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60-Second Factfile: Tonsillitis

Symptoms: The main symptom of tonsillitis is having a sore throat, but others include red and swollen tonsils that can sometimes have a coating, a high temperature, headaches, coughing, feeling tired and sick, and some may experience pain in the ears.

 

Living with tonsillitis: Although the condition generally only lasts for a few days, tonsillitis can be easily spread from person to person, meaning it’s advisable to stay away from public areas, and maintain a good hand washing routine.

 

Tonsillitis can be caused by a virus or a bacterial infection. It usually isn’t serious, but when suffering from it, you may need to see your doctor if it doesn’t seem to improve after four days, or if your symptoms are particularly severe. Severe symptoms may cause trouble when eating, drinking or breathing.

 

Treatment: Resting and drinking plenty of fluids as well as controlling any pain with paracetamol or ibuprofen are the usual methods of treatment. Antibiotics may be prescribed by a doctor if the condition has been caused by bacteria.

 

Mythbuster: It’s a common misconception that having tonsillitis means you have to have your tonsils removed. Surgery only occurs for those who contract tonsillitis numerous times over a sustained period, that doesn’t usually respond to treatment. This can then cause problems when continuing with normal day-to-day activities.

 

Sources

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Tonsillitis/Pages/Symptoms.aspx

 

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Tonsillitis/Pages/Introduction.aspx

 

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/tc/tonsillitis-topic-overview

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