Answers to questions about tonsillitis

Answers to questions about tonsillitis

Am I at risk of getting tonsillitis and what are the complications?

To lower your risk of getting the infectious disease, avoid people who have it and always wash your hands after going to the toilet or touching potentially infected surfaces, and particularly someone who has the condition.

Children are more at risk of getting the disease, but it is not common in those younger than two years of age. It is most common in children between the ages of five and 15. Frequently being exposed to germs in schools and common areas will increase your child’s risk of contracting tonsillitis.

It is sometimes possible that the infection may spread to the surrounding tonsillar tissue and cause tonsillar cellulitis. This happens with the infection is not treated or worsens due to lack of care and medical help. When this happens, you will need to see your doctor immediately. If your tonsillitis is caused by strep throat, or you have not completed your course of antibiotics, it is likely that the infection will worsen and can result in the complications below:

  • Rheumatic fever - affects the joints, heart and other tissues.
  • Poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis - when your kidneys become inflamed which results in waste and excess fluids from the blood not being removed properly. This is often marked by swelling of the face and body, a throat infection and raised blood pressure. 

Tonsillitis can also cause a build-up of pus at the back of the tonsils, this is called a peritonsillar abscess. This may result in more surgery or a drainage of the puss by a medical professional.

Is there a cure for tonsillitis?

Antibiotics will often cure the bacterial infection of tonsillitis. A viral infection will be dealt with through the body's own system of defence, namely the immune system and treatment is often led through self-care such as getting lots of rest, drinking fluids and avoiding people so as to not infect them too.

Sometimes surgery is the answer as discussed in the treatment section.

Is eating ice cream good for my tonsillitis?

Eating and drinking fluids that help soothe your sore throat can include:

  • Ice cream
  • Frozen yoghurt
  • Jelly
  • Custard
  • Tea
  • Soup

So yes, ice cream can help soothe your throat, but it is not able to take away your tonsillitis. You will need to consult with your doctor for that.

Can I give tonsillitis to someone else?

Yes. Tonsillitis is contagious and easily passed on from one infected person to another through sneezing, coughing and sharing food and drink with an infected person.

Should you feel that you may be at risk, consult with your doctor. If you have been diagnosed with it, then it is best to stay at home and avoid close contact with others until you have been treated and the condition has improved. However, it is always best to seek medical advice.

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