Treatment of tonsillitis

What can you do yourself?

Tonsillitis can affect anyone and be very uncomfortable. Your behavior can do a lot to help the tonsillitis go away faster.
First of all, the most important thing is to ensure that you take sufficient physical rest so as not to delay tonsillitis and thereby unnecessarily run the risk of rheumatic fever!

Make sure you drink enough water or tea. Around 2-3 liters of fluid should be consumed per day, as the need increases in the event of illness, especially if there is a fever.
If you have pronounced swallowing difficulties, you should initially avoid hard solid foods and prepare porridges and soups.
Strongly acidic juices and foods can irritate the almonds and should be avoided temporarily.
Ice brings about a beneficial cooling of the inflamed throat from the inside and can be used for treatment.
Rinsing the mouth and throat with sage or chamomile tea have a calming and disinfecting effect.
In the pharmacy there are numerous soothing lozenges for treating tonsillitis, which soothe the throat, sometimes slightly numb the almonds and thus make swallowing easier. These drugs include Dorithricin ® and Lemocin ®, among others.
The neck should be kept warm with shawls or scarves.
Antipyretic drugs such as paracetamol can be used to treat the fever. Household items like leg wraps can also be very helpful.
Ibuprofen has a pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effect at the same time.


In the event of severe or persistent pain, purulent coatings, high fever or even breathing difficulties, a doctor must be consulted!

Home remedies for tonsillitis

Various home remedies can be used to relieve the symptoms of tonsillitis.
Quark wraps, for example, are very effective. For this purpose, a linen cloth is coated with quark and placed with the coated side around the neck. Then the whole thing is fixed with another dry cloth.
Healing clay can also be used as an alternative to quark. The wrap should sit for a few hours before being removed.

Gargling with sage tea is also very helpful in treating tonsillitis. Sage has a disinfecting and anti-inflammatory effect and can be used in the form of a tea for gargling, but it can also be drunk. Chamomile tea can be used in the same way.
If you don't want to gargle or drink the tea, you can also take a steam bath. Put the tea in a bowl, cover your head and the bowl with a towel and inhale the vapors.

Ginger, horseradish and aloe vera are also effective in treating tonsillitis.
Aloe vera juice is available in health food stores and can help the healing process by gargling every hour. In general, if you have tonsillitis, you should drink a lot so that the throat is rinsed well. However, you should avoid carbonated or fruit acidic drinks, as these only irritate the attacked mucous membranes.

Physical protection is the basic requirement for recovery from tonsillitis. The sick person should rest and not overexert himself. If the symptoms do not get better after a few days, it is essential to consult a doctor.
If necessary, the inflammation must be treated with medication.

Read more on the topic: Home remedies for tonsillitis

Neck wraps with tonsillitis

Quark can be used for neck wraps, but other methods are also suitable for relieving tonsillitis. There are basically two different approaches, the cold and the warm neck wrap.

Of the cold neck wraps recommended in the acute phases, if severe difficulty swallowing, one swelling, and a Feeling of warmth consists. The cold is good for fighting swelling, as the cold reduces the flow of blood to the swollen area. The cold also relieves pain. Wraps with cold water or cool packs are suitable for this. The latter should not, however, be placed directly on the neck, but should always be used with a kitchen towel. An application should about half an hour then the neck must be given enough rest and warmth again. 2-3 cold compresses can be performed within a day.

In the Subacute phaseif the symptoms have subsided or the patient is shivering warm wraps be used. The water should be there no hotter than 40 degrees be. The wrap is also placed on the neck, and there for good one half a hour left. The temperature, duration and frequency of use are of course variable and depend on the patient's condition. However, the neck should not be overused, especially during cold treatment. Warm or cold drinks are also suitable.

Antibiotics for tonsillitis

Antibiotics only work on bacteria. If tonsillitis is viral, there is no causal treatment option!
In the case of a bacterial cause - recognizable by the purulent coverings - the family doctor prescribes antibiotics for therapy. Penicillin is very effective. Alternatively, cephalosporins can also be used to treat tonsillitis. For allergies to these antibiotics, macrolides such as clarithromycin are prescribed for treatment. The antibiotics are prescribed for at least 7 days, usually even for 10 to 14 days.
It is important to always take the antibiotic through to the end of the prescription - even if the symptoms subside much faster - as bacteria still linger in the depths of the tonsils and can quickly lead to acute inflammation again. This would mean that another treatment with antibiotics would be necessary.
In patients with immunodeficiency (HIV, cancer, chemotherapy, congenital immune deficiencies and others), the doctor will resort to an antibiotic or even a combination of several earlier. For these patients, even the mundane tonsillitis can become threatening with complications!

Read more on this topic at: Antibiotics for tonsillitis


Tonsillectomy (peeling of the tonsils)

With a one-time acute tonsillitis surgery is out of the question. However, if a patient has chronic purulent tonsillitis that occurs more than three times a year, a tonsillectomy is performed for treatment. This is the surgical removal of the tonsils by the ear, nose and throat specialist.
When is the tonsillectomy performed?

  • Chronic tonsillitis with symptoms such as Bad breath or difficulty swallowing
  • Acute tonsillitis occurring more than 3 times a year
  • Non-healing or recurrent peritonsillar abscess
  • sepsis (Blood poisoning) after tonsillitis
  • Palatine tonsils enlarged on one side to rule out a malignant tumor
  • Palatine tonsil as a bacterial focus in immunocompromised patients HIV, Cancer, chemotherapy etc.
  • Greatly enlarged tonsils that lead to snoring and a mechanical obstacle
  • No surgery at leukemia (Blood cancer), epidemics of polio or a complete lack of white blood cells

In general, no children under 4 years of age are treated with an operation, as the tonsils are still needed here for defense against pathogens. Tonsillectomy in children under the age of four should only be performed in an extreme emergency. At a later point in time, the tonsils hardly have any Defense function and can be removed without affecting the immune system.

How is the tonsillectomy performed?

The tonsillectomy is performed by an ear, nose and throat doctor. The patient is in general anesthetic and is given a breathing tube so that he does not swallow blood during the operation.
In adults, the operation can also be performed in Local anesthesia occur.
The head is stretched backwards. Then the anterior palatal arch is slit about a centimeter and the palatine tonsil is peeled out of its bed with a sharp spoon. The lower pole is tied off with a loop.

What are the risks of tonsillectomy?
The most common complication is rebleeding. This can occur either directly on the day of the operation, when the vasoconstriction Anesthetic drugs no longer work. However, since the patient is still in the hospital, the bleeding can usually be stopped quickly here.
Late bleeding is more risky. This usually takes place 6 to 7 days after the operation when the scab falls off. Because of this complication, the length of the hospital stay is about one week.
In order to reduce the risk of rebleeding, strict physical rest after tonsillectomy is essential!

What is the prognosis after tonsillectomy?
The symptoms are usually completely eliminated by a tonsillectomy. Rarely will there be an increased incidence of Sore throat (Pharyngitis).


Tonsilotomy is the partial removal of the tonsils.
Since children, especially under four years of age, are still in an immunological learning phase, they need their tonsils for Defense against pathogens. However, tonsillitis often occurs in children in particular, and this often occurs repeatedly. As a result, the tonsils become larger and make breathing, swallowing, or severe problems night snoringtreatment becomes necessary. Instead of completely removing the tonsils, a partial removal, called a tonsillotomy, can be performed. This leads to a reduction in the size of the tonsils, but still leaves a residue that can adequately defend against infection.
The advantage of this treatment is that the tonsilltomy can also be performed on an outpatient basis with a laser. It leads to secondary bleeding much less often.
The disadvantage of this therapy is that it leads to chronic tonsillitis and scarring of the tonsils more often. So that's the risk for you abscess slightly increased.
In summary, tonsill lotomy represents an alternative treatment option to tonsillectomy, which is mainly used in young children.


Unfortunately, there is no against the most common pathogen of tonsillitis, the streptococcus vaccine.
There are, however, vaccinations against pneumococci and hemophilus influenzae. These are administered to children by the pediatrician when they are still infants, as they can cause much more dangerous diseases besides tonsillitis Meningitis and Pneumonia cause.
The pneumococcal vaccination is also available to adults over the age of 60 and those with chronic diseases such as diabetes, Heart disease, lung or liver disease.

Other treatment options

You can find out everything else that helps with tonsillitis under our topic: Tonsillitis what helps?

This page provides you with helpful information on the following areas:

  • Home remedies for tonsillitis
  • What helps against the pain associated with tonsillitis

Duration of treatment

In the case of a bacterial Tonsillitis often needs an antibiotic administered.
Most of all Penicillins, Macrolides and Cephalosporins for use. The duration of therapy is usually 10 days and should be completed in any case.
Discontinuing the antibiotic when it starts to improve is strongly advised against, as there is then the risk of further deterioration and the risk of the pathogen developing resistance. With antibiotic therapy, tonsillitis usually subsides within one to two weeks.
Does the tonsillitis persist much longer (over three months) or does it keep coming back from someone chronic tonsillitis be spoken. In this case, the tonsils usually have to be surgically removed.

Prophylaxis of tonsillitis

A healthy lifestyle strengthens that immune system thus preventing the frequency and intensity of tonsillitis. Treatment can therefore not even be necessary. This includes getting enough sleep, a balanced diet with plenty of it Vitamins in the form of fruits and vegetables, physical activity and being outdoors.
During the cold season, you cannot completely protect yourself from tonsillitis. However, simple hygiene measures help to reduce the germs: If you come home from outside, you should wash your hands thoroughly.
If you are sick, you are contagious! It has to be ventilated several times a day. The person concerned should take sick leave for a few days in order to avoid infection from work colleagues.
Do not cough directly at other people or sneeze into the back of your hand to reduce the risk of infection.

Illustration of tonsillitis

Figure tonsillitis

A - tonsillitis - Tonsilitis
B - Simple catharrhal angina -
Angina catarrhalis
C - throat findings in diphtheria
D - ulcers in bacterial
Forms of angina

  1. Palatine almond bay -
    Tonsillar fossa
  2. Hard palate -
    Palatum durum
  3. Posterior palatal arch -
    Arcus palatopharyngeus
  4. Anterior palatal arch -
    Arcus palatoglossus
  5. Palatine almond -
    Palatine tonsil
  6. Back of tongue -
    Dorsum linguae
  7. Uvula + soft palate
    (Soft palate) -
    Uvula palatina + palatum molle
  8. Meandering -
    Isthmus faucium
  9. Throat (back wall) -

You can find an overview of all Dr-Gumpert images at: medical illustrations