Common cold flu is one of the free gifts that accompany a rainy season. When unwrapped, it bears more gifts such as fever, cough, catarrh, mild headache, sneezing, mild body pain, and sore throat.
A sore throat is caused by a bacterial infection that is treated with antibiotics and it comes in different variants – mild sore throat (the common one from cold), strep throat and tonsillitis.
How to tell the difference
A sore throat is often the first sign of a cold. However, a sore throat from a cold often gets better or goes away after two days.
Strep throat is an infection caused by streptococcus bacteria, and it is more severe and persists longer.
Tonsillitis is a painful inflammation or infection of the tonsils; the tissue masses located at the back of the throat.
How to determine which one you have
Once a sore throat lingers beyond a few days, pay a visit to your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.
For tonsillitis, bad breath, fever, voice change due to swelling, painful swallowing, and swollen lymph glands in the neck are signs that you may have it.
Treatment of strep throat
The most common treatment for strep throat is antibiotics, which would kill the bacteria causing the infection.
Penicillin and amoxicillin are common antibiotics used to treat strep throat. Other antibiotics are prescribed for people who are allergic to penicillin.
Treatment of tonsillitis
If the infection is viral, antibiotics will do little to help.
Doctors often advise patients with tonsillitis to rest aplenty, drink fluids, eat foods like ice cream, shakes, soup and to steer clear of crunchy or spicy foods.
Pain relievers such as acetaminophen, naproxen, or ibuprofen could also help but only for adults.
If the tonsillitis infection becomes rampant, a tonsillectomy, the surgical removal of the tonsils, may be the last resort.
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