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Tonsillitis – Diagnosis and Treatment

Tonsils are two lumps of tissues (lymph nodes) present on either side at the back of your throat. When tonsils become affected, the condition is known as tonsillitis. Though this condition is common in children, adults can be affected by Tonsillitis too. Tonsils are generally caused by bacteria and is common among children ranging from 5 to 15 years of age.

Symptoms of tonsillitis

  1. Swollen throat
  2. Difficulty in breathing
  3. Swollen tonsils
  4. Tender lymph nodes at the side of neck

Other common symptoms of tonsillitis include bad breath, runny nose, congestion, fever, loss of voice, or headache. According to health experts, tonsillitis may be caused due to various reasons, but bacterial infections are the most important cause.

What are the main causes of tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is usually caused by various types of viruses or bacteria infections. Streptococcus pyogenes is considered to be the most common type of bacteria responsible for tonsils. Around 15 to 30% are affected by viral infections such as Influenza virus, adenovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, measles virus, common cold virus, and herpes simplex virus.

What are tonsil stones?

Tonsil stones or tonsilloliths, form when bacteria, dead cells, debris and mucus get trapped in the nooks and crannies of the tonsils. With time, this debris hardens or calcifies to form a stone.  They happen most often in people who have long-term inflammation in their tonsils. Many individuals have small tonsilloliths, but it is rare to have a large tonsil stone.

How do you cure tonsillitis?

If a person is suffering from a mild case of tonsillitis, a doctor usually prescribes antibiotics for 7-10 days which treats the condition.

In severe cases, tonsillectomy is the best treatment option. Individuals who are often sick with strep throat or tonsillitis should ideally opt for the surgery treatment. Tonsillectomy also helps treat other medical problems like – bleeding of tonsils, breathing issues caused due to swollen tonsils and cancer of the tonsils.

FAQs of Tonsils:

  1. What is the main medicine for tonsils?

The primary medicine for tonsillitis is a course of antibiotics. If the pain persists doctors may also prescribe pain killers. However, it is recomended that parents should seek doctor’s help when treating tonsillitis in children. One should not give aspirin, which is positively linked with  Reye’s syndrome which is fatal.

2. Do I need antibiotics for tonsillitis?

In the case of tonsillitis due to bacterial infection, doctors usually prescribe antibiotics.

Antibiotics, in the case of toddlers or children, are essential as they can prevent infections from getting worse.

3. Can I prevent tonsillitis?

Prevention for all possible cases of tonsillitis cannot be guaranteed. The chances of getting Tonsillitis can be decreased by frequently washing one’s hands with soap and warm water. Disinfection of household surfaces also acts as an effective measure.

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The content is medically reviewed and verified by experienced and skilled ENT (Ear Nose Throat) Specialists for clinical accuracy.

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