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Difference Between Tonsillitis and Strep Throat

strepthroat_bookTonsillitis vs Strep Throat

Tonsillitis refers to the infection of the tonsil glands that often leads to a sore throat accompanied with severe pain and fever. On the other hand, streptococcal sore throat or streptococcal pharyngitis commonly termed as strep throat is a particular category of Group ‘A’ streptococcal infection affecting the larynx, pharynx and the tonsil glands.

Tonsillitis occurs once the tonsils get infected with a viral or bacterial infection. Such a condition initiates a swelling in the tonsils causing a lot of pain and unease. As soon as certain bacteria and viruses enter the body via nose or mouth, the tonsils are the first organic filter that they pass through. The filtration process often initiates the white blood cells resulting into the following symptoms if an infection is detected.

The common symptoms of tonsillitis are,

  • Rigorous sore throat accompanied with pain in the ears
  • Severe pain while swallowing
  • Coughing
  • Headache
  • Myalgia or muscle aches
  • Swelling of the neck and cheeks
  • Fever
  • Chills

Further medical inspection reveals swollen, reddish tonsil glands with an extrusive layer of numerous white patches.

The bacteria streptococcus pyrogene causes a strep throat creating a sore and scratchy sensation inside the throat. A little sore throat can often lead to a strep throat if not treated in the initial stages. Often a worsened state of strep throat can result into other serious conditions like rheumatic fever and inflammation of the kidneys. Strep throat has a lot of similar symptoms like tonsillitis (swollen tonsils, ear pain, headache, fever and chills) but there are a few distinctive signs that help recognize the condition. Some of those are as follows,

  • Tender cervical lymphadenopathy
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Malaise, general discomfort, feeling ill or uneasy
  • Halitosis
  • Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Peeling of skin on hands and feet
  • Tonsillitis basically has three main types,
  • Acute Tonsillitis- this often results from viral or bacterial infection
  • Subacute Tonsillitis- this is caused by the bacterium Actinomyces
  • Chronis Tonsillitis- this is the result of severe bacterial infection in all circumstances
  • Strep throat on the other hand has no such variant kinds or types.

Summary:
1. Tonsillitis is infection of the tonsil glands whereas streptococcal sore throat affects the larynx, pharynx and the tonsil glands.
2. Tonsillitis occurs once the tonsils get infected with a viral or bacterial infection on the other hand the bacteria streptococcus pyrogene causes a strep throat.
3. Tonsillitis results in swollen tonsils, tender neck cervical lymph nodes while strep throat leads to cervical lymphadenopathy along with abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.


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