Tonsillitis: Risk Factors, Signs, Symptoms, Prevention, Tests, Treatments, Specialists & Doctors
On each side of the back of the throat, are located two lymph nodes known as Tonsils. They help in preventing the body from getting an infection and perform a defense mechanism as such. Tonsillitis is a condition in which the tonsils become infected. Tonsillitis can occur at any age and is particularly common in childhood.
Risk factors of tonsillitis
- Young age. Children are most commonly affected by tonsillitis; the one caused by bacteria is most common in children aged between 5 years to 15 years.
- Frequent exposure to germs. School-aged children are in close contact with other students and frequently exposed to viruses or bacteria that can cause tonsillitis.
Symptoms of tonsillitis
Symptoms of tonsillitis include a sore throat, swollen tonsils, difficulty in swallowing, tender lymph nodes on the sides of the neck and fever.
Most cases of tonsillitis are caused by infection through a virus, but bacterial infections also may a l s o cause tonsillitis. For example, strep throat is caused by Streptococcal bacteria, and it is contagious.
- Acute tonsillitis: A virus or bacteria infects the tonsils, leading to swelling and a sore throat. The tonsil may develop white (exudate) or a grey coating.
- Chronic tonsillitis: Persistent infection of tonsils, sometimes as a result of repeated episodes of acute tonsillitis.
- Peritonsillar abscess: An infection that creates a pus pocket next to the tonsil, pushing it towards the opposite side. Peritonsillar abscess is a critical condition and must be drained urgently.
- Acute mononucleosis: Usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, “mono”, causes severe swelling in the tonsils, rash, fever, sore throat, and fatigue.
- Strep throat: Streptococcus, a bacterium, infects the throat. Fever and neck pain often accompany the sore throat.
- Enlarged (hypertrophic) tonsils: The size of the airway is reduced due to large tonsils, making snoring or sleep apnea more likely.
- Tonsillitis (tonsil stones): Tonsil stones, or tonsillitis, are formed when trapped debris hardens, or calcifies.
Other signs and symptoms of tonsillitis infection include the following:
- Bad breath
- Congestion and a runny nose
- Swollen lymph nodes in front of the neck
- Red, swollen tonsils with patches of pus (white spots)
- Painful swallowing (odynophagia) or difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Loss of voice or muffled voice
- Abdominal pain
- Coughing up blood
- With enlarged tonsils, breathing through the nose may be difficult and symptoms may include:
- Breathing through the mouth, especially in children
- Noisy breathing in the day; snoring at night
- Nasal-sounding voice
If you are having any of the sign or symptoms mentioned above, you can book an appointment at Yashoda Hospital. Testing for tonsils at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad is done by a pre-eminent team of doctors. Antibiotic treatment may be needed if bacteria has caused the infection. In more severe, recurrent tonsillitis or adenoid infection, or in chronic cases, surgery to remove the tonsils or adenoids (tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy) may be recommended to cure the condition.
- Throat (pharynx) swab: The doctor will rub a cotton swab on the throat and send the swab for tests of tonsillitis. Usually, this is done to check for bacteria such as Streptococcus.
- Monospot test: A blood test that can detect some antibodies, which may help confirm that a person’s symptoms are due to mononucleosis.
- Epstein-Barr virus antibodies: Antibodies in the blood against EBV might help diagnose mononucleosis if a monospot test is negative.
- Antibiotics: When tonsillitis occurs due to a bacterial infection, it can be cured with antibiotics.
- Abscess drainage: A peritonsillar abscess must be punctured with a needle to allow the infection to drain and heal.
- Tonsillectomy: In cases of tonsils that are too large or repeatedly infected, surgery is required to remove them.
The nature of germs that cause viral and bacterial tonsillitis are contagious. Therefore, the best prevention is to practice good hygiene. Always teach your children to:
- Wash their hands thoroughly and frequently, especially after using the toilet and before eating.
- Avoid sharing food, drinking glasses, water bottles, or utensils.
- Replace their toothbrush after being diagnosed with tonsillitis.
To help your child in preventing the spread of a bacterial or viral infection to others:
- Keep your children at home whenever they are ill
- Ask your doctor before resuming school as it is very important to know the right time for your child to return to school
- Teach your children to sneeze or cough into a tissue or when necessary, into their elbows
- Teach your children to wash their hands after sneezing or coughing
Some home remedies that can help soothe the symptoms of a sore throat:
- Throat sprays and lozenges: These moisturize the throat and many have a topical anesthetic to relieve pain (consult a doctor before giving lozenges to young children; there can be a choking hazard)
- Saltwater gargle: The mucus can be cleared from the throat with the help of gargles.
- Sipping warm beverages such as tea with honey or broth can be soothing in tonsillitis.
- Eating cold foods such as ice cream or popsicles can help ease tonsillitis pain.
At Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Otolaryngology specialists address issues such as frequently deviated septum in the nostrils, persistent sinus infections or sinus pain, ear infections, tonsillitis and swallowing disorders. Our pre-eminent specialists have advanced training and years of expertise to treat life-threatening diseases. Our surgical specialists also treat people with vocal cord disorders and eating disorders.
The leading team of doctors consist of certified nose, ear and throat physicians, surgeons, allergists, hearing specialists and plastic surgeons. Yashoda is committed to deliver the best patient care and is proud to provide the best services for ENT treatment in Delhi NCR and Ghaziabad.
ENT Specialists & Doctors for Tonsillitis at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad
Dr. Nripen Vishnoi (Senior Consultant & HOD ENT)
Dr. Nripen Vishnoi is one of the most proficient & exceptional ENT, head & neck surgeons performing routine & difficult emergencies as well as challenging cases with efficiency. He has over 13 years of experience in the field of ENT with a specialization in Endoscopic transnasal skull base surgeries including functional endoscopic sinus surgeries and minimally invasive/endoscopic ear & lateral surgeries.
Dr. Nripen Vishnoi has been performing all routine ear, nose, throat, and head & neck surgeries for the last 13 years. Till date, he has performed 8,000 plus ENT surgeries independently as well as 50 plus challenging endoscopic pituitary surgeries and CSF leak repair. He was also a pioneer in performing the first-ever cochlear implant in the history of Ghaziabad in a 13-month-old baby. A remarkable achievement of Dr. Vishnoi can be seen from his former posting as a specialist ENT Surgeon in the boxing event, XIX Commonwealth Games, Delhi 2010.