When it comes to tonsillitis, it is important to know how to treat tonsillitis. Most people are
curious to know the procedure of tonsil stones treatment. There is a lot of false information out there. Knowing the truth about effectively treating tonsillitis is important. Since it can mean a fast recovery when it does strike and promote better health for you and your family.
Before knowing the truth about treating tonsillitis, you have to understand what causes tonsil
stones, what tonsil stones look like and how to cure tonsils fast.
What Is Tonsillitis?
Your tonsils are made of lymphatic tissue; they play an important role in your immune system as gatekeepers for your throat. Tonsillitis happens when a pathogen invades your tonsils, overwhelms them, and they succumb to infection.
Signs of tonsillitis include:
- White pus on tonsils
- Tonsil pain or tenderness
- Swollen tonsil on one or both sides of your throat
- Redness on your tonsils
- Enlarged tonsils.
- Difficulty swallowing
- Sore neck or stiff neck and sore throat
You can potentially develop tonsillitis when you catch a common cold virus. But tonsillitis is more than the typical sore throat symptom that comes with a cold. It is a unique condition that can happen because of a cold virus, or because of a bacterial infection. A sore throat is when other tissues in your throat become sore. But tonsillitis is when the lymph tissue itself in your tonsils becomes infected.
Is tonsillitis contagious? Absolutely. Your tonsils swell up and develop tonsillitis as a response to an infection. Tonsillitis is just a tissue reaction, but the bacteria and viruses responsible for it are highly contagious.
If you have tonsillitis, then you’ll need to avoid spreading the germs to others.
Here’s the next question that arises when you think you have swollen tonsils: is there a reliable treatment of tonsil stones?
Treatment Options for Tonsillitis
Most tonsillitis treatment consists of palliative care. In other words, the best thing you can do when you have tonsillitis is reduce the symptoms. So that you are more comfortable.
You can heal faster, however, if you treat the infection at its source. It’s especially important to seek medical help if you have tonsillitis that won’t heal on its own.
Effective tonsillitis treatment depends on what’s causing the infection in your tonsils.
If the cause of your tonsillitis is a bacteria, then an antibiotic can stop the infection. If a virus is responsible, however, then an antibiotic won’t do any good. This is because viruses are built differently than bacteria.
Antibiotics can either kill bacteria directly by rupturing their cell wall or by interfering with the bacteria’s reproductive or metabolic processes. Viruses are different. They cannot function and survive as complete individual units the way bacteria can. Viruses multiply by inserting their genetic material into human body cells where an antibiotic is ineffective.
When it comes to viral tonsillitis, you simply have to let the virus run its course. Since the infection is self-limiting. You can treat viral tonsillitis with rest and palliative care to help your body heal as quickly as possible.
Interestingly, the majority of tonsillitis cases are actually caused by viruses (like the cold or flu virus) and not by bacteria. Only up to 30% of tonsillitis cases are estimated to be caused by bacteria that respond to antibiotics.
Tonsillitis and Antibiotic Misuse: A Dangerous Problem
There is a major problem of antibiotic misuse when it comes to treating tonsillitis. Antibiotics don’t cure viral tonsillitis. And most cases of tonsillitis are caused by viruses but antibiotics are still prescribed far too often for cases of tonsillitis.
According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), unnecessary antibiotic administration, such as in cases of viral tonsillitis, can lead to antibiotic resistance and the following complications:
- Longer and/or more complicated illnesses
- More visits to the doctor
- Paying for stronger and more expensive treatments
Overprescribing antibiotics, or not using them as directed, doesn’t just harm one person. It can lead to the development of new strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Thus threatening the health of entire societies.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) clearly states that “decreasing inappropriate antibiotic use is a key strategy to control antibiotic resistance.” It’s therefore best to avoid unnecessary antibiotic treatment for minor tonsil infections.
That same CDC resource stated that a minimum of 30% of the antibiotics in the United States prescribed to outpatients are completely unnecessary. And most of such unnecessary treatments are for viral conditions such as colds and sore throats. Both of which can include tonsillitis.
A group of Boston researchers in the United States analyzed antibiotic prescription frequency for sore throats over a period of 13 years. Despite the constantly-emerging information on antibiotic resistance and misuse, the data revealed a disturbing pattern: antibiotics were being prescribed for sore throat complaints (like tonsillitis) at a virtually unchanging rate.
From 1997 to 2010, doctors had been administering antibiotics for sore throats at a rate of 60%. When in reality only about 10% of cases (bacterial strep throat infections) truly merited antibiotic treatment.
Yes, antibiotic misuse for tonsillitis is an ongoing problem. And not just in the United States.
Another study conducted in the United Arab Emirates tested 600 patients who had tonsillitis. Of them, only 24% had an actual bacterial infection that responded to an antibiotic. The remaining 76% recovered well without any antibiotic use. The researchers concluded that antibiotics are not needed to treat tonsillitis as often as they are actually prescribed.
It’s terrifying to think about how often tonsil infections are treated, unnecessarily, with antibiotics. Too many doctors resort to antibiotics as the first line of therapy, without first establishing what kind of pathogen has infected the tonsils. As a result, antibiotic resistance is a real and horrifying possibility.
Worried About Tonsillitis? What to Do Next
Whether you have a sore throat or want to prevent tonsillitis, it’s key to know the truth about treating tonsillitis the right way. Not every case of sore tonsils merits antibiotic treatment. Most of the time, it is caused by a virus that antibiotics can’t cure.
If you treat a viral tonsil infection with antibiotics, you only further jeopardize your health and contribute to the growing antibiotic resistance issue.
Visit your doctor if you think you have a sore throat that could be tonsillitis. Have your tonsils swabbed and tested. Then ask whether your infection is bacterial or viral and what the appropriate treatment could be.
If you are given an antibiotic, make sure to finish the course and take the medication as directed.
If you have a virus, then get relief and boost your recovery with:
- Bed rest
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Eating soft foods
- Soothing your tonsils with warm tea and honey or frozen treats
- Taking a pain reliever
- Gargling with salt water
Above all, you can take steps to prevent tonsillitis entirely by keeping your tonsils clean and in good health. After all, they are hard-working parts of your immune system that can get overwhelmed, on occasion.
Clean your tonsils regularly to reduce the buildup of food debris, dead cells, and pathogens that can impact your tonsils ability to function. A tonsil-cleansing water syringe and tongue scraper from ORAVIX can help you keep your tonsils clean and healthy.
Clean tonsils are less likely to develop an infection that needs antibiotic treatment.
Now that you know the truth about treating tonsillitis, do your tonsils and the world a favor; choose good tonsil hygiene over unnecessary antibiotic therapy.