Treating Tonsil Symptoms: Inflamed or Infected Tonsils

What do my tonsil symptoms mean?

Do your tonsil symptoms include inflamed or infected tonsils? Tonsillitis is a condition that occurs after your tonsils become infected. Your tonsils are located at the back of your throat. The purpose of your tonsils is to trap germs that make you sick. It can sometimes become infected when you’re sick. Once infected, they usually become swollen and sore, which could make swallowing difficult and uncomfortable. The most common symptom of tonsillitis is a sore throat. 

Tonsillitis is most often caused by common viruses like colds and the flu, but bacterial infections (like strep throat) can also be the cause. 

Tonsillitis can occur in people of all ages but is most common in children over three. In some cases, the symptoms will subside in three to four days. 

The most common tonsillitis symptoms include:

  • Sore or scratchy throat
  • High fever
  • Stomach ache or vomiting 
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • White, grey, or yellow spotting on your tonsils

If your symptoms last longer than four days, we recommend you contact a doctor.

How can you identify infected tonsils?

You need to look for a few symptoms to identify infected and inflamed tonsils. First, examine your throat for any signs of redness and swelling on your tonsils. Make sure to look for any white spots on your tonsils. Check for swollen lymph nodes by feeling the sides of your neck. If your tonsils feel swollen or tender, it’s a sign that your tonsils are infected and inflamed. 

After confirming your tonsils are infected, it’s best to determine whether it is from a virus or bacteria. Your primary care doctor can do this by administering a bacteria culture test. This procedure is done by swabbing the back of your throat with a cotton swab to gather cells and saliva. The sample will be tested for Group A Streptococcus bacteria. If your results are negative, you have viral tonsillitis. 

How is tonsillitis treated?

When treating tonsillitis, it’s essential to note what caused the infection. The treatments for viral tonsillitis and bacterial tonsillitis are different. 

If you have bacterial tonsillitis, your primary care doctor will prescribe antibiotic medications to treat the strep throat. You’ll most likely be prescribed antibiotics like penicillin, clindamycin, or cephalosporin to treat the infection. It’s essential to regularly take the antibiotics for roughly ten days to ensure the infection doesn’t return. 

If you have viral tonsillitis, the treatment will not involve antibiotics. Your primary care doctor recommends over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and throat lozenges. While treating viral tonsillitis, staying hydrated with plenty of fluids and staying well rested is essential. 

If you suffer tonsillitis, you may benefit from a tonsillectomy procedure. This is a surgery that will remove your tonsils

Can you prevent tonsillitis?

You can’t prevent tonsillitis, but there are simple steps you can take to reduce your risk of contracting it. You can reduce your risk of getting it by washing your hands often before touching your nose and mouth. Replacing your toothbrush regularly is also recommended to avoid bacteria and germs. 

Since the virus and bacteria that cause tonsillitis is highly contagious, it’s important to be mindful of the germs around you. Avoid sharing food and drinks with others. If the people close to you are currently sick, it’s best to avoid coming into close contact with them. 

Struggling with Tonsillitis? Make an appointment with a throat specialist from Breathe Clear Institute.

Our specialists can help you find relief. Throat pain is already uncomfortable, especially if it lasts for days. That’s why it’s essential to see an expert to diagnose your problem and develop a treatment plan that works. When you visit us, we will thoroughly examine your throat to identify the cause of your discomfort.