Does smoking while having tonsillitis make it worse?

The tonsils – two small pieces of tissue located at the back of the mouth – are part of your body’s immune system. They act as guards and protect the body from foreign objects and infections. Tonsillitis refers to a medical condition where one or both tonsils get affected by a viral or bacterial infection. In turn, this infection and inflammation of the tonsils leads to a number of unpleasant symptoms such as a sore throat, difficulty swallowing or eating your food, swollen lymph nodes, neck or throat pain, pus-filled patches of skin at the back of the mouth, fever and bad breath.

For a speedier recovery and proper healing, you should avoid smoking and the use of tobacco products. Smoking has a detrimental effect and can worsen the condition significantly. The chemicals and tar present in cigarettes irritate and inflame the tissues of the body and slow down the recovery process. In fact, doctors suggest that you not only avoid smoking but stay away from second hand smoke as well to prevent the condition from getting worse. Another factor to consider is that tonsillitis is contagious and sharing cigarettes is an easy way to spread the infection.

In most cases, tonsillitis is cured with the proper medication and rest. During the period of recovery, it is important that you take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of the infection spreading. There are also a number of home remedies you can try to lessen the side effects of the disease. These include:

  • Drinking a glass of milk with a pinch each of pepper powder and turmeric powder just before sleeping. Continue this remedy for three nights or more until the inflammation and pain reduces.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetable juices such as carrot, beet and cucumber juice taken separately or mixed together is believed to help treat a tonsillitis infection by improving your immunity.
  • Mix the juice of one lime in a glass of warm water and sip on this through the day to provide relief from the symptoms of tonsillitis. You can add honey and a pinch of salt to make it more palatable and to increase the antibacterial properties of the drink.
  • For severe pain and swelling, try gargling with a solution of water boiled with a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds. Strain this and gargle with the solution twice to thrice a day for the best results.
  • Chronic cases of tonsillitis may require surgery and the removal of the tonsils.

answered by G R

Yes, the chemicals in smoke are irritants to most tissues. The tars in cigarette smoke interfere with effective elimination. Your tonsils are simply lymph tissues which become inflamed in response to "foreign" substances. So if the tissues in your throat are more irritated and can't eliminate properly, you will have your symptoms for a longer time.

answered by Dr K B N

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