Tonsillitis is an inflammation of both tonsils, usually from a viral infection but can also be from a bacterial infection. It can affect children, teens, and young adults.
What are the symptoms?
- Waking or progressively getting a sore throat
- Having some difficulty or pain when swallowing
- You may have a white/yellow coating on your tonsils
- Larger than normal glands in the neck
- Smelly bad breath
- Stomach pain(more common in children)
- Stiff neck
Signs that a child has tonsillitis
When young children have tonsillitis, they may be unable to completely explain how they are feeling or tell you what is wrong. For that reason, you will need to look out for tell-tale signs such as:
- Refusing to eat or drink
- Dribbling from food and not being able to swallow
- Unusual behaviour/fussiness
How to treat tonsillitis?
It is important if 1 or more of the above symptoms progress or stay the same for more than a day or 2, to visit your GP. Only they can diagnose and asses the issue if your child has any kind of difficulty breathing, extreme difficulty swallowing, or are dribbling excessively seek immediate medical help.
The doctor will treat tonsillitis accordingly to age and condition. Normally it will be an oral taken antibiotic called penicillin, but if either of you has an allergic reaction to penicillin they will give you or your child an alternative. It may also be worth discovering a herbal remedy for tonsillitis, not as an alternative medicine but to help with the symptoms.
1. Salt water
Salt water is a known healer for inflamed tonsils as it reduces inflammation and can help to treat infections. Add ½ teaspoon of salt in about 4 ounces of warm water. and gargle on the affected area for a few seconds, the longer the better. Then finish with gargling normal water to get rid of the salty taste.
There are many lozenges to treat and help with a sore throat but most of them are not for anti inflammatory reasons, some are known to numb your throat, others are for making your throat feel cool and relaxed. These lozenges have actual anti inflammatory healing properties which soothes and relives discomfort in your swollen tonsils.
When it comes to herbal teas, the best options would be chamomile, turmeric, green or liquorice tea. Each of them have different health and healing properties, the chamomile helps to lubricate your throat, turmeric relives throat pain, green tea and liquorice tea have powerful anti inflammatory properties.
4. Popsicles and ice chips
Ice and popsicles help to elevate pain whilst numbing and bringing the swelling down of the tonsils. Popsicles can be very effective especially in youngsters when they have tonsillitis as they can be worst affected with dehydration and the only way to get liquid in them is via frozen soothing foods/drinks.
A humidifier can help by putting extra moisture back into the air, when you have tonsillitis your throat may feel dry and scratchy and a humidifier can help with that. Keeping your humidifier on at night can also help with sleeping as it will stop your throat from getting dry.
What can I do to prevent tonsillitis?
Tonsillitis is caused by germs that cause viral and bacterial infections, so keeping good hygiene practices will prevent you and your child from getting it again. You should ensure that you wash hands before eating, and after using the toilet. Try to avoid sharing food, drinking glasses, bottles, utensils. You should either replace your toothbrush or sterilise it properly once the diagnoses have taken place so that it doesn’t reoccur.
What should you eat if you have tonsillitis?
It is advised that in order to keep your throat from being sore, drink warm fluids such as herbal teas, or clear broths. Eat cold things such as ice lollies, frozen yoghurt, or even ice cream as you are ill have a treat! Let the coldness soothe your poorly throat. It is also recommended that you gargle salt water often to kill off the bacteria on the throat.
My experience with tonsillitis
I personally had a horrible time with tonsillitis, it started with a fever then onto the hot and cold sweats, the achy body I just thought I was getting the flu. I slept on my sofa all night. In the morning I woke with a terrible pain whenever I swallowed, so I went to the hospital after calling them they advised I went in to be checked out.
When I arrived they examined my glands and checked the back of my throat, as soon as I opened my mouth they wrote me a prescription and I was on antibiotics for around 2 weeks, for the first 3-4 days I hardly ate anything just nibbled on soft things that didn’t hurt to be swallowed. My advice would be to get rest, and relax as much as you can. I hope you get better soon.