If your child is dealing with a sore throat, it may be due to a tonsils infection known as tonsillitis tonsillitis can affect anyone, from children to adults. However, inflammation and Infection of Tonsils is more common in children.
In the United States, almost every child experiences an episode of tonsillitis at least once. Our article is a brief guide to tonsillitis.
What Are Tonsils?
Tonsils are pink, oval-shaped masses of tissue on both sides of the throat and are part of the body’s Immune System. They protect us against Harmful Infection-causing germs.
Every individual is born with two tonsils. Our tonsils in house the white blood cells traps infectious bacteria and viruses within and produces infection-fighting antibodies.
This way, the lymph node pair prevents germs from entering the airways. However, sometimes tonsils get affected, swollen and painful, especially in Children Between 5 to 11 years of age.
What Causes Tonsillitis?
Tonsillitis can be caused due to bacterial or Viral Infections. In most cases, tonsillitis in children is due to viral infection but can also be due to bacterial infections, particularly Streptococcus.
Risk Factors For Tonsillitis
The risk factors for tonsillitis are:
1. Young age – This condition primarily affects children between 5 to 15 years of age.
2. Frequent exposure to infection microbes – School-going children are at the risk of being in close contact with their peer group and are frequently exposed to bacteria and viruses.
3. Genetics – A study has found that genetics can be a reason behind the poor immune response to Streptococcus bacteria that causes tonsillitis strep throat.
Why Are Children More At The Risk Of Tonsillitis?
Our tonsils are the first line of defense against virus and bacteria that enters our mouth this is why tonsils are particularly vulnerable to inflammation and infection.
However, after puberty, the tonsils immune function declines, accounting for rare cases of tonsillitis in adults.
What Are The Symptoms Of Tonsillitis?
Tonsillitis is a painful condition. Inflamed tonsils look reddish and swollen and may be covered with a white or yellow coating.
Other signs and symptoms of tonsillitis include:
- A sore throat
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Scratchy voice
- Bad breath
- Neck pain
- Stomach pain
- Difficulty in swallowing
Types of Tonsillitis
Tonsillitis is of three types:
1. Acute tonsillitis – It is the most common type of tonsillitis. Usually, the symptoms last for about 3 to 5 days but sometimes may last up to two weeks. Every child gets acute tonsillitis at least once.
Acute tonsillitis is likely to improve with home remedies; however, antibiotics and other medications are required in some cases.
2. Recurrent tonsillitis – If tonsillitis happens several times (5-7 times) in a year, it is recurrent tonsillitis. With time, the infection stops responding to antibiotics.
3. Chronic tonsillitis – If the symptoms of tonsillitis last for more than two weeks, it is chronic tonsillitis. Chronic tonsillitis increases the risk of the development of tonsil stones. In cases of chronic tonsillitis, your doctor may recommend Surgical Removal of Cancer.
When To See A Doctor?
If your child has the above symptoms that indicate tonsillitis, consult a doctor to get an accurate diagnosis. Call a doctor if the child is experiencing:
- A sore throat along with fever
- If a sore throat does not go away within 24 to 48 hours
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Pain on swallowing
- Extreme fatigue or weakness
Get immediate care if your child shows signs such as excessive drooling, extreme difficulty in swallowing, and difficulty in breathing.
What Are The Complications Of Tonsillitis?
Frequent or ongoing tonsillitis may cause complications such as:
1. Obstructive sleep apnea – It is a condition where the airways get blocked, and breathing is disrupted during sleep
2. Tonsillar cellulitis – reading of the infection deep into the surrounding tissue
3. Peritonsillar abscess – Collection of pus behind the tonsil.
Is Tonsillitis Contagious?
Tonsillitis is contagious the person with tonsillitis may spread the infection 24 to 48 hours before the onset of symptoms may continue to be contagious until they are no longer sick.
By taking antibiotics for bacterial tonsillitis after 24 hours, you stop being contagious. If someone with tonsillitis sneezes or coughs nearby you and you breathe in the droplets, you may develop tonsillitis.
In addition, after touching a contaminated object such as switches, you may develop tonsillitis.
After being exposed to someone with tonsillitis, it takes two to four days to develop the symptoms.
How Is Tonsillitis Treated?
Tonsillitis may not require any treatment, mainly if it is a viral infection. However, in more severe tonsillitis, antibiotics is given. If the person becomes dehydrated, intravenous fluid is given.
In addition to relieving sore throat, pain medications are prescribed. Those suffering from recurrent or chronic tonsillitis who are not responding to antibiotic treatment may need a tonsillectomy.
If you suffer from tonsillitis at least 5 to 7 times in the past year, your doctor may recommend removing tonsils to relieve trouble swallowing and breathing problems.
Ways To Get Relief From Tonsillar Pain?
To get relief from tonsillar pain and discomfort along with the medication prescribed by your doctor, try following the home care treatments:
- Salt water gargle
- Increased intake of fluids
- Use cool year humidifier
- Eat food easy to chew
- Eat frozen foods and popsicles
- Use throat lozenges
- Give your voice rest for 2-3 days
- Avoid smoking
- Take lots of rest
How To Prevent Tonsillitis
The best way to prevent Tonsillitis is to practice hygiene. Wash your hands frequently, especially before and after eating, and do not share water bottles and food. Better avoid close contact with anyone having respiratory infections.
- Also, if you have tonsillitis, you must prevent the spread of infection by staying at home until you are well.
Information provided in this article is only for knowledge purposes. If you have any questions about your child’s health, always contact your physician.