Tonsillitis is inflammation of the tonsils, which are small white bumps located at the back of your throat. They protect your lungs from infection. Tonsillitis occurs when bacteria or viruses enter the throat through the mouth. There are several types of tonsillitis: acute, chronic, and recurrent. Acute tonsillitis is usually caused by viral infections such as colds, flu, or chicken pox. Chronic tonsillitis is caused by bacterial infections like strep throat or tuberculosis. Recurrent tonsillitis is when you get frequent bouts of tonsillitis.
Acute and recurrent tonsillitis can be treated with rest, fluids, pain medication, and cough medicine. If your tonsillitis doesn’t improve within two days or gets worse, see your doctor.
He can perform tests to see if you have another underlying condition causing your symptoms. Your doctor may suggest an antiseptic inhalant, an expectorant to thin out your mucus, or a steroid to reduce your inflammation. He may also give you a prescription for an antibiotic. If your tonsillitis is caused by a bacterial infection, you may need to take the full course of antibiotics to prevent future infections.
Chronic tonsillitis requires additional treatment. Your doctor may suggest a tonsillectomy, or removal of your tonsils.
He may also suggest a adenoidectomy, or removal of your adenoids. Tonsillectomies and adenoidectomies are two of the most common surgeries performed on children. Over 450,000 tonsillectomies are performed in the U.S. every year, usually on children between the ages of 5 and 15.
Your tonsils are located at the back of your throat. They’re responsible for fighting infection and helping your body create the protective antibodies that ward off disease.
Your adenoids are located at the roof of your mouth and behave in a similar way to the tonsils. People who have their tonsils removed experience a reduction in the occurrence and severity of respiratory infections. Kids with removed adenoids experience an improved ability to smell.
The surgery to remove your tonsils and adenoids is generally quick and safe. Most surgeons perform the procedure under a local anesthetic, while some may use a general anesthetic.
Your surgeon will make an incision in the back of your throat to reach your tonsils and adenoids. He’ll remove all visible signs of infected tissue. The procedure lasts between thirty and sixty minutes.
After surgery, you’ll be required to take antibiotics to prevent infection. You may experience some bleeding, pain, and ulcers in your throat after the surgery.
Pain medication can help you get through the first few weeks after your surgery. You’ll be able to eat a soft diet as soon as you feel up to it. Most of your symptoms should subside in one to two weeks. Your doctor will provide an estimate on how long it’ll take for you to get back to your normal routine.
Adenoidectomy and tonsillectomies are both relatively safe procedures. Complications do sometimes occur, although they’re generally not serious.
Risks include excessive bleeding, hemorrhaging, perforation of the esophagus, damage to the vocal cords, and death. Your surgeon can inform you of all the potential risks before he performs your surgery.
If you or your child suffers from tonsillitis on a regular basis, ask your doctor if tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy is an appropriate solution.
Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are common surgeries that can help treat people who suffer from frequent tonsillitis or other upper respiratory problems. The procedure is relatively safe, although minor complications can arise.
If you suffer from tonsillitis on a regular basis, ask your physician about the potential benefits of tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy.
Tonsillitis is one of the most common diseases in children and teens. It can cause bad breath, a sore throat, and problems swallowing.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Association of long-term risk of respiratory, allergic, and infectious diseases with removal of adenoids and tonsils in childhood (SG Byars, SC Stearns… – … –Head & Neck Surgery, 2018 – jamanetwork.com)
- Old barbers, young doctors, and tonsillectomy (RM Rosenfeld – JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, 2018 – jamanetwork.com)
- Tonsils, adenoids, and long term immune function (DJ Lam, MAF Morales, V Mehta, JR Bedwell – bulletin.entnet.org)