What is Tonsillitis?
Tonsillitis, also referred to as a tonsil infection, is characterised by inflammation of the tonsils (the lymph glands in the throat). It can happen to anyone at any age and is found, on occasion, to occur among children.
What are its causes and concerns?
Tonsillitis is highly contagious and is caused by bacteria or viruses. The germs can transfer from person to person through the air. In most cases, tonsillitis is found to be viral. Bacterial tonsillitis is often caused due to Streptococcus bacteria (which can also cause strep throat). If left untreated, this condition can lead to complications for the child.
What are its symptoms?
Symptoms of Tonsillitis may range from mild to severe and the child may have only a few or many symptoms at a time. Some of these symptoms are:
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph glands
- Runny nose
- Redness appearing on the throat and tonsils
- Abdominal pain
- Pain when swallowing
- White patches on the tonsils
What are the solutions and treatment options?
Since tonsillitis is contagious, you should seek medical attention immediately if you notice any associated symptoms in your child. The paediatric throat specialist will perform a physical examination to verify the child’s infection and diagnose it, based on the following:
- Performing a swab test
- Any abscesses on the tonsils
- Redness, swelling, discharge, or swollen glands
- Inability to swallow, drooling and muffled speech
Home treatment of tonsillitis involves administering over the counter pain medication like Tylenol or Advil to provide relief from the accompanying throat pain and fever. Gargling warm salt water in the back of the throat is another home remedy recommended to ease a sore throat. If your child’s symptoms start to worsen, you need to contact your doctor.
Medical treatment of tonsillitis involves antibiotics and, in some cases, surgery. Care must be taken at all times that the medication is being administered correctly and in the appropriate dosage. Suppose the doctor observes any development of abscesses on the tonsils. In that case, he or she may need to perform a procedure to drain this by opening the airway in order to prevent an infection. If your child experiences recurring tonsil infections in a given period, the tonsils may have to be surgically removed.
Even after the symptoms go away, you must ensure that your child completes the prescribed course of antibiotics and attends the follow-up appointments and checkups. When your child is on antibiotics, they are no longer contagious after 24 hours. They can go back to doing everyday activities.
Taking certain preventive measures can go a long way in helping your child avoid tonsillitis. Encourage him or her to wash his or her hands frequently to prevent bacteria and viruses from spreading. Since tonsillitis can spread through the air, limit their (and your own) contact with people known to have the condition.
If your child exhibits any symptoms that make you suspect a tonsil infection, call us today to book an appointment with our throat specialist. Our doctor will help you and your child with the proper diagnosis and a suitable treatment plan.
Additional Reading: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/tonsillitis/page6_em.htm
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