Doctor's Notes on Tonsillitis
Tonsillitis refers to inflammation of the tonsils in the back of the throat. Acute tonsillitis refers to a short-term illness and is caused by infections with a number of different bacteria or viruses. Infectious mononucleosis (“mono”) and strep throat are two examples of acute tonsillitis. Chronic, or long-term, tonsillitis is a persistent infection of the tonsils that can eventually lead to stone formation within the tonsils.
Associated signs and symptoms may include:
- nasal congestion,
- runny nose,
- bad breath,
- swollen lymph nodes in the neck,
- loss of voice or hoarseness, and
The tonsils themselves may be enlarged, red, swollen, and may be covered with white patches or pus.
What Is the Treatment for Tonsillitis?
Treatment for tonsillitis depends on the cause.
- Antibiotics are used to treat tonsillitis caused by bacterial infections. Antibiotics are not effective in treating tonsillitis caused by infectious mononucleosis or other viral infections.
- In all cases of tonsillitis, medications may be used to manage fever and pain.
- Dietary modifications and consuming soothing foods (both warm and cold liquids can be effective) can help ensure adequate nutrition.
- Other home remedies include humidifying the air, using throat lozenges (for adults and older children), and gargling with salt water.
Cold & Flu : Influenza vs. Common Cold QuizQuestion
Which illness is known as a viral upper respiratory tract infection?See Answer
Must Read Articles:
Acute BronchitisBronchitis is a disease of the respiratory system in which the bronchial passages become inflamed. There are two types of bronchitis, acute and chronic. Symptoms of acute bronchitis include frequent cough with mucus, lack of energy, wheezing, and possible fever. Treatment may require medication such as bronchial inhalers and predinsone. Supportive treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms with fever reducers, cough suppressants, and rest. Treatment may be more aggressive in patients with pre-existing conditions such as emphysema, COPD, or cigarette smoking.
Bad Breath (Halitosis)Bad breath< (halitosis) can be caused by a variety of things including diet, medication, poor oral hygiene, and diseases or conditions such as diabetes, GERD, lactose intolerance, gum disease, and more. Treatment for bad breath depends on the cause.
Earache (Ear Pain)Earache is pain in the ear. An earache can be caused by infections or fungus. There are types of ear infections to include otitis externa, otitis externa (swimmer's ear), otitis media, and myringitis. Symptoms of an earache include pain in the ear, fever, fluid seeping from the ear, and headache. Treatment of earache depends on the cause.
Fever (in Adults)A fever is a body temperature of 100.4 F or greater. A fever may be caused by a virus, bacteria, fungus, blood clot, tumor, drug, or the environment. Treatment of fever in adults usually involves ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin.
Fever in ChildrenWhat are causes, symptoms, and treatment (acetaminophen) of fever in children? Learn when to worry, when a high fever is an emergency, and how to take a rectal temperature.
Peritonsillar Abscess (Throat Abscess)A peritonsillar abscess is a collection of infected fluid and pus in the throat next to one of the tonsils. Symptoms are pain, swelling, diffiulty breathing, speaking, and swallowing. This condition can be caused by strep throat, dental infection or other infection. Doctors may treat the abscess by draining it and administering antibiotics.
Sore ThroatSore throats are generally named for the anatomical site affected, such as: the pharynx, tonsils, adenoids, larynx, and epiglottis. Sore throat treatment depends on the cause, infection, viral, or fungal.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.