What you need to know about Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils, which are two oval tissue lumps at the back of the throat. The Tonsils are the immune system’s first line of defense against viruses and bacteria. It may occur in both children and adults. 

It is often caused by viruses (70%), but bacterial infections can also occur. Complications such as peritonsillar abscess, middle ear infection or breathing problems are usually associated with bacterial infections. 

Symptoms and Symptoms  

  • Fever 
  • Headache 
  • Sore throat 
  • Side neck pains 
  • Pain when swallowing 
  • Bad breath 
  • Tonsil pus patches that are white or yellow in color  


Treatment is supportive for viral infections. Antibiotics are reserved for bacterial infections only. 

 Here are some home-care strategies one can do:   

  1. Drinking plenty of warm liquids. Soups, broths, and teas are all good for soothing a sore throat. 
  1. Eating cold foods. Cold, soft meals like frozen yogurt or ice cream numb the throat and provide short pain relief. 
  1. Gargling with salt water. For a brief period, gargling with salt water relieves discomfort or irritation at the back of the throat.  
  1. Increasing indoor humidity. A cool mist humidifier might help those with tonsillitis.  
  1. Avoid straining the voice.  
  1. Getting plenty of rest.  
  1. Over-the-counter pain relievers. Tonsillitis can cause a sore throat, fever, and other uncomfortable symptoms, which can be relieved with over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen.  

Surgery to remove the tonsils is recommended for patients who frequently has Tonsillitis. 

Frequent Tonsillitis is defined as: 

  • With at least 7 episodes in the preceding year 
  • At least 5 episodes in the past 2 years 
  • At least 3 episodes a year in the past 3 years 

Symptoms usually improve within 7 to 10 days. 


The cause of both viral and bacterial Tonsillitis is contagious. Practice of good hygiene remains to be the best prevention tip.  

Here are some practices that one can do: 

  1. Regular handwashing 
  1. Avoid sharing food, drinks, utensils and other personal items. 
  1. Stay away from individuals with sore throat or Tonsillitis. 

Medical Consultation 

If your sore throat symptoms are persistent and/or painful, it’s time to contact a doctor.  

Only a doctor can accurately diagnose and treat your sore throat. If you experience any symptoms mentioned earlier, do a consult with doctor. Patients who have difficulty breathing should be directed to the ER. Early prevention is key.