Tonsil infections are something that affect a lot of children, and some adults too. They are caused by many different things. Some infections are viral, and some are bacterial.
Any tonsil infection will hurt a little bit, but some are far more painful than others. Seeing as they inflame the tonsils, you may ask “do tonsil stones hurt?” or “does tonsillitis feel sore?”. Well the answer to both is yes, both hurt and can be pretty bad if left untreated.
The tonsils are two pieces of lymph tissue that are located on either side of the throat, and their job is to kill germs. When germs enter your body, they will be engulfed, and that’s what causes the infection. You might not even notice a low grade infection of the tonsils, but more serious infections can be incredibly painful.
How Does Tonsillitis Spread
Close contact with an infected person can lead to you catching tonsilitis. If you kiss them, or if they cough or sneeze on you, then that’s enough to cause an infection.
There are a lot of viruses that will manifest themselves in the form of a sore throat. The viruses that cause colds and flu will give you a mild (annoying but not very painful) case of tonsilitis. The Epstein Barr virus can cause very serious tonsilitis. The Coxsacckie virus can also cause it, and will also lead to blisters on your hands and feet.
In terms of bacterial infections, almost one third of cases of tonsilitis care caused by streptococcus group A. Strep throat, as the infection is called, can be very painful. The pain is made worse by the fact that it also becomes painful to swallow, making it hard to stay hydrated. Many doctors will prescribe antibiotics to help fight strep throat.
There is another bacterium, called N. gonorrhea, which can cause tonsillitis, although this kind of infection is comparatively rare. Some people will experience tonsillitis bouts brought on by allergies, or by smoking or long-term exposure to cigarette smoke.
If you have a tonsil infection, then there are a few things that you can do to treat it. For mild sore throats, many people manage the pain by gargling soluble aspirin. Do not swallow the aspirin, simply gargle it and then spit it out. Gargling mild saltwater can help as well, but again, do not swallow the solution.
Try to stay hydrated, drinking water, or unsweetened teas. Some people feel that drinking tea with honey can help to soothe the pain and that the honey can also help to fight the infection.
If you are in a lot of pain, then taking throat pastilles with a mild analgesic in can numb the tonsils while you wait for your body to fight the infection or for the antibiotics to work. Sadly, a lot of this will end up being ‘wait and see’ when it comes to healing times.
If you get recurring tonsil infections, then the doctor may suggest having the tonsils removed. This surgical procedure is usually recommended only if a person has seven or more tonsil infections in one year, or if the person suffers from sleep apnea or other breathing difficulties which may be improved by having your tonsils taken out.