A person has two tonsils that are located on either side at the back of the mouth and they are made of soft glandular tissue.
The tonsils are an integral part of a person’s immune system, because they protect from bacteria entering the lungs.
An infection of the tonsils is called tonsillitis. Usually, the first sign of the condition will be a sore throat, and it may be accompanied with a cough, fever, headache or swollen neck glands.
When the tonsils are infected they become swollen and red and there might be white spots all over the tonsils, which is actually pus.
Many times tonsillitis does not even have to be treated; it will just go away by itself. The best thing to do is to drink a lot of water, even though it will be really painful to swallow when the tonsils are swollen. If a person does not drink a lot can become dehydrated, which will lead to headaches and tiredness most likely.
Ibuprofen can be used to get rid of symptoms such as pain, headaches and fevers. Aspirin gargles will help to relieve the sourness. In order to prepare this treatment, take some Aspirin and dissolve it in water and then gargle for three to four minutes.
There are other gargles, lozenges and sprays available on the market for helping with the soreness.
Usually no antibiotic is needed, even though the infection is caused by bacteria most of the time. In certain situations, however, antibiotics will be prescribed. If the infection is very severe and it does not go away by itself, or it is reoccurring regularly or the immune system is being lazy, then antibiotics might be prescribed.
Sometimes the symptoms of tonsillitis will get worse and result in complications. In some cases the infection will spread to nearby tissue and could cause ear, sinus and chest infections.
Sometimes a condition called quinsy can occur as well, when a collection of pus develops next to the tonsils as a result of the infection. It can be very painful, and in such a circumstance, antibiotics will probably be needed.
If the tonsillitis is very bad, the tonsils will probably need to be removed.
This is called a tonsillectomy and it is a fairly standard operation. Usually the amount of time it takes to remove the tonsils and the time needed to recover depends on what condition the tonsils are in before the operation. Recovery will usually take two weeks, and people who have their tonsils taken out will not be allowed to eat solid food for quite a while.