Our tips for handling tonsillitis and throat infections
An inflammation of the tonsils at the back of the throat, tonsillitis affects hoards of French people every winter, although it is most common in children. Tonsillitis is characterised by an extremely sore throat, difficulty swallowing and fever. Other symptoms like headaches or stomachaches, or swollen glands can also appear. Whether the tonsils appear swollen and red, or show white flecks, the main question to ask is: is it a viral or bacterial infection? Here are our tips on what to do when you have a serious throat infection.
Bacterial or viral throat infections: recognising the cause
The French distinguish between “red” or “white” tonsillitis, depending on the colour of the infected tonsils. White tonsillitis manifests itself with white flecks or a coating on the tonsils, but the colour isn’t particularly important because whether the tonsils are red or white, the germs causing the problem are the same. On the other hand, the origins of the germs – viral or bacterial – play a decisive role in the treatment. While viral throat infections can be treated at home with plant-based treatments, bacterial infections require specific medical treatment.
To recognise bacterial tonsillitis and treat it correctly, you’ll have to consult a doctor.
Treating viral throat infections
The less serious, common viral throat infection shouldn’t be treated with antibiotics – not effective against the virus. Still, natural solutions will help relieve the symptoms – fever, difficulty swallowing, sore throat and swollen tonsils.
8 tips for treating viral throat infections:
- Take vitamin C: it helps fight against fatigue and reinforces the immune system
- Drink lots of water: cold drinks have a soothing effect on an inflamed throat
- Keep up your strength with liquid foods, like soup or puree: a sore throat can make swallowing anything else difficult
- Avoid air conditioning and overheated spaces: dry air dries out the mucous membranes
- Stop smoking: tobacco irritates the throat and increases the risk of an ENT infection
- Get enough sleep: a well-rested body fights infection better
- Eat honey: this natural antiviral helps calm coughs
Prevent the spread of infection
The virus or the bacteria that cause tonsillitis are transmitted through physical contact, by coughs or sneezing, or through contact with contaminated objects. A few simple measures will help prevent the spread of the infection during its “high season”.
6 habits for preventing the spread of germs:
- Avoid physical contact
- Regularly air out the house
- Use disposable tissues, throwing them away in a closed bin
- Keep toothbrushes separate
- Wash hands frequently
- Regularly disinfect the children’s toys
Don’t share the same cutlery or glasses