Treating Tonsillitis at Home – Here’s What You Need to Know

Are you concerned about treating tonsillitis at home? You’re not alone! This article will provide you with the necessary knowledge to tackle this condition and find relief. Get ready to learn how to treat tonsillitis without having to visit the doctor.

Quick facts: Treating Tonsillitis At Home

  • ✅ Saltwater gargling can help ease pain and reduce inflammation associated with tonsillitis (Mayo Clinic)
  • ✅ Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help relieve pain, reduce fever and reduce throat irritation (WebMD)
  • ✅ Drinking plenty of fluids can help soothe a sore throat and loosen mucus secretions (WebMD)
  • ✅ Eating soft or blended foods like yogurt, applesauce, and mashed potatoes can help prevent further irritation of the throat (Cleveland Clinic)
  • ✅ Avoiding irritants such as smoke, alcohol, and spicy foods can help prevent further irritation of the throat (Cleveland Clinic)


Tonsillitis is a common infection affecting the tonsils, which are located on both sides of the throat. It is typically caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Symptoms often include sore throat, fever, swollen lymph nodes, difficulty or pain when swallowing, and white patches or pus on the tonsils.

Although it can be treated with antibiotics and over-the-counter medications, it can also be treated at home through natural remedies such as

  • steam inhalation,
  • warm liquids,
  • gargling with salt water.

Additionally, lifestyle modifications such as

  • increasing fluid intake to stay hydrated,
  • getting plenty of rest

may help reduce symptoms of tonsillitis.

This article will provide more information about treating tonsillitis at home and what you need to know to do so safely and effectively.

What is Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is the inflammation of the tonsils, which are small masses of tissue located at the back of the throat. It is a common infection, especially among children. Symptoms of tonsillitis include sore throat, coughing, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. It can be caused by viral or bacterial infections, and in some cases, it can be more serious.

Let’s discuss what you need to know when it comes to treating tonsillitis at home:


Symptoms of tonsillitis or an inflamed tonsil can vary in severity depending on the cause. Generally, they may include sore throat, difficulty swallowing, swollen tonsils, fever, headaches, and soreness around the jaw and neck. Less commonly, tonsillitis may cause swollen lymph nodes in the neck and even fatigue.

In more severe cases that involve infection with a virus or bacteria, additional symptoms such as white patches on the tonsils (which can indicate a strep infection), redness in the throat or around the back of the tongue can also be present.

Treatment for tonsillitis depends on its severity and what is causing it. Home treatment for milder cases may include:

  • Rest
  • Over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to manage pain and fever
  • Warm beverages to help soothe your throat
  • Gentle gargling with warm salt water throughout the day


Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils, which are found on either side of the throat. This inflammation can be caused by a variety of factors, including viral and bacterial infections, allergies, pollutants in the air, smoking, and other irritants.

The most common causes of tonsillitis are viral infections such as colds and flu, as well as bacterial infections such as strep throat or mononucleosis. In some cases, allergies or environmental irritants may also contribute to tonsillitis.

It is important to identify the cause of tonsillitis before treating it at home; otherwise treatment may not be effective. A doctor should be consulted if symptoms persist for more than 48 hours or if they worsen significantly over time.

Home Treatment

Treating tonsillitis at home can be beneficial, as it is often a straightforward and manageable health issue. Home treatments can include rest, increased hydration, and over-the-counter pain medications. In more severe cases, a doctor visit may be necessary.

Let’s examine the home treatment options for tonsillitis:

  • Rest
  • Increased hydration
  • Over-the-counter pain medications

Gargling with Salt Water

Gargling with salt water is one of the most effective home treatments for mild to moderate tonsillitis. The salt helps to reduce swelling, just as it does when added to a warm compress for a sprained ankle.

The process involves mixing 1 teaspoon of table salt with 8 ounces of warm water until the salt is dissolved. Gargling with this solution 3-4 times a day may help reduce inflammation and relieve discomfort in the throat.

If you feel that your tonsillitis is worse than mild, however, it’s best to consult a physician immediately before resorting to home treatment. Salt water gargles may be too harsh for more severe infections and can actually cause further irritation if done incorrectly.

Taking Pain Relievers

Taking over-the-counter pain relievers can help reduce the discomfort associated with tonsillitis. Pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be taken every 4 to 6 hours as needed. Aspirin should not be used to treat pain or fever in children unless instructed by a doctor.

It is important to follow the dosage instructions on your over-the-counter (OTC) medication and consult with a pharmacist or pediatrician if you have any questions. Taking the correct dose of medication will allow it to work most effectively, while taking too much increases the risk of side effects.

Additionally, gargling with warm salt water several times daily can help reduce swelling and pain and lessen symptoms associated with tonsillitis.

Eating Soft Foods

When it comes to treating tonsillitis at home, eating soft foods is key. Eating soft foods can help reduce pain, as they don’t require much chewing and help speed up the healing process. Soft foods are especially beneficial if you are experiencing soreness or pain in your throat due to inflammation.

Generally speaking, cooked vegetables and fruits, soups, smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, cottage cheese and mashed potatoes are all good choices for eating soft foods when treating tonsillitis at home. In addition to soft foods being easier for your throat, they also provide other health benefits such as vitamins and minerals that can boost the immune system and aid in recovery from tonsillitis.

Lastly, avoiding spicy and citrus food can help reduce any additional pain or inflammation of your throat and keep symptoms from worsening.

Drinking Warm Liquids

Drinking warm liquids is one of the most effective and convenient home treatments for tonsillitis. Warm water, herbal teas, and other warm liquids can help relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and prevent dehydration. You can even add honey or lemon to your drink to make it more soothing. Try to avoid beverages such as coffee and soda that may irritate your throat further.

Warm fluids provide added moisture which helps reduce inflammation in the tissues of the throat – “coating” them – and aid in loosening any trapped mucous. The warmth also helps to relax tense muscles in the throat which can help soothe irritation caused by tonsillitis. Drinking hot liquids regularly throughout the day will also ensure you are well hydrated – an important element of proper recovery from illness! Finally, some people find that drinking hot fluids gives them temporary relief from a sore throat or scratchy feeling associated with tonsillitis.

When to See a Doctor

Tonsillitis can be uncomfortable, but many people are able to treat the symptoms at home. However, there are certain situations in which it is important to seek medical help right away. If you experience any of the following symptoms, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible:

  • Fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Pain that worsens with swallowing
  • Excessive drooling
  • A sore throat lasting more than seven days

In addition, if your tonsillitis has been accompanied by swollen glands in the neck or jaw area, it is important to see a doctor right away in order to rule out other possible causes. A doctor may also want to conduct an examination of your throat if they suspect that you have severe tonsillitis. Treatment for tonsillitis may include antibiotics and/or surgery depending on its severity.


When it comes to treating tonsillitis at home, the best thing you can do is focus on managing your symptoms and keeping yourself comfortable. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of rest, and avoid activities that could strain your voice. Additionally, over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce pain and fever.

If necessary, you should also consult a doctor to determine if antibiotics may be prescribed to reduce swelling or prevent infection. By following the above tips, you can hopefully alleviate your discomfort and allow yourself time to heal.

FAQs about: Treating Tonsillitis At Home

Q1. What are the home remedies for tonsillitis?

A1. Some home remedies for tonsillitis include drinking plenty of fluids, gargling with salt water, taking a warm shower, avoiding irritants like smoke, and getting plenty of rest.

Q2. What over-the-counter medicine can I take for tonsillitis?

A2. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help relieve pain and reduce fever associated with tonsillitis.

Q3. When should I see a doctor for tonsillitis?

A3. You should see a doctor if your symptoms worsen, you have difficulty swallowing, or if you have a fever of 103°F or higher.

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