Tonsillitis is a type of an infection that causes inflammation in your tonsils. It can be a bacterial infection but in most cases it is a viral infection. Most attacks of tonsillitis occur in children but there are cases that may also occur with adults. It is interesting to see that the statistics reflect that you are likely to get tonsillitis in either the spring or the winter.
Some of the uncomfortable symptoms of tonsillitis include a sore throat, bad breath, tiredness, abdominal pain, vomiting, feeling sick, a rise in temperature, and pain when swallowing. You may also notice that the glands in your neck may be swollen. Most cases of tonsillitis do not require a visit to your doctor. However, if you find that the symptoms are lasting longer than 3 to 4 days, it may be necessary to contact your doctor for an appointment.
Tonsillitis can be treated at home by taking it easy and resting for a few days while at the same time drinking a lot of fluids. You can also gargle with a simple saltwater solution. There are also various cold throat lozenges that may help to ease the discomfort. Even sucking on a frozen grape or cherry will often help.
Antibiotics for Tonsil Infections
There are many different types of medicine that you may take when suffering with tonsillitis but as with all medicines, even with over-the-counter medicines, it is important to discuss the dosage with your doctor. For mild cases of tonsillitis many sufferers use non-anti-inflammatory steroidal drugs such as ibuprofen.
When you visit your doctor you should be aware that he will not necessarily write up a prescription for antibiotics. Viral infections will not respond to antibiotics and therefore an antibiotic will likely produce no positive results. There are certain situations, however, were your family doctor may in fact recommend antibiotics. He will do this if he feels that you have bacterial tonsillitis and if you are in danger of any additional serious complications.
Some doctors prescribe a delayed prescription for an antibiotic. This allows you to physically have the prescription in hand but the doctor will advise you only to fill it under specific previously agreed circumstances. The circumstances may include a time frame for your symptoms to improve or if your symptoms become worse.
If you require an antibiotic for bacterial tonsillitis, your doctor may prescribe a 10 day period of taking penicillin. Penicillin is the usual treatment for bacterial tonsillitis. If your doctor is unaware of any allergic reaction that you have had in the past with penicillin then it is important to now tell him. There are other antibiotics that your doctor can prescribe instead of penicillin.
It is always important to complete the entire 10 days, or whatever amount of days your doctor prescribes, of the antibiotic. If you start to feel better before you complete the number of days prescribed for your antibiotic it is vital that you not to stop before completing the entire number of days.
Do Your Own Research
Obviously as a patient, it is important for you to read any information about your medicine and if you have any questions about your antibiotics ask a pharmacist or your doctor. If medicines are not an option or if they do not produce the desired results it been may be necessary to have surgery – however this is not usually done to treat tonsil stones.
Your family doctor may at this time refer you to a nose, ear, and throat specialist who can perform the surgery. The specialist will discuss all of the benefits of having your tonsils removed.
A specialist will normally only suggests this type of surgery if you have had tonsillitis for more than 5 times during the last 2 years, 3 times or more in the last 3 years, more than 7 times in the last year, or if an attack of tonsillitis is interfering with your normal breathing functions.
For children, your family doctor may wait and see if the tonsillitis gets better on its own. As children grow older there incidences of having tonsillitis become less common. For this reason, doctors now do not recommend tonsil surgery for children. On a final note, it should be noted that even if you have had a previous tonsillectomy it will not guarantee the absence of sore throats in the future.