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How is tonsillitis caused by a virus treated?

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If your tonsillitis is caused by a virus, antibiotics won't work and your body will fight off the infection on its own. In the meantime, there are things you can do to feel better, regardless of the cause. For example:

  • Get enough rest
  • Drink warm or very cold fluids to ease throat pain
  • Eat smooth foods, such as flavored gelatins, ice cream, or applesauce
  • Use a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier in your room
  • Gargle with warm salt water
  • Suck on lozenges containing benzocaine or other anesthetics
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

SOURCES:

Kliegman R.M., Behrman R.E., Jenson H.B., Stanton B.F., eds., 18th ed., Philadelphia, Saunders Elsevier, 2007. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics,

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: "Tonsils and Adenoids."

Nemours Foundation: "Tonsillitis."

University of Virginia Health System: "Tonsillitis."

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise: "Rapid strep test for strep throat," "Throat culture."

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: "Fact Sheet: Tonsillectomy Procedures," "Fact Sheet: Fact Sheet: Tonsils and Adenoids PostOp."

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on March 10, 2019

SOURCES:

Kliegman R.M., Behrman R.E., Jenson H.B., Stanton B.F., eds., 18th ed., Philadelphia, Saunders Elsevier, 2007. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics,

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: "Tonsils and Adenoids."

Nemours Foundation: "Tonsillitis."

University of Virginia Health System: "Tonsillitis."

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise: "Rapid strep test for strep throat," "Throat culture."

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: "Fact Sheet: Tonsillectomy Procedures," "Fact Sheet: Fact Sheet: Tonsils and Adenoids PostOp."

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on March 10, 2019

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