Tonsillitis is inflammation or swelling of the tonsils, which are the two oval-shaped tissues at the back of the throat. These infections are mostly caused by viruses, but bacteria can also be a trigger. Treatment of tonsillitis depends on the cause, so an accurate and prompt diagnosis is the key to a cure. Knowing your symptoms and personal risk factors can help you diagnose, then heal yourself from an attack of tonsillitis.
Method 1 of 3: Knowing the Symptoms
Step 1. Watch for physical symptoms
Tonsillitis has a variety of physical symptoms similar to the common cold or sore throat. If you notice any of these signs, you may have tonsillitis:
- Sore throat that lasts longer than 48 hours. This is the main symptom of tonsillitis and the first to appear
- Difficulty swallowing
- The jaw and neck feel soft
- Stiff neck
Step 2. Know the symptoms in children
Tonsillitis is very common in children. If you are not self-diagnosing but examining a child, remember that each child experiences symptoms differently.
- Children are more likely to experience nausea and abdominal pain when they have tonsillitis.
- If your child is too young to express his feelings, you may want to notice him drooling, refusing to eat, and being fussy.
Step 3. Check for swelling and redness of the tonsils
Have a friend or family member check the tonsils for symptoms of tonsillitis. Or, if you think your young child has it, check it out for yourself.
- Place the handle of the spoon on the sick person's tongue and ask him to say "aaa" as you shine a light down the back of his throat.
- Tonsils infected with tonsillitis are red and swollen, and may be coated in white or yellow.
Step 4. Take body temperature
Fever is one of the early signs of tonsillitis. Take your temperature if you have a fever.
- You can buy a thermometer at most drug stores. Usually, the thermometer should be placed for about a minute under the tongue for accurate results.
- If you take a child's temperature, always use a digital thermometer instead of a manual (mercury) one. If the child is under three years of age, you may need to insert the thermometer into the anus for accurate results, as very young children may find it difficult to hold the thermometer in their mouth.
- Normal body temperature is between 36.1 to 37.2 degrees Celsius. If it's higher, it means you have a fever.
Method 2 of 3: Visiting the Doctor
Step 1. Make an appointment with the doctor
If you think you have tonsillitis, you may need special treatment or even surgery to remove the tonsils. Only a doctor can tell for sure and make an official medical diagnosis. Make an appointment with a GP or ENT specialist to have your condition checked. If your child has symptoms of tonsillitis, see your pediatrician as soon as possible.
Step 2. Prepare for the appointment
Your doctor may ask you some questions and expect you to ask them again, so be prepared.
- Think about when your symptoms started, whether there are over-the-counter pain relievers that could improve your symptoms, whether you have been diagnosed with tonsillitis or sore throat before, and what symptoms you have. affect sleep quality. These are things the doctor will want to know to help with the diagnosis.
- Ask your doctor about the best treatment method, how long the test results will take, and when you can return to your normal activities.
Step 3. Request a test at the doctor's office
He will run several tests to diagnose tonsillitis.
- First of all, there will be a physical examination. The doctor will look at the throat, ears, nose, and listen to breathing using a stethoscope. He or she will also feel the neck for swelling and check for enlarged glands. This is a sign of mononucleosis, which inflames the tonsils.
- The doctor may take a sample of throat cells. He or she will rub a sterile swab on the back of the throat to check for bacteria associated with tonsillitis. Some hospitals have equipment that can detect results within minutes, although in other cases, you may have to wait 24 to 48 hours.
- Your doctor may suggest a complete blood cell count (CBC). This test shows the results of a count of various types of blood cells, and shows which are normal and below normal. In this way, the cause of infection is known, whether due to viruses or bacteria. A blood cell test is usually only used if the throat cell test is negative and the doctor wants to determine the underlying cause of the tonsillitis.
Step 4. Treat tonsillitis
Depending on the cause and severity, your doctor will suggest several different treatments.
- If the cause is viral, you are advised to do home remedies and you should feel better in 7 to 10 days. This treatment is similar to the treatment of all flu viruses. You should rest, drink plenty of fluids (especially warm ones), humidify the air and suck on lozenges, popsicles, and other throat-cooling foods.
- If the infection is caused by bacteria, you will likely be prescribed antibiotics. Make sure you use it as directed by your doctor. Otherwise, your infection may get worse or not go away.
- If tonsillitis is common, you may have to remove the tonsils surgically. This surgery usually only takes a day, which means you can go home the same day.
Method 3 of 3: Analyzing Risk
Step 1. Understand that tonsillitis is highly contagious
The germs that cause bacterial or viral tonsillitis are highly contagious. You may be at higher risk for tonsillitis in some conditions.
- If you share food and soft drinks with other people, such as at parties and other gatherings, you can easily catch germs. This increases your risk and increases the symptoms you experience and are associated with tonsillitis.
- Respiratory obstruction, which is severe enough to require you to breathe through your mouth, increases your risk of tonsillitis. The pathogen is transmitted through the air when an infected person breathes, coughs, and sneezes. Breathing through your mouth increases your risk of developing tonsillitis.
Step 2. Know what factors increase your risk
Although everyone who still has tonsils is at risk for tonsillitis, there are several factors that increase this risk.
- Smoking can increase your risk because it makes you breathe more regularly through your mouth and reduces your body's capacity to fight disease.
- Excessive alcohol consumption also lowers the body's immune system, making you more susceptible to disease. In addition, when drinking, people also usually share more easily. This can lead to infection.
- Any condition that weakens your immune system puts you at higher risk, for example if you have HIV/AIDS and diabetes.
- If you have recently had an organ transplant or chemotherapy, you may also be at greater risk for tonsillitis.
Step 3. Watch out for tonsillitis in children
Although tonsillitis can occur at any age, this infection is more common in children than adults. If you are dealing with children, you may be at higher risk.
- Tonsillitis is most common in preschool to mid-teens. One of the reasons is the proximity of school-age children, so the spread of germs that cause this disease is easier.
- If you work in high school or elementary school, you are at a higher risk of developing tonsillitis. Wash hands regularly when this disease is epidemic and avoid contact with all people who are diagnosed, for 24 hours.
- Your doctor will give you antibiotics if your infection is caused by bacteria. Take antibiotics as directed, even after your symptoms improve.
- Gargling with warm salt water can help relieve a sore throat.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Tylenol and ibuprofen, can temporarily relieve the symptoms of tonsillitis. However, if the patient is a child, do not use aspirin. Aspirin can cause Reye's Syndrome, a rare but serious and life-threatening medical condition in children who are recovering from infection.
- Drink cold liquids and suck on popsicles, lozenges, or ice cubes to relieve a sore throat.
- Drink warm, slightly soft liquids, such as light teas, to soothe the throat.