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tonsils are swollen, red and covered in white spots

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My tonsils are swollen and red they are covered in white spots and it hurts to swallow what illness could i have? could it be strep or something else

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Category: Family Physician-GP
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The tonsils help to fight off infections, which is why they can become covered in white spots. These spots are usually pus that has developed as white blood cells kill off bacteria or viruses infecting the tissue. A bit of home care can usually ward off these symptoms, but it is important to check with your doctor if your symptoms linger or appear severe.

Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils caused by an exposure to bacteria or a virus. As the tonsils begin to fight the infection they will produce white pus which will collect in white patches on the flesh. You may also experience headaches or fever as you begin to develop tonsillitis.

I would advise you to Gargle. When your tonsils feel scratchy or inflamed, gargling can often lessen the discomfort. Mix a glass of warm salty water, taking care not to create a mixture that is hot enough to scald your mouth. Take a mouthful of the beverage, lean your head back, open your mouth and make a "g" sound with the back of your throat, allowing the water to swish around the tonsils. Spit out the liquid and take a new mouthful for each repetition to avoid spreading the pus throughout the mouth.

throughout the day can also help bathe the throat to help clear out an infection. Teas with honey, chicken broth or warm water are frequently recommended. If the throat is swollen, ice pops, cold beverages or a cold compress on the neck can provide relief. Avoid foods like ice cream as dairy products can encourage mucus production.

If your symptoms are causing a great deal of discomfort or you are experiencing a fever, you should see a doctor to determine if antibiotics are necessary to help clear the infection. Antibiotics cannot help rid the body of a virus or fungal infections. Your doctor will take a sample of the pus on your tonsils with a cotton swab and run lab tests to determine what type of medication is appropriate.

Hope this helps. feel free to ask if you have further questions.

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
Dr. John Monheit and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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