How Can I Prevent Tonsillitis
Hand washing remains crucial in preventing the spread of viruses and bacteria that cause tonsillitis. Avoid prolonged contact with anyone who has strep throat and has not been taking antibiotics for at least 24 hours. To be certain, avoid people who have been ill until such time as you are sure they no longer are.
Tonsillectomy, the surgical removal of the tonsils, is one of the most commonly performed operations in children. Newer surgical techniques and advances in anesthesia have made this 20-minute operation much more tolerable and safer than ever before. The reasons for tonsillectomy have also changed. Until the 1980s, the most common reason for tonsillectomy was because of recurrent infection. In the last 30 years, although tonsillectomy is frequently performed for recurrent infections, the most common reason for removing tonsils is tonsil-enlargement causing obstructive symptoms such as snoring, sleep apnea, and difficulty swallowing.
Over The Counter Antibiotics For Throat How To Treat Strep Throat
This list is not all-inclusive. Please see your doctor for any symptom that is severe or concerning. Follow up with a doctor if symptoms do not improve within a few days, get worse, or if you or your child have recurrent sore throats.
A doctor will determine what type of illness you have by asking about and doing a physical examination.
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How To Find The Best Medicine For A Sore Throat And Cough
All the medicine for a sore throat included in our guide was reviewed by our physicians who regularly treat cold and flu symptoms. What’s more, I tested them all myself for their throat-coating and -numbing abilities as well as for their taste.
Our experts say it’s important to look for ingredients that have a soothing and numbing effect. This includes benzocaine, phenol, and menthol for over-the-counter medicine. But keep in mind that there is a slight risk of toxicity from swallowing phenol, so you need to spit out the spray or mouthwash. And while it is kid-safe, check with your pediatrician before use with younger children.
If you’re looking for natural remedies for a sore throat, honey is your go-to for soothing the rawness that comes with coughing or strep, according to Keller. But make sure you read the ingredient label: Corn syrup and preservatives may be on the inactive ingredient list, and though they are safe, some may prefer to avoid them.
If you’re looking for medicine for sore throat and cough that can be used by the whole family, Dr. Domingo recommends checking the recommended age of the medicine on the box. Some all-natural ingredients like honey shouldn’t be given to very young children , and you should look closely at the ingredient list for potential allergens and sugar additives. Any children’s products should be discussed with your pediatrician, including all-natural ones.
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Best Home Remedy For Sore Throat
Numi Ginger Lemon Tea combines soothing heat from the warm water with natural throat soothers.
Pros: Tea is a great way to rehydrate and soothe your throat, cost-effective
Cons: May not be strong enough for severe pain
While Dr. Domingo is a big fan of Chloraseptic spray, she says warm water tea is actually her first recommendation to patients, since it keeps you hydrated and may potentially help open up your airways. “I usually recommend hot water with lemon as well as ginger tea.” She adds that Numi has all of that combined, along with an ingredient panel that gets a thumbs up.
Dr. Keller also likes this easy, natural remedy for a sore throat. Its ingredients of gGinger, lemongrass licorice, and lemon verbena “may help to decrease inflammation and soothe irritation in the lining of the throat,” she explains.
And she likes that it contains antioxidant-packed decaf green tea, pointing to a 2016 Iranian study that found gargling green tea was more effective at lowering sore throat pain for patients who had had a tube down their throat during surgery, compared to water.
When I tried Numi Ginger Lemon Tea, I thought the taste was decent, though I did find the licorice root to be slightly off-putting. Nonetheless, the tea was still quite drinkable. It would be good with a bit more added honey in it . As is, this tea is an especially great option for children with a sore throat, like Dr. Domingo’s pediatric patients.
Antibiotics To Treat Tonsillitis
Tonsillitis, a common condition often referred to as a sore throat, is an inflammation of the tonsils caused by either a bacterial or viral infection. Treatment depends on the cause and usually is delayed until lab test results are known. If viral, only symptom relief medications are given and the body will fight the infection on its own. If the tonsillitis is caused by bacteria, antibiotics are prescribed.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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How Do I Know If My Sore Throat Is Caused By Bacteria
You dont unless a doctor has taken a throat swab and sent it away to the lab for culture. But there are a few clues to look for that can help you decide if your sore throat is more likely to be caused by a virus or a less serious cause such as an allergy or an irritant, or more likely to be caused by bacteria.
Viral sore throats are generally accompanied by cold symptoms, such as a runny nose, watery eyes, or a cough. Symptoms such as sneezing, red eyes, or an itchy roof of the mouth usually accompany sore throats caused by an allergy. Sore throats caused by pollutants generally get better once the cause has been eliminated whether it be smoking or bad air.
Bacterial sore throats tend to come on quickly and are more likely to affect children aged between five and fifteen rather than adults. A type of bacteria called Streptococcus pyrogenes is the most common cause of bacterial sore throats. People living in overcrowded environments such as boarding schools, military camps, or in damp homes are more at risk and the condition is more prevalent between November and April. Strep throat is very contagious and can be passed on from person to person by coughing, sneezing and close contact. Very rarely, the bacteria may be passed on through food. If somebody in your household has a Strep throat, there is a one in four chance you may also get it within two to seven days.
Symptoms Of A Sore Throat
The classic symptom of a sore throat is pain at the back of the throat, which may be accompanied by various other symptoms depending on the underlying cause. You may experience:
- Respiratory problems
- Inflammation of the neck glands
- Problems in opening the mouth
The inflammatory discomfort associated with pharyngitis can be felt in the following areas:
- Roof of the mouth or soft palate
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How Can I Ease Sore Throat Pain
Treatment for a sore throat depends on the cause. Some general tips to relieve sore throat discomfort include:
- Drink warm fluids, such as hot tea with lemon or broth.
- Increase the total amount of fluids you drink. This keeps you hydrated and prevents your throat from getting dry.
- Gargle with salt water .
- If you are an adult, keep your throat moist with throat lozenges, ice chips, or hard candies. Do not give lozenges or hard candies to children under two years of age. They are a choking hazard. Instead, give your child a popsicle.
- Use a numbing throat spray or cold liquids to reduce pain.
- Use a humidifier or vaporizer to add moisture to rooms you spend time in, especially your bedroom when you are sleeping.
- Get plenty of rest â at least 8 hours of sleep a night.
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist about possible over-the-counter medicines to try. Never give aspirin to children because it can cause Reyes syndrome. Do not give cough or cold medicines to children under four years of age unless your doctor tells you to.
More specific sore throat treatments based on its cause include the following:
To prevent infections that cause sore throat, wash your hands often , stay away from people who are sick and sneezing and coughing, and dont share utensils, food or drink with people who are sick.
How A Sore Throat Is Diagnosed
During the exam, the doctor will ask about your symptoms, and will use a light to check the back of your throat for redness, swelling, and white spots. The doctor might also feel the sides of your neck to see if you have swollen glands.
If the doctor suspects you have strep throat, youll get a throat culture to diagnose it. The doctor will run a swab over the back of your throat and collect a sample to test for strep throat bacteria. With a rapid strep test, the doctor will get the results within minutes.
To confirm the diagnosis, the sample will be sent out to a lab to be tested. A lab test takes 1-2 days, but it can definitively show that you have strep throat.
A throat culture can also help assess for other types of bacterial infections, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. Additionally, a mononucleosis spot test or mono antibody test can also be used to rule out mononucleosis.
Sometimes you might need more tests to figure out the cause of your sore throat. You can see a specialist who treats diseases of the throat, called an ear, nose, and throat doctor or otolaryngologist.
You can take medications to relieve the pain of a sore throat, or to treat the underlying cause.
Over-the-counter medications that relieve throat pain include:
Dont give aspirin to children and teenagers, as its been linked to a rare but serious condition called Reyes syndrome.
You can also use one or more of these treatments, which work directly on the pain of a sore throat:
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How Is Pediatric Tonsillitis Diagnosed
Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils or adenoids. It may be either viral or bacterial. Because symptoms of both types of tonsillitis are the same, a doctor will usually perform a strep test to determine the appropriate treatment.
If you suspect your child may have tonsillitis , gently place the handle of a spoon on his tongue while he says, “aaahh.” Shine a light into his mouth. If the tonsils look bright red or swollen or his/her sore throat lasts more 48 hours you should take your child to a doctor. If your child resists, or is an infant, you should avoid this test.
You should also see a doctor if your child has difficulty swallowing or is extremely weak or fussy. You should seek immediate care if he has trouble breathing or is drooling.
A doctor will perform a similar procedure to the one above in her office. She will look for unusual redness or white spots on the tonsils, as well as swollen or tender lymph nodes.
Your childs doctor can usually provide a rapid strep test in her office. For a more accurate test, she may send a throat swab to a lab for a strep culture. In that case, the results may take a few days.
Symptoms Of Sore Throat
A sore throat can make it painful to swallow. A sore throat can also feel dry and scratchy. Sore throat can be a symptom of strep throat, the common cold, allergies, or other upper respiratory tract illness. Sore throat caused by a virus or the bacteria called group A Streptococcus can have similar symptoms.
Sometimes the following symptoms suggest a virus is causing the illness instead of Strep throat:
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Is A Sore Throat A Covid Symptom
Yes, a sore throat is one of the common symptoms of COVID-19. However, there are a lot of other illnesses, big and small, that cause a sore throat as well, including the common cold, the flu, strep throat, mono, GERD, as well as allergies, and dry air. If youre worried your sore throat is a sign of the coronavirus, the best way to confirm is to take a rapid COVID test or molecular lab test at a local facility or via an at-home COVID test.
Are There Complications Associated With Tonsillitis
Complications from tonsillitis are usually associated with strep throat and Streptococcal bacteria. They include:
- Chronic tonsillitis. People who have tonsillitis more than seven times a year may have chronic tonsillitis. Healthcare providers may recommend surgery to remove your tonsils, especially if youre snoring or having trouble sleeping at night.
- Tonsil stones. If youve had infected or inflamed tonsils for a long time, you might develop tonsil stones. Tonsil stones are hard, calcified bits of bacteria and debris that hide in your tonsils nooks and crannies.
- Scarlet fever. Strep throat can progress into scarlet fever, causing a red rash and fever. Scarlet fever occurs more often in children than adults, but its not common.
- Peritonsillar abscess. In severe cases of tonsillitis, an abscess can form around your tonsil. Peritonsillar abscesses occur more often in adults and adolescents than in children. Providers often recommend surgery to drain the abscess.
- Rheumatic fever. Although rare, rheumatic fever can occur if strep throat isnt treated or you dont complete the full course of antibiotics. Rheumatic fever occurs in children more often than adults. It can lead to permanent heart damage.
- Spread of infection. When left untreated, Streptococcal bacteria can spread from your throat to your middle ear, sinuses or other parts of your body. This infection can lead to complications such as sinusitis, glomerulonephritis or necrotizing fasciitis.
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How Can You Relieve A Sore Throat Without Antibiotics
Home treatment is often all you need to soothe a sore throat. Try these tips:
- Gargle often with warm salt water if you are age 8 or older. This helps to reduce throat swelling and pain. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt in 240 mL of warm water.
- Drink extra fluids to soothe your throat. Honey or lemon in weak tea may help. Don’t give honey to children younger than 1 year of age.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Take over-the-counter medicine such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve pain and reduce fever.
- Try throat lozenges that have a painkiller to numb your throat. Regular cough drops may also help. Do not give these to children younger than 4 years of age.
- Try a decongestant. It can make breathing easier and relieve a runny nose and post-nasal drip, which can make your throat hurt. You can take it as a pill or as a nasal spray. Before you use this medicine, check the label. It may not be safe for young children or for people with certain health problems.
Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
Key Points To Remember
- People often think antibiotics will cure their sore throat. But most sore throats are caused by a virus, such as a cold. Antibiotics won’t work for sore throats caused by a virus.
- Most of the time, sore throats go away on their own. It may take a few days or up to a week, depending on the cause.
- To relieve the pain from a sore throat, you can take over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin or ibuprofen, or you can try lozenges or nasal sprays. Drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest.
- Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to shorten the time you are able to spread strep throatwhich is caused by bacteriato others. Antibiotics will help prevent a serious but rare problem called rheumatic fever.
- Taking antibiotics too often or when you don’t need them can be harmful and costly. And the medicine may not work the next time you take it when you really do need it. This is called antibiotic resistance.
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How Long Will It Take My Tonsillitis To Go Away With Or Without Antibiotics
Tonsillitis caused by a bacterial infection, such as strep throat, would typically be treated with antibiotics because youre much more likely to experience complications, says James Clark, MBBCh, an assistant professor of otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. Once a person with strep starts antibiotics, we would expect them to have significant improvement of symptoms within the first 24 to 72 hours, he says.
For tonsillitis caused by a viral infection, antibiotics are not recommended, says Dr. Clark. The infection would typically resolve itself within five to seven days without any intervention, he says.
And if symptoms are still present at the end of that period the patient would be asked to return for a re-evaluation.
Sore Throats And Children
Sore throats are very common in children. They are usually caused by a virus. The child will normally also have a runny rose, cough, sore ears, a fever, be tired and be off their food.
It is more likely to be strep throat if the child is older than 3 years and if they have swollen glands in the neck, swollen, red tonsils with white spots, a rash and vomiting.
If youre not sure about your childs symptoms, or you are worried, see your doctor.
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