Tonsillitis Symptoms and Treatments
Tonsillitis is an ailment that results in inflamed tonsils, the two pads of tissue in your throat that protect the mouth from infection. Those with tonsillitis suffer from swollen tonsils, sore throats and have difficulty swallowing. While some cases go away after a few days, others require medical attention.
Tonsillitis symptoms include sore throat, fever, reddish, swollen tonsils and white or yellowish patches around the tonsils. In addition, the neck glands may be enlarged, and the voice will sound muffled or scratched. Other symptoms include stomach aches, headache, stiff neck, and in children, drooling.
Because the throat is swollen, eating and drinking becomes difficult. Mild cases of tonsillitis disappear after 24 hours, but if it doesn’t then it’s severe and requires the attention of a doctor, more specifically an ENT. You should also see a specialist if the symptoms include fatigue, physical weakness, and difficulty breathing.
Most cases of tonsillitis are due to a viral infection, but there are also cases of bacterial infection. The bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes is known to cause tonsillitis, and other strands of strep may also contribute to the condition. One of the reasons why the tonsils is prone to infection is it acts as the mouth’s primary defense against viruses and bacteria. However, it’s immune system weakens after puberty, which explains why the condition is more common in adults than children. Even so, there are also cases of young children who suffer from tonsillitis.
Tonsillitis is usually caused by germs, so the best prevention is to practice good hygiene. You should wash your hands regularly prior to eating and after using the toilet. It’s also necessary that you avoid sharing food and utensils, and to get as much rest as possible. If a child has tonsillitis, instruct him to wash his hands after coughing or sneezing, and that they should always use a tissue.
It’s very important that you consult an ENT specialist because the ENT services and treatment for tonsillitis depends entirely on the cause. If your tonsillitis is due to bacterial infection, your ENT specialist is going to prescribe antibiotics. If the condition is due to the group A streptococcus bacteria, you’ll probably be prescribed penicillin, although if that doesn’t work, other antibiotics may be prescribed.
If a child has tonsillitis, they must complete the treatment even if the symptoms have already disappeared to ensure that the infection doesn’t spread to the rest of the body. In addition, not completing treatment could make the child susceptible to kidney inflammation or rheumatic fever. Even if you’re an adult, it’s still recommended that you complete the treatment to ensure there is no recurrence.
The final option would be surgery, but an ENT specialist would only suggest this if other medications and treatments fail to work. Often, surgery is used for chronic tonsillitis or if antibiotics are no longer effective against the bacteria.
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