It might feel like a bad cold or flu in the beginning but tonsillitis can get much worse, especially when your throat hurts and swallowing even warm tea becomes difficult. Though more common in children, tonsillitis can occur even after you’ve hit adulthood. Tonsillitis happens when either or both lymph nodes on the sides of the neck get inflamed and swell up due to a viral or bacterial infection.
Tonsillitis goes away in three-four days with proper attention. This disease is not infectious, even though the underlying cause might be. Taking proper respiratory and hand hygiene measures – like covering your mouth while coughing, washing your hands with soap and water – should be taken.
Symptoms of tonsillitis
As mentioned before, tonsillitis may feel like the common cold but its symptoms vary from cold and the flu. UK’s National Health Service (NHS) lists the following as the key symptoms of tonsillitis in both children and adults:
- Sore throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Hoarse voice or loss of voice
- Coughing (usually dry)
- Headache and earache
- Swollen or painful tonsils (severe)
- Bad breath (severe)
Treatment of tonsillitis
The proper treatment of tonsillitis depends on the underlying cause, which is why consulting a doctor is necessary. If the underlying cause is viral, then you will have to rely on self-care and home remedies until the virus recedes. If the underlying cause is bacterial, then the doctor will prescribe antibiotics, which will speed up the recovery process. The following recommendations can help ease the pain and relieve symptoms of tonsillitis:
- Gargle with warm, salted water.
- Drink warm and herbal teas which have ginger, lemon, tulsi, licorice, etc.
- Drink nourishing, warm soups and broths made with vegetables and meat bones.
- Take plenty of rest and get sufficient sleep.
- Avoid hard or spicy foods that are difficult to swallow or irritate the throat.
- Avoid smoking, whether it’s active or passive.
- Use a humidifier to increase moisture in the room.
Prevention of tonsillitis
Chronic tonsillitis can lead to complications like sleep apnea, peritonsillar abscess and rheumatic fever. It’s therefore very important to prevent tonsillitis from happening repeatedly. You can do this by staying away from people who have active infections, and follow proper personal hygiene practices. If you’re particularly susceptible to tonsillitis, then avoid exposure during season changes and winters.
For more information, read our article on Tonsillitis.
Health articles on News18 are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.