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Tonsils

Tonsils are two small nodes, one on either side, at the back of your throat. They function as a defence mechanism and help in prevention of an infection. However, when tonsils become infected, they get swollen and sore, and swallowing becomes painful. This condition is called tonsillitis.

Possible Causes:

The two lymph nodes that prevent infections from attacking your body and are located on either side of the back of your throat, are called tonsils. While the tonsils’ function is to prevent infection, in fact they are also vulnerable to getting infected and when this happens the condition is called tonsillitis.

  • Streptococcus pyogenes is a bacterium that causes tonsillitis as well as strep throat.
  • Virus like the common cold maybe the cause of tonsillitis

Risk Factors:

Tonsils battle bacteria and viruses that enter your body through your mouth. Therefore, the following are most vulnerable to tonsillitis:

  • Young children get viral tonsillitis usually whereas tonsillitis caused by bacteria occurs in children between the ages of 5 to 15 years.
  • School-going children are regularly exposed to viruses or bacteria as they mingle freely with their friends so are at a higher risk of getting tonsillitis.

Signs & Symptoms:

Following are the usual signs and symptoms of tonsillitis:

  • A sore throat, trouble swallowing.
  • Bad breath, fever, shivering.
  • Pain in the ears, stomach and head.
  • A stiff neck, inflammation in the jaw and neck due to swollen lymph nodes may also be infected tonsils’ symptoms.
  • White or yellow patches on the tonsils, red and inflamed tonsils.

Diagnosis:

After observing the symptoms, the Medcare ENT specialist will proceed with a physical examination to confirm the diagnosis. The doctor will inspect your child's throat, ears and nose, palpate the neck to feel the swollen lymph nodes, will look out for a rash called scarlatina, and for enlargement of the spleen.

Next a throat swab is done to check for streptococcal bacteria. If the result is negative, then a blood test with complete blood count is done to determine the cause of tonsillitis.

Treatment Options:

Schedule a visit to the Medcare ENT Department to correctly diagnose tonsillitis and get the best treatment.

If your child’s tonsillitis is due to a viral infection, then you need to wait out the 10 days’ period ensuring your child drinks plenty of water to avoid dehydration. You need to give your child lozenges and warm drinks, keep your home free from cigarette smoke, use a cool-air humidifier to eliminate dry air and prepare saltwater gargles to soothe the throat.

The ENT specialist will prescribe an antibiotic if a bacterial infection is causing the tonsillitis. A tonsillectomy in which the tonsils are removed, may be recommended in frequently recurring tonsillitis, chronic tonsillitis or bacterial tonsillitis that doesn't respond to antibiotic treatment.

FAQs: الأسئلة الشائعة:
  • How can I prevent my children from getting tonsillitis?

    A: Viral and bacterial tonsillitis are infectious diseases. So, in order to protect them, you must ensure that your children practice good hygiene at home. Washing hands often especially after using the toilet and before eating, not sharing drinking glasses or bottles with friends are some essential precautions.

  • What is the function of tonsils?

    A: The two lymph nodes that prevent infections from attacking your body and are located on either side of the back of your throat are called tonsils. Their main function is to fight bacteria and viruses that enter your body through your mouth.

  • My daughter is going to have a tonsillectomy. How many days will it take for her to recover?

    A: Most children can resume their normal activities within about 5-7 days of having tonsils removed. The ENT specialist is likely to suggest that you feed her soft food and ice-cream after the surgery. Don’t give her hot, spicy and sharp food as this may affect the healing process.

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