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Conditions A-Z l DetailTonsillitis

Tonsillitis

What is Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils and will often, but not necessarily, cause a sore throat and fever.

What are the Symptoms of Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis is characterized by red, swollen tonsils. White patches may or may not appear on the tonsils. Other signs and symptoms of tonsillitis include a severe sore throat, painful/difficult swallowing, headache, fever and chills, enlarged and tender lymph nodes, pain in the tonsil area, and loss of voice.

What are the Causes of Tonsillitis

Bacterial tonsillitis may be caused by Group A streptococcal bacteria, resulting in strep throat. Viral tonsillitis may be caused by numerous viruses.

Sometimes, tonsillitis is caused by a superinfection of spirochaeta and treponema, in this case called Vincent's angina.

Traditional Medical Treatments for Tonsillitis

Treatments of tonsillitis consist of pain management medications and lozenges. If the tonsillitis is caused by bacteria, then antibiotics are prescribed. Penicillin is the most commonly used antibiotic.

In many cases of tonsillitis, the pain caused by the inflamed tonsils warrants the prescription of topical anesthetics for temporary relief. Viscous lidocaine solutions are often prescribed for this purpose.

Ibuprofen or other analgesic can help to decrease the edema and inflammation which will ease the pain and allow the patient to swallow liquids sooner.

When tonsillitis is caused by a virus, the length of illness depends on which virus is involved. Usually, a complete recovery is made within one week, however some rare infections may last for up to two weeks.

Chronic cases may indicate tonsillectomy (surgical removal of tonsils) as a choice for treatment

Complementary/Alternative Treatments for Tonsillitis

A saltwater gargle can relieve soreness.

Herbal Therapies: To reduce inflammation, medical herbalists suggest drinking a tea made from cleavers: A gargle made from sage is thought to help fight infection.

Hypnotherapy - Belladonna, Hepar sulphuris, or Mercurius vivus; for chronic enlarged tonsils, Baryta carbonica or Calcarea carbonica.

Treatments for Tonsillitis

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