Lifestyle

What is tonsillitis and is it contagious? Symptoms and treatment

EVERYONE has become more familiar with their tonsils during the Covid pandemic.

Regular virus testing means Britons have to locate their tonsils to get a swab, and now the classic winter bout of tonsillitis is making a comeback.

One of the main symptoms of tonsillitis is a sore throat, as evidenced by white spots on the tonsils

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One of the main symptoms of tonsillitis is a sore throat, as evidenced by white spots on the tonsilsCredit: Getty Images

Where are your tonsils?

The tonsils are located at the back of the throat, just behind the mouth. There is one on either side.

They are located on each side of the throat and can often be seen by saying “aaaah” and pushing your tongue down.

The tonsils prevent foreign objects from entering the lungs.

They also filter bacteria and viruses as one of the first lines of defense.

What is tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils.

It is usually due to a viral infection or less commonly a bacterial infection.

In young children, they help fight germs and act as a barrier against infection.

When the tonsils become infected, they isolate the area of ​​infection and prevent it from spreading further.

As a child grows and his or her immune system grows and gets stronger, the tonsils shrink.

Most people can fight off the infection without the tonsils, but tonsillectomy is only recommended if they cause problems.

What are the symptoms of tonsillitis?

The main symptoms of tonsillitis are:

  • sore throat
  • pus-filled spots on the tonsils that are white or yellow
  • swollen and red tonsils make it difficult to swallow

Other symptoms include

  • high temperature
  • dry cough
  • headache
  • ear hurt
  • lose your voice or change your voice
  • feel sick/tired
  • swollen, painful glands in your neck

Symptoms usually improve after three to four days.

If you have tonsillitis caused by a viral infection, your symptoms may be milder.

If it’s a bacterial infection, your symptoms will get worse and you may have bad breath.

What to do if you have tonsillitis?

There is no specific treatment and most cases go into remission within a week without treatment.

But there are things you can do to speed up recovery.

Make sure you have plenty to eat and drink.

Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, can relieve a sore throat.

Antibiotics may be prescribed if the illness is caused by a bacterial infection.

In rare cases, tonsillectomy is necessary, if the tonsillitis persists.

This is a medical illustration of the uvula and tonsils located in the oral cavity

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This is a medical illustration of the uvula and tonsils located in the oral cavityCredit: Getty Images

https://www.thesun.ie/health/344691/where-are-tonsils-contagious-symptoms-treatment-information/ What is tonsillitis and is it contagious? Symptoms and treatment

Fry Electronics Team

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