You might have experienced a sore throat several times in your life. On most occasions, a sore throat is caused by a bacterial infection or a virus attack. Moreover, sore throat can also be experienced as a result of a plant or pet allergy.
In any case, the primary reason why you experience a sore throat is because of an infection in our tonsils known as “tonsillitis”.
A sore throat is only a minor form of tonsil infection. However, in the wrong conditions and in extreme cases, minor tonsil infections can have complications, and may require surgery.
In this article we'll see what are the types, signs and symptoms of tonsillitis. Not only that we've also listed effective ways to get rid of tonisils and a guide to completely recover from it.
What Is Tonsillitis?
Tonsils (palatine tonsils) are the two essential components of your body that resemble lymph nodes. They are made of soft tissue and are situated on each side at the back of your throat (pharynx).
They serve as one of the primary defense mechanisms for the immune system of your body, protecting it from infections.
Tonsils essentially trap germs, including viruses and bacteria, and block them from entering the body through the nose and throat.
Additionally, tonsils produce proteins known as antibodies, which help kill trapped germs and help prevent your lungs and throat from becoming infected. However, when the body suffers from an infection, they become inflamed.
The size of tonsils is different in every person. If you open your mouth wide, you can see your tonsils as two fleshy lumps on both sides of your mouth.
Types Of Tonsillitis
Generally, there are two categories of tonsillitis:
Recurrent tonsillitis appears as several episodes of tonsillitis throughout the year. It comes under the category of “Acute Tonsillitis”.
Acute or recurrent tonsillitis is a normal symptom of your body fighting infections.
Chronic Tonsillitis occurs when the recurrent tonsillitis is. Moreover, this type of tonsillitis is also accompanied by various other symptoms, such as chronic sore throat, halitosis, and tender lymph.
Chronic tonsillitis, in most cases, requires far more care than recurrent tonsillitis.
Signs And Symptoms Of Tonsillitis
When afflicted with tonsillitis, you may also experience;
In extreme cases, your tonsils can get enlarged and you can see Pus as white spots on them. Pus is basically the result of a buildup of dead white blood cells that the body uses to fight of infections.
Pus is often an indication that the infection is going to get worse within a few days, but also that the body is actively fighting it.
In some cases, cancer of the tonsil(s) can also be seen in people who are chain smokers or alcohol addicts.
Cancer of the tonsil(s) comes with its own set of symptoms and treatments.
Causes Of Tonsillitis
Other than bacterial and viral infections, tonsillitis can also be caused by;
15 Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Tonsillitis
There are almost always two or more ways of treating any condition. Before jumping into medical treatment, it is always best to try natural remedies, which may have the right ingredients to tackle the root of the issue. The case is no different for tonsillitis.
When it comes to sore throat and tonsillitis, there are plenty of home remedies that work like magic.
The following are the top ten natural remedies that are used for decades to cure the signs and symptoms of tonsillitis.
However, if your condition persists or you experience bleeding or unpleasant odor from your mouth, in that case, you may need the help of a physician.
Also important to consider is the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to natural remedies; what may work for others may not be the best solution for you.
Basic Tea For Cold And Flu
Herbal tea is not only a soothing drink for winters and weight loss but a significant source of antioxidants that help you get rid of toxins and infections from your body. Herbal tea is also one of the best solutions for those who want to increase their muscle endurance and improve their health.
Herbal tea can also be an excellent pain reliever. Furthermore, it improves your defense mechanism and strengthens the immune system. Out of many other benefits, herbal tea is also a remarkable solution for sore throat and initial signs of tonsillitis.
It reduces inflammation in your throat, which is the main cause of tonsillitis, and helps prevents infections from recurring by boosting the immune system.
Thus, if you feel even slight itchiness in your throat, herbal tea could be the right remedy for you to consider. Herbal tea does not have any known side effects.
Vitamin C In Any Form
Vitamins play an essential role in strategically positioning the immune system to fight off infections. A diet or regimen that factors in the right mix of vitamins can help eliminate complications from infections.
According to a research published in Seminars in Preventive and Alternative Medicine as well as HR Griffiths scholarly research on the pro-oxidant properties of Vitamin C, it has been revealed that Vitamin C is an excellent immune booster.
These studies also revealed the fact that Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for reducing the sternness of a cold and relief from sore throat.
By taking either a Vitamin C supplement or consuming fruits rich in this vitamin, you can not only treat the mild to medium signs of tonsillitis, you can also prevent any complications in the future.
Vitamin C supplements are also prescribed by doctors under certain conditions as a cure for tonsillitis.
However, it is important to be aware of the fact that too much Vitamin C can cause side effects like diarrhea and nausea.
One of the most effective home remedies for swollen tonsils is bone broth with a dash of garlic in it. Bone broth is full of biominerals, amino acids, and antioxidants.
It supports your immune system and gives your body the essential nutrients to heal itself and restore overall healthy functionality of vital organs and tissues.
Bone broth also detoxifies your body by eradicating infections and toxins that may factor into the development of tonsillitis. Bone broth also keeps you hydrated; staying hydrated is especially beneficial while suffering from tonsillitis as it allows your body to fight off the infection in peak condition.
By combining bone broth with garlic, this home treatment becomes even more beneficial. Garlic is an exceptional immunity booster that contains allicin. Allicin contains bacteriostatic action, which helps in eliminating bacteria-causing infections from the body. You can keep using this garlic filled bone broth till the signs of tonsillitis go away.There are no side effects of consuming bone broth with garlic, besides bad breath because of the garlic.
Salt Water Gargling
When it comes to a sore throat, everyone is aware of the magical properties of saltwater gargling. Paired with warm water, the composition of salt in the solution draws out fluids (much like osmosis) from your mouth and helps fight infections.
Additionally, saltwater creates a barrier of salt in your mouth that temporarily prevents bacteria from dwelling within it.
The same applies to tonsillitis as well. Gargling with some salt and warm water can not only soothe your throat but can also be an excellent remedy to get rid of the pain and itchiness caused by tonsillitis.
Make sure that you use clean, distilled or spring water to rinse your throat. Gargling with salt water is also an effective remedy for getting rid of tonsil stones and relieve a scratchy or itchy throat.
Again, there are no known side effects of gargling with saltwater.
Humidifiers come in various forms and used for a variety of purposes. For curing tonsillitis, you must use a cold-mist humidifier to target the discomfort in the throat caused by tonsillitis.
Generally, tonsillitis can result in a dry mouth and itchy throat, due to the lack of moisture at the back of the throat. This condition can further complicate tonsillitis, and as a result you may find it difficult to swallow or even breathe normally.
Cold-mist humidifiers are especially beneficial when it comes to viruses and infections which may result in tonsillitis. If you are suffering from tonsillitis then you must make sure that you sleep with a humidifier by your side till the condition subsides.
If you don’t have access to a humidifier, then you can simply take a steam shower before you go to bed to reduce the symptoms and have a peaceful sleep.
Lozenges have been used for many years as an excellent solution to cure a sore throat. However, all lozenges aren’t the same. Some of them contain natural, anti-inflammatory ingredients, while others may only be used as a pain reliever.
When looking for lozenges for curing tonsillitis, you must look for the one with licorice as an active ingredient. Licorice contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe your discomforting throat and reduce the inflammation caused by tonsillitis.
However, lozenges should not be given to children under the age of 5 years due to a very obvious choking hazard. Instead, you can use a throat spray with licorice in it for children.
Use Plenty Of Warm Liquids
Sipping warm liquids like tea with lemon and honey or simply sipping warm water can help counter the condition of tonsillitis at early stages. You should increase the intake of warm liquids to keep yourself hydrated and to prevent dryness of the throat.
Honey added in warm liquids is also one of the best antibacterial solutions used to eliminate the signs and symptoms of tonsillitis.
Another useful anti-inflammatory beverage is fennel tea, which reduces discomfort and promotes wellness.
An Ice-Cold Treatment
Trust us or not, all those myths about avoiding ice-cold treats during a sore throat (and by extension the symptoms of tonsillitis) are myths at best.
To your amazement, ice-cold treats are an extremely effective remedy for treating inflammation and pain caused by tonsillitis.
You can consume anything from popsicles, ice tea, ice chips, and any other frozen foods to give your sore throat a chilly treat.
You can also treat yourself with ice cream and frozen desserts as long as they are free from lactose and milk. Cold solids and liquid act as anti-inflammatory remedies that help reduce swelling and discomfort.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which can increase the absorption rate of several minerals and vitamins in your body. Apple cider vinegar also changes the pH of your body, which helps alleviate sore throat and swelling, among other symptoms of tonsillitis.
However, make sure that you dilute the vinegar with water before gargling or consuming as the vinegar may be too strong to directly consume.
This mixture will help in breaking down the materials which are the main cause of tonsil stones. By repeating this process up to three to four times a day, you can loosen the tonsil stones to 80%.
Coconut oil is very effective in fighting the symptoms of tonsillitis. By dissolving it in a hot drink and drinking it, or even through gargling with a diluted solution, you will see the desired results within a week of usage.
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, as well as other antibacterial components that help eliminate infection-causing bacteria. This oil also contains anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce swelling and discomfort.
Moreover, it is also a decongestant that can help in clearing the phlegm developed due to most infections.
Plenty of Rest
Rest is the most crucial factor to help your body while recovering from an illness. When your body is passing through any illness or injury, your immune system works hard to fight off the condition.
Under these circumstances, a good amount of rest can not only help you recover faster but can also save you from fatigue and exhaustion, which may arise as a result of illness.
Exhaustion or fatigue hinders optimal function of the immune system.
While suffering from tonsillitis, you don’t only need plenty of bed rest; you should also avoid speaking for long periods or speaking too loudly. Proper rest will also ensure that any remedy or medication that you follow will work more effectively.
Nature’s healing power often lies in essential oils. Essential oils are used to treat thousands of ailments and diseases, and effectively so. They are so beneficial that they are often used to treat even the rarest mental conditions.
During tonsillitis, you may experience insomnia and difficulty sleeping. Under such conditions, essential oils - especially lavender oil - can help you with sleeplessness.
All you need to do is to mix some drops of any essential oil (geranium, rosemary, frankincense, lavender) in a carrier oil (Apricot Kernel Oil, Coconut oil) and use them in a steamy shower or diffuser.
Alternately you can put a few drops of lavender oil on a cotton swab and place it under your pillowcase.
Avoid Sugar OR Sugary Products
To put it simply, sugar is not the best supplement your immune system. On the contrary, it can suppress your immune system greatly, and result in inflammation.
Tonsillitis is also linked to a weak immune system; by staying away from sugar, you can give a fighting chance to your immune system, so it can combat external elements more effectively.
Unless you are sure that you have recovered from tonsillitis, don’t go anywhere near sugar.
Use Phenolic Compounds
Using phenolic compounds can also help you in treating the initial signs of tonsillitis. There are many phenolic rich foods, including fresh figs, which are full of anti-inflammatory wonders.
Figs don't only feel soothing when swallowed, but are also excellent pain relievers; they fight off and eliminate bacterial infections, which are the ultimate cause of tonsillitis.
However, in some cases, home remedies might not be the best solution, and you may need to consult with an ENT specialist or another licensed medical practitioner.
Seek Medical Attention
If you find yourself unable to get rid of the pain and swelling associated with tonsillitis, then you must seek help from a doctor.
Generally, the initial symptoms of tonsillitis can be eradicated within ten days. However, if it the infection doesn’t go away within that period, then you shouldn’t wait any longer.
You can go to any doctor who specializes in nose, ear, and throat consultancy for tonsillitis.
The following are some of the symptoms that indicate that you need to seek medical treatment:
Best Tonsillitis Antibiotics And Herbal Medicines
It is a general perception that antibiotics come with plenty of side effects. While it is true in most cases, some antibiotics claim to have zero side-effects.
The following are some of the best and most popular tonsillitis antibiotics for adults and children:
Best tonsillitis medicine by HomyoXpert
- (Pack of 3 bottles) For One Month
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As one of the best homeopathic medicines for tonsillitis, this product comes with no side effects, and is equally safe for both children and adults. The medicine is specifically for those who are suffering from tonsillitis on the right side.
If taken in the appropriate amount and at the right time, this medicine can offer a permanent solution to tonsillitis. HomyoXpert’s medication could mean that don’t won’t to go for surgery or tonsil removal, as this medicine will more than likely exterminate the root cause of tonsillitis.
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Best herbal medicine by DIHEA
This herbal medicine by DIHEA is composed of the black walnut leaf, marshmallow root, Bugleweed herb, lobelia herb, plantain leaf and goldenseal root, which are all excellent ingredients for sinus health.
This herbal medicine doesn’t only reduce the inflammation but also helps in getting rid of the infection completely.
Amoxicillin - Most Popular Antibiotic
One of the most popular antibiotics for the treatment of tonsillitis is Amoxicillin. It is the most widely used antibiotic, and belongs to a group of drugs known as penicillin.
Amoxicillin prevents bacteria from growing in your body and kills it immediately. It also forms a wall around the cells and prevents the attack of bacteria in the future as well.
However, Amoxicillin it is not suitable for treating viral infections, and you should refer to alternate treatments if you know your infection is caused due to a virus.
Apart from the home remedies discussed above. The medical treatment of tonsillitis relies upon the severity of symptoms. The following are the three common treatments used to cure tonsillitis:
If your tonsillitis is due to a bacterial infection, then your physician will most probably prescribe you an antibiotic prescription.
Make sure that complete the entire course of antibiotics as advised by your doctor to prevent re-infection and ensure that the medication works as intended.
On the other hand, if your condition is due to a virus, then your doctor will only suggest solutions to relieve pain.
You might need to take mild pain killers, depending on the severity of pain. This type of tonsillitis needs time to recover and your body is more that capable of fighting it on its own.
To be able to fight off tonsillitis due to a virus, it is especially important to have a strong immune system.
Under severe circumstances, you might even need to undergo surgery to get your tonsils removed. This surgery is known as tonsillectomy.
Tonsillectomy usually isn’t a complicated procedure, and most patients are allowed to leave the hospital within hours after surgery.
Tonsil removal is generally conducted if patients experience the following symptoms:
Generally, the recovery period of tonsillectomy is anywhere from a week to 14 days, but special precautions must be taken to recover from it completely.
Read on to know more about the recovery period and the practices you need to adopt during this stage.
How To Recover Completely From Tonsillitis
Treatment of tonsillitis and getting rid of it is one thing but recovering from it is yet another phase.
Follow these lifestyle measures to recover completely from the after-effects of tonsillitis
Following these precautions during your recovery period will get you back in tip-top shape very soon.
Complications Associated With Tonsillitis
Chronic tonsillitis comes with several other complications in which the most common is known as obstructive sleep apnea. It occurs when the airways swell and constrict so much that the patient finds it difficult to breathe and/or sleep.
In severe cases, the patient can also develop another condition called peritonsillar abscess, which is the extreme buildup of puss and sores on the tonsils. It can result in surgery and often requires clinical drainage.
In the case of bacterial tonsillitis, the patient is most likely to be prescribed antibiotics. In this case, if the person skips even a single dose of antibiotics, then severe complications can be experienced, including rheumatic fever.
Tonsillitis in Adults
Tonsillitis predominantly affects children. However, in some cases, adults can also fall prey to this infection. The treatment of tonsillitis is different for both adults and children as the causes are also different in both. The symptoms of tonsillitis in adults are the same as that of children.
The risk factors of this condition are different for adults and children. The major risk factors for adults are:
Common Causes Of Tonsillitis In Adults
The common causes of tonsillitis in adults are:
Tonsillitis Diagnoses In Adults
There are two methods of diagnosing tonsillitis in adults.
Rapid Strep Test: This test is used to diagnose strep bacteria in adults.
Throat sensitivity: This test involves taking a sample to test the presence of bacteria. The results are achieved within 48-72 hours.
The process of surgery for tonsil removal is similar in adults and children. However, the recovery time of adults is much longer than that of children.
Since kids have a stronger immune system, they heal faster. As an adult, you will require at least two weeks to fully recover after the surgery.
Tonsillitis in Children
A common cause of tonsillitis in children is strep throat; this condition is also known as virus-infected tonsillitis. If it’s your child’s first time getting tonsillitis, you should consult a general physician to understand the root cause of this illness.
On the other hand, if it is not the first time that your child is experiencing this condition, then you can take help from the natural remedies mentioned earlier in this guide.
In any case, if antibiotics are prescribed to your child, be very careful about completing the entirety of the treatment.
Before we jump to frequently asked questions; here is an informative video on tonsillitis.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are some of the commonly asked questions associated with tonsillitis and tonsil stones.
How Long Does Tonsillitis Take To Go Away?
You can start getting results within the first 24 hours of taking antibiotics. On average, it takes up to five days for a patient to recover from tonsillitis without medication.
In the case of viral tonsillitis, you can take the following pain relievers to get comfortable and soothe your throat:
Can I Cure Tonsillitis In 4 Hours?
Yes. Saltwater gargling is the fastest and the most effective home remedy to cure tonsillitis. However, the solution is not permanent unless you adopt it regularly.
How Do I Know If I Have Tonsillitis?
The common symptoms of tonsillitis include swollen tonsils, difficulty or painful swallowing, along with fever and chills.
For a complete list of symptoms, see the guide above.
Do I Need Antibiotics For Tonsillitis?
It depends upon the type of tonsillitis you have. In the case of a bacterial infection, you will need a complete course of antibiotics. Any other causes don’t require antibiotics.
How Do I Know If My Tonsils Are Swollen?
The signs of swollen tonsils can be felt. A dry throat, the feeling of congestion, painful swallowing are the clear indications that your tonsils are swollen.
The swollen tonsils can also be felt from the outside due to the enlargement of glands.
Does Tonsillitis Hurt?
Yes, it does! The inflammation of tonsils doesn’t only result in a sore throat, it also makes it very difficult for you to eat or drink normally. It gets even worse at night, as the upper airway is constricted and doesn’t allow oxygen to pass easily.
Moreover, the excessive dryness of the throat makes it difficult to lie down in an upright position as well.
Is Tonsillitis Contagious?
Yes. Just like all other acute infections while are caused by viruses and bacteria, tonsillitis is also contagious and can spread by direct contact with the infected person.
Tonsillitis caused by viruses remains contagious for about 10 days, however, tonsillitis caused by bacteria can be contagious for up to a couple of weeks.
Can I Get Strep Throat With Tonsillitis?
No. having tonsillitis doesn’t mean that you are necessarily exposed to developing strep throat. However, since tonsillitis is caused due to a weak immune system, you can say that someone who is develops tonsillitis can also develop strep throat.
Although tonsillitis is less common in adults as compared to children, treatments and symptoms get more complicated for adults. If you or your child develop tonsillitis, you should try to treat it with natural remedies, at least in the initial phases.
Inflammation in tonsils can result in disturbed sleep and even painful breathing. If left untreated, tonsillitis can spread to the surrounding tissues, as it is contagious.
It is important to make wise decisions, in consultation with your doctor, before your tonsillitis takes a turn for the worse.