Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils, a set of lymphoid organs located at the back of the mouth/throat area.
It is a common illness that affects children, teenager and adults.
What are the symptoms?
The tonsils at the back of your throat will appear red and swollen.
Tonsilliis can feel like a bad cold or flu.
The main symptoms in both children and adults are:
- A sore throat
- High temperature, of 38C or above
- Coughing (A COVID-19 test should be taken to rule this out)
- A headache
- Feeling sick
- Feeling tired
- Problems swallowing
More sever symtoms can include:
- Swollen, painful glands (Feels like a lump on the side of our neck)
- White pus-filled spots on your tonsils (See opposite)
- Bad breath
How long will it last?
The symptoms of tonsillitis will usually go away after 3 or 4 days.
It is not contagious, but most infections that cause it can be - E.g. colds and flu.
To stop these infections spreading:
- Stay off work or keep your child at home until you or your child feel better
- Use tissues to catch coughs and sneezes and throw them away after use.
- Wash your hands after coughing or sneazing
How to treat tonsillitis yourself
Tonsillitis will usually get better on its own after a few days.
To help to treat the symptoms:
- Get plenty of rest
- Drink cool drinks to soothe the throat
- Take paracetamol or ibuprofen (Do not give aspirin to children under 16 years old)
- Gargle with warm salty water (Children should not try this)
A Pharmacist can help with tonsillitis
If you are suffering with, or feel you may have, tonsillitis, you should speak with a pharmacist.
They can give advice and suggest treatments, like:
- Throat sprays
- Antiseptic solutions
If you have had the symptoms for over 4 days, you should contact your GP
Tonsils can appear large/swollen and white pus-filled in severe cases