Lincoln, Nebraska

Do You Have Strep Throat, Tonsillitis, or the Common Cold? January 18, 2019

Lincoln, Lancaster
Do You Have Strep Throat, Tonsillitis, or the Common Cold?, Lincoln, Nebraska

When your throat feels scratchy and it’s hard to swallow, it’s natural to have concerns over your prognosis. As such, many family doctors examine patients who are confused about their symptoms and suggest ways for them to regain a sense of wellness. However, the guide below might also give you some indication of what you are facing until you can schedule your appointment. 

Understanding What Your Sore Throat Is Telling You

What Symptoms Indicate You Have a Cold?

One of the first symptoms you’ll experience if you catch a cold virus is a sore throat. This scratchy feeling should only last 24-48 hours and can be accompanied by a runny nose, mild fever, body aches, sneezing, and coughing. As there’s no cure for a cold, your best bet is rest, plenty of fluids, and embracing over-the-counter medication like nasal sprays, cough drops, and decongestants to manage your symptoms. 

How Do Strep Throat & Tonsillitis Symptoms Differ?

doctorThe symptoms associated with strep throat are more severe than a cold and can last upwards of 10 days. Signs of this illness include a sore throat coupled with fever, loss of appetite, and swollen tonsils that are red with white spots. Tonsillitis, on the other hand, is synonymous with a very painful throat with white and yellow spots, swollen tonsils, bad breath, and a gruff speaking voice. Some patients with tonsillitis also experience a high fever and swelling in lymph nodes in the neck.

When Should You Visit a Family Doctor?

If you’re running a high fever, experiencing severe symptoms such as constant coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, or notice your tonsils are an unusual color, schedule an appointment with your doctor. By running a rapid strep test, your physician will be able to determine whether you have strep throat or tonsillitis. In either circumstance, they’ll prescribe appropriate antibiotics to kill the bacterial infection, which will result in improvements within a day or so. 


East Lincoln Family Health Professionals, P.C. has been a leading family medicine practice serving residents throughout Lancaster County, NE, since opening in 1982. If you’re experiencing any of the issues noted above, call (402) 483-7507 today to schedule an appointment with a friendly and knowledgable doctor. For more information on their customized health care solutions and commitment to preventative medicine for patients of all ages, visit their website

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