Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis

Tonsils are small masses of tissue which are present at the back of the throat. Tonsils act as a line of defence and trap microbes but sometimes tonsil itself gets infected and inflamed. Bacterial and viral infections can cause tonsillitis. A common cause is Streptococcus (strep) bacteria. 

Other common causes include:

  • Adenoviruses
  • Influenza virus
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Parainfluenza viruses
  • Enteroviruses
  • Herpes simplex virus

The main symptoms of tonsillitis are inflammation and swelling of the tonsils, sometimes severe enough to block the airways.

Other symptoms include:

  • Throat pain or tenderness
  • Redness of the tonsils
  • A white or yellow coating on the tonsils
  • Painful blisters or ulcers on the throat
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Ear pain
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing through the mouth
  • Swollen glands in the neck or jaw area
  • Fever, chills
  • Bad breath

Treatment

  • If it’s a bacterial infection then antibiotics are suggested but if it is viral infection then these medications cannot help, other precautions must be taken.
  • Get enough rest
  • Drink warm or very cold fluids to ease throat pain
  • Eat smooth foods, such as flavoured gelatines or applesauce
  • Use a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier in your room
  • Gargle with warm salt water
  • Suck on lozenges containing benzocaine or other anaestanesthetics
  • over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

 

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