Tonsillitis occurs when the tonsils are infected. The usual symptoms include a fever and sore throat although it may not be for all of the cases. The three main types of this condition include acute, chronic and subacute. The acute form can be from bacteria but three quarters of cases are viral. Chronic cases are almost always bacterial and last for extended periods of time. The subacute cases normally last between three weeks and three months, which is caused most often by the bacteria called Actinomyces.
In cases where the infection is not treated and it spreads to the internal julular vein, it then becomes a septicaemia infection also known as Lemierre’s syndrome.
Group A streptococcal bacteria is the cause of bacterial tonsillitis which then results in the person having strep throat. There are a number of viruses that can cause viral tonsillitis such as the Epstein-Barr virus. It is possible for the tonsils to be infected by a super-infection.
- Sore throat to severe degrees;
- Pain in the ears;
- Difficulty swallowing;
- Swollen or tender lymph nodes.
Though the symptoms are pretty clear it is not yet known if the infection causes these symptoms or if it is an immune reaction to the infection.
There are a number of different treatments that are possible for tonsillitis. It should be noted that in the case that the infection is viral, antibiotics will not work. In these instances, the individual can take medications that reduce pain and inflammation. It will take between seven and fourteen days to run its course.
The treatments as prescribed are used for bacterial infections and they usually include penicillin but for those individuals that have an allergy for that treatment, erythromycin can be used instead. Acetaminophen can also be taken to reduce the pain, inflammation and fever. Aspirin should not be given to children younger than twelve due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome.
Gargling with salt water can help with this condition. The ideal solution is a quarter of a teaspoon of salt with eight ounces of warm water.
Drinking warm liquids can also help with this. Such things as tea, soup or broth are good choices.
Honey and lemon added to hot water is a natural form of killing the condition. The honey coats the throat and the lemon reduces mucus. These agents also have other medicinal agents to assist with infection. The solution should be allowed to cool to room temperature before drinking it.
Sucking on throat lozenges and hard candy stimulate the production of saliva which in turn cleanses the infected area.