Children’s Health Living well

How to Cure a Sore Throat and Tonsils

how to treat tonsils

Tonsillitis is an infection of your tonsils, two masses of tissues at the back of your throat. Your tonsils act as filters, trapping germs that could otherwise make an entry in your airways and cause severe infection. They also make antibodies to fight against infection. But, sometimes, they get overwhelmed by viruses and bacteria. This in turn makes them inflamed and swollen. Tonsillitis is quite common, especially among children. It can happen occasionally or appear again and again in a short period. Do you suffer from tonsillitis? If so, here are a few home treatments for tonsillitis.

Types of Tonsillitis

Acute tonsillitis- These symptoms generally last 3 or 4 days but can last up to around 2 weeks

Recurrent tonsillitis- This is when one gets tonsillitis many times in a year

Chronic tonsillitis- This is when you have a long- term tonsil infection

Symptoms of Tonsillitis

Some of the common symptoms of tonsillitis are swollen and inflamed tonsils. Sometimes they get so severe that it becomes difficult for the person to breathe through his mouth. Other symptoms of tonsils include:

  1. Tenderness or throat pain
  2. Red tonsils
  3. Fever
  4. Painful blisters or ulcers on your throat
  5. White or yellow coating on your tonsils
  6. Loss of appetite
  7. Headache
  8. Ear pain
  9. Trouble in swallowing
  10. Fever and chills
  11. Swollen glands in your jaw or neck
  12. Bad breath
  13. Muffled sound
  14. Stiff neck

Tonsillitis Symptoms in Children

In children, some of the common symptoms of tonsils are:

  • Vomiting
  • Upset stomach
  • Drooling
  • Stomach pain
  • Not able to swallow anything

Certain things may put you at greater risk of getting tonsils:

Age- Children tend to get more tonsils when compared to adults. Kids who are between the age of 5 and 15 are more likely to suffer from tonsillitis caused by a bacterial infection. Tonsils from viral infections are more common in young children. Elderly adults are at high risk for tonsils too.

ways to treat tonsillitis

Germ exposure- Children spend more time with other kids of their age in camp or school, so they can spread infections that in turn cause tonsillitis. Adults who spend a lot of time around young kids, as teachers, may also be likely to get infections and get tonsils.

Home Treatments for Tonsillitis

If you are suffering from tonsillitis, you can try the below-mentioned tonsillitis treatment at home. These tonsils stones treatment can help in alleviating their symptoms.

Drinking plenty of warm water

Drinking warm liquids is one of the popular home treatments for tonsillitis. You can have any warm liquids, like broths, tea, or soup. These can help soothe a sore throat. Herbal teas with ingredients like pectin, honey, or glycerin may prove to be helpful, as these ingredients form a protective covering on the mucous membranes in the throat and mouth, which might reduce irritation.

However, there is only weak evidence that herbal teas treat the symptoms of tonsils.

Eating cold foods

Eating cold, soft foods, like frozen yogurt or ice cream, can numb the throat, providing temporary pain relief. People can try the following home treatments for tonsillitis:

  • Sucking popsicles
  • Drinking chilled smoothies
  • Sipping cold water

Other alternatives include hard candies or chewing gums that consists of menthol or mint. These ingredients offer a similar cooling and numbing sensation inside the throat.

Avoiding hard foods

For people suffering from tonsillitis, eating sharp or hard foods can be uncomfortable and even painful. Hard foods may scratch the throat, leading to further inflammation and irritation. Foods that must be avoided include:

  1. Crackers
  2. Chips
  3. Toast
  4. Dry Cereal
  5. Raw apples
  6. Raw carrots

People must try eating softer foods that can be swallowed easily or you can stick to broths, soups, and chilled smoothies until your symptoms reduce.

Gargle with saltwater

Gargling with salt water is one of the common home treatments for tonsillitis. It may temporarily soothe pain or tickle in the back part of the throat. People can make a mixture of saltwater by adding a quarter of a teaspoon of salt to warm water and stir the solution until the salt dissolves completely. You can gargle using saltwater for a few seconds before throwing it out. It is safe to repeat the process if the person does not swallow the mixture.

Gargling is not suitable for young children as there is a high chance that they will inhale the fluid and choke.

Increasing humidity inside

Dry air can irritate a sore throat. People suffering from tonsils may benefit from using a cool-mist humidifier. These devices help in releasing moisture back into the air, helping alleviate discomfort in the throat. People must clean humidifiers regularly to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria and mold. Individuals who do not have a humidifier can instead try to inhale steam from a hot bath or shower.

Avoiding straining the voice

Swelling in the throat can make the voice muffled, it may be tempting to counter this by increasing the voice, but doing so increases throat irritation. One of the best tonsillitis cure is the person should try to give some rest to his voice as much as possible. They must make an appointment with the doctor, as having difficulty while speaking can at times indicate a complication.

Getting enough rest

People with tonsils should give enough rest to their throat. Resting will help the body to fight off the bacterial or viral infection. Continuing to go to school or work not just improves the likelihood of a person being ill for a long time, but it may also put others at risk of getting the infection.

Chew medicated throat lozenges

Some throat lozenges contain anesthetic medicines to numb and soothe your throat. Many contain anti-inflammatory medicines to reduce inflammation and swelling. One of the major benefits of throat lozenges is that they deliver pain relief directly to the area of inflammation.

Some lozenges even consist of antiseptic agents that help target the bacteria responsible for causing bacterial tonsillitis.

However, lozenges are not suitable for young children as they pose a choking risk. Some also consist of benzocaine, which can have negative effects in this population. The Food and Drug Administration  (FDA) advises parents as well as caregivers to avoid providing products that consist of benzocaine to kids who are younger than 2 years unless a doctor suggests it.

Throat sprays and gargles

Throat sprays and gargles are one of the popular methods to deliver anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic medicines directly to the throat. People can look for throat sprays with one of these active ingredients:

  • Phenol
  • Benzydamine
  • Benzocaine, for old children and adults
  • Dibucaine
  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Chlorhexidine gluconate
  • Cetylpyridinium chloride

Apart from all these above-mentioned treatments, one can opt for Tonsillectomy surgery too.

Tonsils play a significant role in our immune system, so your doctor will try to keep them. However, if your tonsillitis keeps coming back or will not go away, or if swollen tonsils make it difficult for you to eat or breathe, you might need to have to take out your tonsils. This surgery is known as Tonsillectomy.

different methods to treat tonsils

Tonsillectomy used to be a common treatment. But now, doctors recommend it if tonsillitis keeps coming back again and again. That means you or your child has tonsillitis more than 7 times a year, over four or five times a year for the past 2 years, or more than 3 times a year for the previous three years.

Usually, doctors use a sharp tool known as a scalpel to remove your tonsils.  But many other options are also available, including radio waves, lasers, electrocautery, or ultrasonic energy to remove enlarged tonsils.

Discuss your treatment options with your doctor to decide which treatment is best for you.

Tonsillectomy recovery

Tonsillectomy is an outpatient process, which means there is no need to stay in the hospital. Usually, it takes less than one hour. You can go home a few hours later after the surgery. Recovery generally takes about 7 to 10 days. You may have some pain in your ears, throat, neck, or jaw after the surgery is over. Your doctor can suggest to you what medicines to take to tackle this.

Get a lot of rest and drink lots of fluids while you are recovering. But make sure you do not drink or eat any dairy products for the initial 24 hours. You might have a low fever and find a little blood in your mouth or nose for some days after the operation. If you have a fever more than 102 or have bright red colored blood in your mouth or nose, immediately call the doctor.

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