what ARE INflamed tonsils?
The tonsils are some type of lymph nodes that are located in the back of the throat. Since they are somewhat irregular, bacteria or viruses can accumulate here and the tonsils can become inflamed. Often complaints consist of fever and a severe sore throat that lasts more than a week. Inflamed tonsils can swell considerably, and the lymph nodes in the neck can also be swollen. Tonsillitis can make you feel very ill.
What symptoms are associated with inflamed tonsils?
A tonsillitis of the throat usually starts with a severe sore throat and a very red throat. Sometimes the sore throat is only present when swallowing. The tonsils can become swollen and white dots (pustules) can be seen on the tonsils.
Other complaints may also arise, such as:
- Mucus in the throat
- Swollen throat
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Not feeling well or being sick
Sometimes the tonsillitis spreads into the surrounding tissue where pus can build up and form an abscess in the throat (peritonsillar abscess). The mouth is very difficult to open, there is often a high fever, swallowing is difficult and there is a lot of mucus formation. If a peritonsillar abscess is suspected, someone must be referred urgently to an ENT specialist to have the abscess relieved.
Which medicine for tonsillitis?
Paracetamol is a good painkiller for tonsillitis. Healthy adults can take 1000mg 4 times a day. If the pain does not disappear sufficiently, it is wise to contact the doctor for additional pain medication.
Antibiotics often do not help for tonsillitis. Antibiotics often have side effects as well. They are therefore not often prescribed. If there is a high fever and a high degree of illness, your doctor may still choose to start with a course of antibiotics. The tonsilitis itself will usually not disappear faster.
Which possible treatment HELPs for INflamed tonsils?
A tonsillitis usually does not require treatment. The symptoms often resolve within 10 days. If the tonsils in particular regularly inflame, they can become a source of infection, since bacteria, viruses and food keep on accumulating in the tonsils. If there are many complaints at the time of a tonsillitis or if medicines have to be prescribed too often, it may be wise to have the tonsils removed.
See the information about removing tonsils.
When to contact an ENT surgeon?
If the sore throat does not resolves within a week, if it gets worse or if you feel very ill, it is wise to contact your GP. He or she can then assess whether it is wise to visit an ENT doctor.
Click on the links below for more information
Dutch Association for ENT Surgery
This patient information has been compiled with the utmost care. It concerns general information. This information is not legally binding. © KNO Medisch Centrum / www.knomc.nl