Tonsillitis is one of the most common ear, nose and throat conditions amongst adults and children in the United States. Tonsillitis affects the tonsils, which are two lymph nodes that are located at each side of the throat. Contrarily to popular opinion, people of all ages can get tonsillitis and it is not confined to children only. However, cases are less frequent in adults due to their stronger immune systems.
Tonsillitis is contagious and can be caused by many conditions, such as bacterial infections. Here are some of the causes, symptoms and treatment options for tonsillitis.
What Causes Tonsillitis?
To understand tonsillitis, you have to understand the function of the tonsils in the first place. The role of your tonsils is to work as a primary line of defense. They work by producing large amounts of white blood cells to help your body combat infections. They prevent various bacteria and viruses from entering through the throat area.
Since tonsils can prove to be vulnerable to these pathogens, inflammation may occur after exposition. Viruses are usually the main culprit for tonsillitis, Epstein-Barr being the most common one. In other cases, direct exposition to bacteria and contagion may be at cause. Children who are in contact with other children during play may contract tonsillitis due to exposition to viruses and bacteria.
What are the Symptoms of Tonsillitis?
Some of the most common symptoms of tonsillitis are a scratchy and sore throat, difficulties swallowing, voice extinction, fever, bad breath, stiff necks, headaches, and stomachaches. Other symptoms may include neck and jaw tenderness, chills and bouts of fever.
What is the Treatment for Tonsillitis?
Since tonsillitis is usually a minor condition, treatment isn’t always necessary. If the cause is due to a virus, in many cases over the counter antihistamines or a prescription throat spray may be recommended. In more severe cases, you might be prescribed antibiotics and in some cases you may require a tonsillectomy, which is the removal of the tonsils.
While tonsillectomy was very prevalent in the past, the procedure is now only prescribed for those who suffer from severe tonsillitis and show no signs of improvement after traditional treatments.
What Should I Do if I Have Tonsillitis?
If you feel like you’re experiencing symptoms such as an inflamed throat and difficulty swallowing accompanied with a bout of fever, then it’s a clear sign that you may be dealing with severe tonsillitis. If that’s the case, you should consult an ENT doctor today for an appointment. If you’re living in the NYC area, contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best ENT doctor in NYC.
Contact us at 212-867-4813 to schedule a consultation.