Tonsils function as a defense mechanism that significantly inhibits infection from entering the body. These are the two lymph nodes situated on each side of the back of the throat. When these get infected, a condition known as tonsillitis occurs.
This condition is more frequently diagnosed in kids from preschool age through mid-teens. Although tonsillitis is a common childhood illness, it can emerge at any age.
What causes Tonsillitis?
Several bacteria and common viruses can trigger tonsillitis. Thus, tonsillitis can transfer to others. Left untreated, especially if it is caused by strep throat, it can result in serious complications.
What are the symptoms of Tonsillitis?
- A scratchy-sounding voice
- A stiff neck
- Painful or difficulty swallowing
- A very sore throat
- Foul-smelling breath
- Tonsils that have yellow or white spots
- Tonsils that appear swollen and red
- Stomach aches
- Tenderness of the neck and jaw due to swollen lymph nodes
- In very young kids, excessive drooling, loss of appetite, and irritability may also be observed. Please be guided that it is essential to seek immediate medical care if your child is experiencing pain or difficulty breathing as this may already be caused by obstruction of the airways due to swollen tonsils.
How is Tonsillitis diagnosed?
Tonsillitis diagnosis includes a physical examination of the throat, and this may comprise of a throat culture. In order to take a throat culture, the doctor will carefully swab the back of the throat and afterward send the sample to a medical lab to determine the cause of the infection.
Luckily, tonsillitis can be diagnosed and treated quite easily. The symptoms completely resolve within a week to ten days on average. It is advised to find a pediatrician, ENT, or internist near you.
How is Tonsillitis treated?
Fortunately, a mild case of tonsillitis does not require exhaustive treatment, specifically if it is only caused by a cold virus. On the other hand, treatments for more serious cases of tonsillitis consist of:
Tonsillectomy: This is known as the surgery reformed to remove the tonsils. This procedure is only recommended for patients who suffer from recurrent tonsillitis, tonsillitis that causes other health complications, as well as for tonsillitis that does not respond well to other treatments.
Antibiotics: These are prescribed to combat a bacterial infection. It is crucial that you complete the entire course of antibiotics. The doctor may prefer to schedule a follow-up visit to make sure that the medication prescribed was effective.
What are home remedies I can do to cure my Tonsillitis?
- Get plenty of rest
- Avoid or reduce smoking
- Drink lots of fluids
- Use a humidifier to moisten the air in your home
- Consider gargling with warm salt water several times a day
- You can also use over-the-counter medications that can bring relief to your condition such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen (Please note that aspirin may not be advised for kids; ask the doctor prior giving aspirin to children).
- Use throat lozenges (Please note that these aren’t recommended for kids due to choking hazards).