Dealing With Tonsillitis

Infected Tonsils


What Is Tonsillitis?

What exactly is tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is the inflammation/swelling of your tissues in the back of your throat on either side of your tongue better know as your tonsils. Your tonsils main job is to help filter out germs that are trying to gain entry to your body. Tonsillitis is a very common illness, especially in children, and can be caused by both bacterial infections as well as viral infections. It is also not uncommon for one to have their tonsils removed if tonsillitis becomes a recurring problem.

Symptoms of Tonsillitis

The symptoms of tonsillitis include,

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Fever (sweating and chills)
  • Headache
  • Tenderness in the neck, jaw, and/or ears
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bad breath
  • Upset stomach
  • White patches seen on the tonsils themselves
  • Hoarseness
  • General feeling of being unwell

If you are experiencing some of these symptoms please seek medical attention.

Treating Tonsillitis

Treatment of tonsillitis includes,

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Ibuprofen (Advil for example) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol for example). Do not give Aspirin to a child. As Aspirin as been linked to Reyes Syndrome.
  • Gargling with warm salt water multiple times a day. The warm salt water is not only soothing to the throat. But germs also hate the salty conditions.
  • Adequate rest
  • Hydration. It is important not to become dehydrated.
  • Use a cool air humidifier to help make the air more soothing to breathe in.
  • Antibiotics are used when tonsillitis is caused by a bacterial infection but not a viral infection. It is important to finish the entire course of antibiotics even if you begin to feel better before the treatment is complete.


Sometimes a tonsillectomy is suggested. Especially if they tonsils are becoming a problem. If tonsil infections are common, the person is having difficulty breathing due to the tonsils, or the person has developed an abscess or another type of growth on the tonsils. This common surgical procedure is often performed at the same time as an adenoidectomy (removal of another type of "tonsil" located at the very back of your nasal canal).

Although one require anesthetic for this type of surgery it is very common and a fairly easy procedure. After being "put to sleep", the person's mouth with be propped open and the tonsils will be cut or burned out. The bleeding will be controlled by cauterization. This forms scabs over the area that the tonsils once were. As these scabs heal they will eventually fall off. Allowing the area to heal without stitches. People who are at low risk of complications are often able to go home several hours after the procedure is complete. Complete recovery normally takes anywhere from 1-2 weeks.

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Comments 2 comments

dinkan53 profile image

dinkan53 4 years ago from India

For me tonsillectomy was recommended when i was seven years of old. My father was strongly against that. As a chronic tonsillitis attacker i know the difficulties of it. Now a days tonsillectomy is mainly done in cases of obstructive sleep apnea more often than for recurrent infections. Thanks for sharing this useful article. Voted up and useful.

Mmargie1966 profile image

Mmargie1966 4 years ago from Gainesville, GA

Very informative hub! Both of my kids (well, they are adults now) have problems with their tonsils. I had mine out when I was 12.

After reading this, I think I will share it for those who need to know.

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