How to deal with a sore throat (particularly due to tonsillitis)

You rub your hurting throat as you shut off the alarm clock. You just brush it off as a cold, though, and go about your day as though nothing is wrong. That is, until you try to eat your lunch, each bite feeling as though somebody is running a branding iron down your throat. Your first thought as you put down your sandwich is strep throat, and this may very well be the case.

Regardless of your infection, though, a major problem that you are encountering right now is a sore throat due to swollen tonsils. As it would happen, there are a variety of ways that one can deal with swollen tonsils.

1. Visit your doctor

This may seem like too obvious of an answer, but how many of us act as though we would rather be raked over hot coals than actually go visit our primary care physician?

Unfortunately, it is also probably the single best way to deal with the situation. According to an article in the Health Guide of the New York Times’ website, swollen tonsils due to strep throat is a common ailment, and the way to deal with strep throat is to get on a regime of antibiotics as quickly as possible.

2. Soothing drinks and foods

If simply dealing with the pain of swollen tonsils is your primary objective, you may want to give this a try. The Mayo Clinic seems to have several ideas on this subject in its information on tonsillitis:

Fluids in general will work to keep the back of the throat moist. This prevents the area from getting dehydrated, something that can make the pain even worse.

Other options, though, like broth or warm water mixed with honey, will work to actively soothe the sore throat caused by swollen tonsils. While cold foods, like Popsicles or ice cream, will also soothe a sore throat.

A word of caution from this writer, though, is that you may want to avoid dairy if you have a fever. Avoiding dairy while you have a fever is by no means a hard and fast rule, but you may want to eat that Ben and Jerry’s a little more slowly than usual.

3. Gargle

According to an article on how to cure swollen tonsils on, you can try mixing a teaspoon of salt with a cup of water, you can try mixing a teaspoon of lime (or lemon) juice with a cup of water, or you can try mixing all three of them together. The point is that you should try to gargle three times a day if you can do so. Supposedly, it can help kill the infections that cause swollen tonsils in the first place. It is also said to draw fluid from your swollen tonsils, thus helping to reduce inflammation.

4. Medication

This is yet another option that is mostly aimed at controlling symptoms, but it can help dramatically increase your quality of life. The New York Times give a decent overview of ideas when it comes to medication:

Over-the-counter medicine that contains either acetaminophen or aspirin can help bring your fever down and reduce the pain of swollen tonsils.

Another idea presented is to suck on lozenges; they contain medicines that will help reduce the pain associated with swollen tonsils.

5. Tonsillectomy

This is a bit of a drastic step, but the Mayo Clinic website says that it may be necessary if your tonsils are often swollen or if a bacterial infection causing the swollen tonsils will not go away even after treatment with antibiotics. It is definitely a scorched earth option, as it completely removes your tonsils, but it will also definitely work.

Surgery should only be considered as a last option, though, and the recovery time listed in the Mayo Clinic article is one to two weeks. The surgery itself, though, is usually done in one day.

Whatever option that you choose to deal with your swollen tonsils, one tip that you will likely find no matter what article you read or who you talk to is this: get plenty of rest.

For more information, or to visit my sources, consider these sites:


Which operating system?

There are generally three operating systems that you’ll hear about: Windows, Apple, and Linux. It can be hard to know which one to use, so I’m going to give my two cents on the subject.

Windows: If you’re a hardcore PC gamer, use this. If you’ve got a lot of business applications that you need to run, use this. If you want the most popular and the one that most people use, use this.

Apple: If you’re into graphic design, movie making, or what my grandpa would call “artsy-fartsy stuff”, use this. If you could be classified as a hipster or yuppie (nothing necessarily wrong with either of those), use this. If you want the one that has the prettiest eye-candy, use this. If you want it to be better integrated with your I-Phone or I-Pod, use this.

Linux: If you want something that you can program yourself and get access to the OS kernal, use this. If you want to go straight open-source, use this. If you want a variety of distributions that you can choose from, use this. If you want an OS for your laptop from the digital bronze age, use this.

Surviving Young Adulthood: High School

1. The single most important thing that you can remember about surviving the mess that is high school is to remember that who you are at 16 is not who you will be at 26; our brains mature until we’re about 25, though it can be even longer than that for some people.

Bearing this in mind, know that you will change, your life will change, so don’t think that you’re stuck in this rut for life if you’re at the bottom of the social ladder. Similarly, don’t think that you’re going to be at the top of the social food chain for life just because you are on top right now.

2. You will hear people say that you’ll never hear from most of these people again after you graduate. That’s the way it used to be, but with stuff like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and all that, it’s simply not the nature of reality these days.

Bearing this in mind, you need to realize that what you do now kinda does matter. Because of the age we live in, things you do as a teenager can haunt you for the rest of your life. Don’t be paranoid about it, but stop and take a second to think about it before you do shit that you know is stupid.

Live a little, but also know that maybe putting a picture of yourself on your Facebook page with a shot of tequila in your hand when you’re 17  isn’t the hottest idea.

The main idea here is to learn about the art of discretion and apply it to your life. If you don’t know what discretion means…Google it, my friend.

3. People will tell you that high school is the best time of your life…this depends entirely upon the time that you have.

If high school is a big ball of happy for you day after day, it may very well be the best point of your life. For those of you who get suicidal when you hear that, though, things will get better.

4. Relationships are extremely likely to be temporary even well into adulthood.

  1. Unless you both people in the relationship are mature enough at sixteen or seventeen years old to make a commitment to staying together, growing together, and are lucky, teenage relationships will not last.

This doesn’t mean that they will invariably fail or that you shouldn’t take them seriously.

What this means is that you shouldn’t base your entire life around these relationships and let them swallow you whole. It means that you shouldn’t let who you’re in a relationship with determine your self-esteem.