Your tonsils are pads of lymphatic tissue that are located in the back of your throat. Tonsillitis is inflammation of the tonsils, and it produces a variety of symptoms such as red tonsils, a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and swollen lymph nodes under the jaw.
While it may affect adults and children alike, tonsillitis is much more common in very young children. This condition shares symptoms with strep throat, so proper treatment requires an accurate diagnosis since these conditions are treated differently – strep throat is caused by the streptococcal bacterium, and a patient’s tonsillitis may be caused by a different bacterium or a virus.
Because of these differences, self-treating is not advisable. It is highly recommended to seek medical help in order to get a prompt diagnosis and, most likely, a prescription medication to resolve the infection as quickly as possible.
Let’s talk about some of the common causes of tonsillitis and who you can talk to if you are concerned about this condition.
What Causes Tonsillitis?
The main function of tonsils is to catch germs that could otherwise make you ill; the tonsils are part of the immune system. However, they can sometimes become infected by the very same bacteria or viruses that they catch.
Most cases of tonsillitis are caused by the same viruses that cause colds and the flu. Bacterial tonsillitis causes the rest of the cases, and this is oftentimes caused by the same bacteria that cause strep throat.
The symptoms of tonsillitis usually appear immediately after infection. In addition to the usual symptoms associated with the condition, tonsillitis may cause a fever, stomachache, vomiting, and white or yellow spots on the tonsils.
How to Prevent Tonsillitis
The danger with tonsillitis is that it is highly contagious. The bacteria and viruses that cause it are easily spread to those around a patient with the condition.
Frequent handwashing can greatly reduce the risk of catching tonsillitis. The most common methods of spreading the infection include touching a contaminated surface and then touching your face thereafter, sharing utensils, or sharing food and drink items.
How Is a Tonsil Infection Treated?
Tonsillitis treatment depends on what causes it. For bacterial infections, antibiotics are usually prescribed; for viral causes, you will be recommended to drink a lot of fluids and get plenty of rest. If you have recurring tonsillitis, your doctor may recommend the removal of the tonsils in order to prevent reinfection.
Tonsillitis Treatment in Georgetown, TX
If your child is showing symptoms of tonsillitis, have our experienced physicians at Georgetown ENT evaluate the child’s symptoms and recommend proper treatment. We serve both adults and children for ear, nose, and throat (ENT) issues of all kinds, and we are conveniently located north of Austin in the Austin Avenue Medical Plaza.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (512) 869-0604 or by filling out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to being your family’s healthcare partner.