Tonsils filter out germs that invade your body. If your tonsils become overwhelmed by viruses or bacteria, they'll become inflamed. Depending on the severity of the tonsillitis, treatment can consist of home remedies, prescriptions or surgery.
Gargle every 2 to 3 hours with mint mouthwash. Be sure to get the mouthwash onto the back of your throat. See "How to Gargle."
Take aspirin if you are an adult, acetaminophen if you are a child. Suck on throat lozenges, especially those containing phenol, which help to numb the throat.
Stay hydrated. Drink iced beverages or suck on flavored ice.. Frozen liquids help numb the throat. Try hot teas with honey, and clear soups. For some people, warm beverages help relieve the pain of tonsillitis better than cold ones do.
Get plenty of rest.
Avoid cigarette smoke and other irritants.
Check your temperature at least twice a day. If you have a continuous fever, even a low-grade one of 99 degrees F, lasting more than two days, see your doctor. Tonsillitis or acute sore throat pain that lasts more than 48 hours, especially if accompanied by a fever, may be symptomatic of a strep infection, which requires treatment.
Let your doctor take a throat culture to identify the germs in your throat.
Ask about antibiotics, if your tonsillitis is caused by bacteria. Penicillin G is frequently prescribed.
Consider a tonsillectomy for persistent tonsillitis and sore throats.
Tonsillectomies are considered for children who have had six infections in 1 year or 2 to 3 infections per year for 2 to 3 years.
If you have difficulty swallowing, breathing or talking, see a doctor immediately, or go to your local emergency room. Children under 18 years of age should never be given aspirin, unless specifically ordered by a physician. If you have any questions or concerns, contact a physician or other health care professional before engaging in any activity related to health and diet. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.