’s going on and diagnose themselves.

In truth, there are times when it’s hard to tell one ailment apart from another. People think they know what their illness is because of the shared symptoms. For example, if your throat is painful, does it mean you have sore throat or tonsillitis? Before you grab some medicine for cough and cold, it would be good to know what’s causing that aching throat first.

Sore Throat

Cause and Symptoms

The majority of sore throat cases are caused by a virus although it can also be caused by bacteria. Other reasons may be an allergy or dry air. Symptoms include an itchy sensation in the throat, pain that intensifies when you swallow or talk, a dry throat and a rough, hoarse voice.

If your sore throat is accompanied by other symptoms such as coughing, runny nose, and headache, then it may be a sign of an incoming cold.


Anyone can be affected with sore throat, however, the risk of getting sore throat is higher for some people such as smokers and people with allergies.


Mild sore throat cases can be taken care of at home by gargling a mix of salt and warm water. Drink warm fluids such as teas and soups to soothe your throat.

If the symptoms still persist, consult your doctor. Your treatment will depend on whether your sore throat is caused by a virus or a bacteria. You can be prescribed to take an antibiotic, decongestant or nonsteroidial anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Depending on the cause, you might be prescribed to take some antibiotics, decongestants, or pain relievers.


Causes and Symptoms

Tonsils are tissues located at the back of your throat. They are our first line of defense when bacteria or virus enters our body through the mouth.   Tonsillitis occurs when the tonsils become inflamed due to either a bacteria or a virus. Symptoms include fever, swollen tonsils, sore throat, difficulty in swallowing, headaches, and stiff neck.


Children who are 5 to 15 years of age are at a higher risk for bacterial tonsillitis. Another is having constant close contact with other people, such as during one’s commute.


Drink plenty of water and take throat lozenges. It’s also recommended to gargle a mixture of warm water and salt. For severe cases, a surgery to remove the tonsils called a tonsillectomy may be recommended by your doctor.

These two illnesses can be easily prevented by not sharing your food or utensils with the sick and by practicing good hygiene. In addition, note that while not all sore throat cases lead to tonsillitis, the majority of tonsillitis cases do have it as a symptom. When symptoms persist, it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor as doing so may just prevent the rise of other complications.