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Doctor insights on: Tonsillitis Vs Strep Throat Difference

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What's the difference between strep throat and tonsillitis?

What's the difference between strep throat and tonsillitis?

Strep throat: Tonsillitis is a generic term that describes an irritation/inflammation of the tonsils. Tonsillitis can be caused by infectious bacteria or viruses strep throat refers to the bacterial organism sometimes responsible tor tonsillitis. It is characterized by beefy red, ulcerated, very painful tonsillitis. Strep throat remains the most common reason for removing the tonsils. ...Read more

Dr. Robert Knox
697 Doctors shared insights

Tonsillitis (Definition)

An inflammation of the tonsil tissue, which can be either an acute or chronic process. Most of the time, it is caused by infection. In the acute phase, most cases of tonsillitis are viral. Once the problem extends beyond 10 days, it typically ...Read more


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Need advice on what is the the difference between strep throat & tonsillitis?

Need advice on what is the the difference between strep throat & tonsillitis?

See below: A strep throat is a type of tonsllitis and pharyngitis. Not all tonsillitis is caused by the streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. In fact most are caused by a variety of viruses. ...Read more

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Is there a difference between tonsillitis and strep throat? I was diagnosed with strep, but I think I have tonsillitis.

Is there a difference between tonsillitis and strep throat? I was diagnosed with strep, but I think I have tonsillitis.

Inflammation: "itis" attached to a word refers to inflammation of the tissue, regardless of the cause. Tonsillitis can be caused by bacterial or viral infection. Strep throat refers to an infection caused by a particular bacteria (streptococcus). Streptococcus can cause inflammation of the pharynx (pharyngitis) and / or the tonsils (tonsillitis). ...Read more

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How can I tell the difference between tonsillitis, strep throat, or tonsil stones?

How can I tell the difference between tonsillitis, strep throat, or tonsil stones?

Have it evaluated: You don't separate these on the basis of a single symptom or symptoms. You get sick enough to go in and have it evaluated. If you are not feeling sick, don't bother. If you are, it is worth the visit. ...Read more

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What should I do for strep throat and tonsillitis?

What should I do for strep throat and tonsillitis?

Antibiotics needed: For significant sore throat with swollen tonsils / lymph nodes – see physician & get a streph throat test. If you have streph throat, antibiotic therapy is imperative to prevent future compications. Consider tylenol (acetaminophen) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Saltwater gargles: mix 1 tsp salt in 8 oz warm water – gargle several times a day. Or gargle with aloe vera juice twice a day. ...Read more

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How do I know if I have tonsillitis, strep throat, what?

How do I know if I have tonsillitis, strep throat, what?

Two issues: Tonsillitis is a nonspecific term designating the tonsils as inflamed ; may occur with many germs including strep. Strep throat indicates a specific agent streptococcus group a which is easily confirmed with a quick test or culture. While viral tonsillitis requires no abx ; will self heal, strep needs rx to prevent complications ; prevent spread within the community. ...Read more

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How do I know if I have tonsillitis and not strep throat?

How do I know if I have tonsillitis and not strep throat?

Two issues: Tonsillitis is a nonspecific term designating the tonsils as inflamed & may occur with many germs including strep. Strep throat indicates a specific agent streptococcus group a which is easily confirmed with a quick test or culture. While viral tonsillitis requires no abx & will self heal, strep needs rx to prevent complications & prevent spread within the community. ...Read more

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How are tonsillitis and strep throat distinguished from each other?

Vs.: A stretph infection can cause inflammation of tonsils (tonsilitis). However, tonsilits can be due to a number of different causes. ...Read more

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How long would strep throat/tonsillitis last while on penicillin?

How long would strep throat/tonsillitis last while on penicillin?

PCN: The person is usually not contagious after completing the first 24 hours of antibiotics and they generally feel significant improvement after 24 to 48 hours. You still need to take the full course of antibiotics. Don't stop just because you are feeling better. ...Read more

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How much time does strep throat/tonsillitis last while on penicillin?

How much time does strep throat/tonsillitis last while on penicillin?

24 -48 hrs: You usually feel better in 24 -48 hrs (usually you are on the medication for 7 - 10 days). If you still feel ill, I would contacted your doctor. Could be strep that is resistant to penicillin or a more serious strep infection. ...Read more

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Hi docs, can you tell me if strep throat and tonsillitis are the same thing?

Hi docs, can you tell me if strep throat and tonsillitis are the same thing?

No: Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils and can be caused by many different agents, including strep. Strep throat is caused by group a streptococcus, a specific germ that responds to antibiotics. ...Read more

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Can you tell me how to cure strep throat/chronic tonsillitis in less than 24hrs?

Antibiotics: It will probably take several days of antibiotics, fluid, rest and chicken soup. ...Read more

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Which is worse strep throat or tonsillitis caused by virus?

Which is worse strep throat or tonsillitis caused by virus?

Worse?: Either are not fun, and Strep is treated with antibiotics. Strep has risk of, albeit small, of affecting the kidneys and therefore it is treated with antibiotics. ...Read more

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Everyone, I am currently taking amoxil (amoxicillin) for my tonsillitis and strep throat. Are there any side effects to this medicine?

Everyone, I am currently taking amoxil (amoxicillin) for my tonsillitis and strep throat. Are there any side effects to this medicine?

Few side effects: Amoxil (amoxicillin) is usually well tolerated and the side effects are very few also. As with most antibiotics you could have diarrhea, stomach ache, vomiting and a rash. Hive like rashes should be reported to your doctor immediately. ...Read more

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I have a sore throat with an ulcer at the back of it, is this strep throat or tonsillitis?

I have a sore throat with an ulcer at the back of it, is this strep throat or tonsillitis?

It might be!: Have your throat looked at by a trained health care provider when you see something like an ulcer and have a sore throat. Strep typically causes an exudate or white spots, so it depends on what the "ulcer" looks like. A strep test, possibly a Rapid Strep can help. If you still have your tonsils then they are often inflamed with a viral or bacterial (strep) sore throat. Inflamed tonsils=tonsillitis ...Read more

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If I was prescribed Azithromycin for strep throat 5 days ago and have no improvement. Now I have severe tonsillitis. What do I do? Can I take amox too

If I was prescribed Azithromycin for strep throat 5 days ago and have no improvement. Now I have severe tonsillitis. What do I do? Can I take amox too

Reassessment Needed: While Azithromycin is effective against some forms of strep throat, it does not work for all forms of strep throat. There are also multiple other causes for tonsillitis. Usually if your medication is effective, you begin to feel much better within 2 to 3 days of starting the medication. I recommend you have your throat reevaluated to assess appropriate changes in your treatment or medication. ...Read more

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White spots on tonsils, strep throat or tonsilitis?

White spots on tonsils, strep throat or tonsilitis?

Could be: White spots on the tonsils could be food particles. The only way to be sure of strep throat is a throat culture. Tonsillitis is a specific diagnosis made by a physician when the tonsils in the throat are red and enlarged and painful. Strep throat does not necessarily indicate tonsil involvement. Obviously you need an objective diagnosis by a specialist. ...Read more

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Would I be able to have strep or tonsillitis only on one side of the throat?

Would I be able to have strep or tonsillitis only on one side of the throat?

Yes: The bacteria is likely all over your throat but you may only have one tonsil that has significant swelling. However, if one side is markedly swollen to the point that it is causing the uvula to be pulled to one side that could be a serious condition called a peri-tonsilar abscess. That can impact the airway and merits emergency care. ...Read more

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I'm taking cefdinir 300 mg. I'm on my 4 th dose but don't see the white patches in my throat going away. I was diagnosed with strep tonsillitis.

I'm taking cefdinir 300 mg. I'm on my 4 th dose but don't see the white patches in my throat going away. I was diagnosed with strep tonsillitis.

Takes time: The tissue damage (white patches) that took time to build up will take time to heal. Within a week or so you should see improvement. Reduction of fever or general symptoms should be present. ...Read more

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Had 100-102 fever for a day. 2 days later developed pain in throat with some minor swelling of tonsils. No other symptoms. Strep or tonsillitis?

Had 100-102 fever for a day. 2 days later developed pain in throat with some minor swelling of tonsils. No other symptoms. Strep or tonsillitis?

Fever sore throat: Would get a strep test because the complications of untreated strep can be significant, rheuamtic fever, rarely endocarditis. So would go to urgent care and do strep test or better have them send out a culture. Strep can cause tonsillitis, it is just a worse infection then just the sore throat Coudl also be from post nasal drip, viral, mycoplasma, reflux. But get a strep test ...Read more

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Unilateral tonsillitis. Negative for strep, and DR says no PTA. Intermittent foul taste. Now blood in throat mucus. 3 days steroids/Tylenol no help.

Unilateral tonsillitis. Negative for strep, and DR says no PTA. Intermittent foul taste. Now blood in throat mucus. 3 days steroids/Tylenol no help.

See ENT: If this has been present for more than a couple of weeks or getting worse, see an ENT to get checked out. The foul taste and bleeding suggest that there may be an abscess in that tonsil. ...Read more

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Had strep, now ENT says tonsillitis. Been 3 weeks. Now on steroids, 1 side worse, feel like lump in throat. White bubble behind tonsil? Pic in profile

Same thing: Strep throat is a tonsillitis an infection of the tonsil. People with tonsils removed often never have another strep throat. If you have strep its important to be on antibiotics if yo were the course may not have been adequate to kill the infection and re infection occurred or yo have a tonsilar abscess. ...Read more

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I have a very sore throat, (several days)and it hurts to swallow. I'm starting to see white spots on my tonsils but can't be sure. Tonsillitis or strep?

I have a very sore throat, (several days)and it hurts to swallow. I'm starting to see white spots on my tonsils but can't be sure. Tonsillitis or strep?

Could be both: "tonsillitis" is a nonspecific term for inflammation of the tonsils. "strep" refers to a specific cause of tonsillitis. But you can get strep without having tonsils and you can get tonsillitis without having strep. Only a throat culture/rapid test can discern if strep is present. Usually there is fever, swollen glands without cold symptoms in strep infection. Important to treat strep - see doc. ...Read more

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White spots on my uvula & tonsils. Left side looks a bit swollen. Negative for strep. No sore throat. Ent said tonsillitis & saw a "pus pocket" on one side. I had a bad cold for 5 wks. Could be mono?

White spots on my uvula & tonsils. Left side looks a bit swollen. Negative for strep. No sore throat. Ent said tonsillitis & saw a "pus pocket" on one side. I had a bad cold for 5 wks. Could be mono?

Maybe: Mono symptoms are much more pronounced than what you are describing. Usually the tonsils are swollen and tender and look awful. You can always ask your doctor to get a mono blood titer or a blood test on you to diagnose mono. ...Read more

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Throat and tonsils swollen very painful talking funny stuffy nose swollen glands but I don't see white spots on tonsils tonsillitis? Or strep

Throat and tonsils swollen very painful talking funny stuffy nose swollen glands but I don't see white spots on tonsils tonsillitis? Or strep

See physician: Your condition requires a strept test and likely a course of antibiotics, you need to see a physician or make a paid consultation through healthtap ...Read more

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Pus sacks in the back of my throat (tonsils were removed when I was 4) negative strep test. What could this be, since it can't be tonsilitis or strep.

Pus sacks in the back of my throat (tonsils were removed when I was 4) negative strep test. What could this be, since it can't be tonsilitis or strep.

Cysts??: You could have mucus cysts in your throat. These are common. I would suggest that you consult with an ear-nose-throat specialist. At your age unless you are a heavy smoker then I would be very concerned otherwise not. ...Read more

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Daughter (6 years old) soars on lips and chin she was diagnosed with strep/tonsilitis 4 days ago in the er. White spots on tonsills and in throat. 3 days ago she broke out with what looks like the herpes symplex (she has gotten the cold saors on her li

Daughter (6 years old) soars on lips and chin she was diagnosed with strep/tonsilitis 4 days ago in the er. White spots on tonsills and in throat. 3 days ago she broke out with what looks like the herpes symplex (she has gotten the cold saors on her li

Cold: Cold sores or fever blisters are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (hsv-1) and are extremely common. Most people become infected as an infant or small child when kissed or by sharing eating utensils with an adult who has the virus. The virus is most contagious when someone has a cold sore, but can still be passed along by someone who does not. Many people do not even know that they are infected because the virus can "hide out" in the nerve cells for very long periods of time - for some people it hides out forever and they never get a cold sore. For others, the virus can "wake up" at any time and that's when a cold sore happens. No one knows exactly what causes a cold sore to appear - sometimes stress, illness, fevers, colds, sunlight, cold weather, menstruation, certain foods, allergies, you name it! Her strep infection may have caused her cold sore outbreak. They usually last 7-10 days and are more of an annoyance than a danger unless you have a weakened immune system or contract a bacterial infection on top of the cold sore. There is a possibility of a superinfection of the cold sores with staph or strep bacteria called impetigo. If her sores are yellow, crusting and draining, you will want to have her seen by her doctor. She may need a different antibiotic if this is the case.

There is no cure for cold sores but there are a few treatments for the symptoms:
-over the counter ointments with topical Lidocaine can be used for pain, but will not shorten the course
-applying ice and taking Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen can help with pain relief
-do not pick at it or pop it since that can make it worse
-antiviral medications such as valacyclovir are the only treatments known to reduce pain and shorten the course if taken as soon as you know an outbreak is coming. These are prescription medications, so you should discuss these with your doctor. ...Read more

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Persistent sore throat/fatigue after oral. Doc say chronic tonsilitis, rehenitis. Std/hiv/mono/strep neg Antibotics, steriods, post nasal meds not help.

Persistent sore throat/fatigue after oral. Doc say chronic tonsilitis, rehenitis. Std/hiv/mono/strep neg Antibotics, steriods, post nasal meds not help.

Oral what?: When I was resident at a county hospital, we treated what appeared to be an outbreak of oral gonorrhea amongst people your age with the same symptoms who had oral sex (culture confirmed). There are still some unanswered questions- mainly the thought that a healthy immune system should prevent this. But for what it's worth, I thought I would mention this experience with a clinical "zebra." ...Read more

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I have sore throat & tonsillolith. I frequently have tonsillitis and pharyngitis simultaniously and mostly at the same time. What could be the cause?

Throat pain: Your pain can be due to a strep infection or you could be getting sore throats due to a post nasl drip and allergies. Exposure to fumes and second hand smoke can also cause problems. ...Read more

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Is tonsillitis, strep and/or pharyngitis catching? Can others catch it from me through common contact while I take antibiotic that works against all 3

Is tonsillitis, strep and/or pharyngitis catching? Can others catch it from me through common contact while I take antibiotic that works against all 3

Possibly: You can transmit an oral or throat infection by close contact in the early phase of the infection. But not likely with casual contact. Furthermore, after you have been on appropriate antibiotics for 24 hours or so, you won't be infectious. ...Read more

Pharynx (Definition)

It is the connection between the mouth and the throat. The 3 parts are the oropharynx, nasopharynx, and hypo-pharynx. The pharynx leads into the ...Read more


Strep Throat (Definition)

A throat infection caused by a strep bacteria that responds ...Read more