Q. Why do tonsils get hurt while coughing?

Answered by
Dr. Jagdish Chaturvedi
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 23, 2020 and last reviewed on: Jan 27, 2020

Hello doctor,

I am a 14-year-old male. Last week, I had really bad pain under, which I realized was my tonsils. I went to a doctor to get it checked out. He said they were definitely infected, but they did not give me any medication. He said it would go away by itself. Now, I have a really bad cough. When I cough, it makes my tonsils hurt like crazy. Last night, I had a really bad coughing fit that I could not breathe, so I ran to the bathroom, and ended up coughing up blood.

Also, when I sleep, I feel as if someone was pressing on my chest, and it is hard to breathe and it is also hard to swallow. Currently, when I cough it hurts my tonsils, my chest, and now also my head. Only when I cough, I get a sharp pain on my left temple. I feel awful. My mom said I also look really pale, and my teachers have been asking me if I am fine because I do not look well. I do not want to go see a doctor, because it is a waste of time if I do not get any medication. Please tell me what I can do to feel better.

Dr. Jagdish Chaturvedi

Otolaryngology (E.N.T)


Welcome to icliniq.com.

It is surprising that you were not started on medications despite your tonsillitis and throat complaints. It may be possible that your symptoms or findings were subclinical when you saw the doctor and it may have worsened further since then.

It sounds like a throat infection for which you may need a course of antibiotics. On an online portal such as this, it is not recommended for me to prescribe antibiotics without an in-person evaluation. However, I can recommend the use of antiseptic gargles such as dilute Betadine gargling (5 ml of Betadine in 50 ml of lukewarm water. Do not swallow) thrice daily before and after meals for about a week along with over the counter available anti-inflammatories such as Paracetamol 500 mg twice daily for three days. If you develop fever or your symptoms worsen, it is advised that you show yourself to a doctor or at the ER and in such a situation I am certain that you will be treated with medications appropriately.

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