Your tonsils are the fleshy lumps you can see on either side of the back of your mouth when you open it wide. They contain antibodies to kill the bacteria you breathe in, preventing germs from travelling to your lungs, according to the Patient UK website. Tonsils vary in size from person to person, but infections such as tonsillitis can cause them to become unusually swollen, red and painful.
Things you need
Paracetamol or ibuprofen
Drink plenty of water. Swollen tonsils make your throat sore and can cause difficulty swallowing, so you may not feel like drinking very much. However, a dry throat can cause further irritation, and dehydration can make symptoms such as headaches and fever worse, says Patient UK.
Take pain medication. Paracetamol and ibuprofen can reduce the symptoms of tonsillitis. Ibuprofen, in particular, is an anti-inflammatory and Patient UK says it may be more effective in treating the symptoms of tonsillitis than paracetamol. If you have any underlying health conditions, check with your doctor first before using these medications and always follow the instructions on the pack.
Take a course of antibiotics. These will be prescribed by your doctor if your tonsillitis is caused by a bacterial infection, says MayoClinic.com. This medication is usually taken orally and you must ensure that you take the full course of antibiotics to prevent the infection from getting worse or spreading, or from complications such as rheumatic fever and kidney damage.
Things you need
- Paracetamol or ibuprofen