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How to Get Rid of Tonsillitis

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How to Get Rid of Tonsillitis

writtenByWritten by: Leah McCabe
Leah McCabe

Leah McCabe

Leah likes writing about health and science subjects. Through her writing she hopes to help people of all backgrounds have equal access to information and quality healthcare.

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October 23, 2018 Read Time - 3 minutes

How to Get Rid of Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis is a viral or bacterial infection of the tonsils. It leaves the tonsils swollen and severely irritated often making swallowing and sometimes even breathing difficult.

Tonsillitis is common in children as young as two. It can continue to infect children all the way into their mid teens when we see a steep drop in infection rates for those over the age of 16.

Read on to learn how to get rid of tonsillitis.

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Causes of Tonsillitis

How to get rid of tonsillitis depends on what is causing it. There are two main causes of tonsillitis: viruses and bacteria.

Viral Tonsillitis is the most common kind of tonsillitis.

The virus that causes the common cold can turn into tonsillitis. These cases of infection are usually not severe and usually will go away on their own. You should start to notice improved symptoms within 48 hours and feel back to normal in about a week.

If you do not get better or your symptoms worsen after 48 hours you may have a more serious strain of virus causing your tonsillitis. You should see your doctor for an official diagnosis and may be prescribed antiviral medication.

Bacterial Tonsillitis causes an estimated 15% to 30% of tonsillitis cases, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. While it is less common it is usually more serious.

Bacterial tonsillitis does not typically go away on it’s own. You will need to see your doctor for an official diagnosis and likely will get an antibiotic prescription.

You should start to feel better within 7 to 10 days after starting treatment.

For serious cases of recurrent and/or chronic tonsillitis a tonsillectomy may be preformed. This is when the tonsils are removed from the throat. However, this procedure is rare.

At Home Remedies for Tonsillitis

Whether you are waiting for your immune system to tackle your minor case of viral tonsillitis or you need relief while you wait for your antibiotics to kick in, there are several at home remedies to help ease the painful symptoms of tonsillitis.

  • Keep Hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. When your body is dehydrated it is less effective at fighting off infection. Water is the most hydrating fluid to drink but if you prefer something else just make sure it is caffeine free because caffeine is dehydrating.
  • Use a humidifier: Humidifiers moisten the air you breathe. This moisture has a soothing effect on the tonsils. Try adding eucalyptus oil to the humidifier to get even more relief. This essential oil has been shown to fight infection and congestion by fighting off harmful bacteria.
  • Gargle warm salt water: Try gargling warm salt water for 30-60 seconds. This helps remove any bacteria, phlegm and other irritating substances that may be stuck around the enlarged tonsils. The salt also helps kill bad bacteria promoting relief and recovery. While this may taste yucky, it can be worth the results.

While at-home remedies can provide relief they are not substitutes for prescribed medication. If you do not see improved symptoms within 48 hours see your doctor or a PlushCare doctor for an official diagnosis and treatment plan.

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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