Tonsillitis is most commonly seen in children, however, older teenagers or adults can experience it too. It can be painful and quite bothersome, and sometimes needs to be medically treated if it becomes a chronic condition.
What is tonsillitis?
Tonsillitis is a common infection which causes your tonsils to become inflamed. Your tonsils are two small oval pads called lymph nodes which reside at the back of your throat. They filter out any bacteria and foreign bodies to prevent infections.
What are the symptoms of tonsillitis?
The main symptom of tonsillitis is the swelling and redness of your tonsils. Having trouble swallowing is another symptom you might notice, alongside tender or painful lymph nodes. These are on the sides of your neck.
A temperature of 38C or higher is also a symptom, as well as a cough, headache and weariness. If your symptoms last longer than four days and you don’t show any signs of improvement, or your symptoms are serious (you’re finding it hard to breathe or are unable to eat and drink), head to a GP as soon as possible.
What causes tonsillitis?
Most commonly, tonsillitis is an infection caused by a virus. This is the same as how the common cold spreads from person to person. However, it could also be due to a bacterial infection. You will need different treatments depending on which cause triggered your tonsillitis, but a doctor will be able to sort this out for you.
Research in 2019 has shown that the bacteria that cause recurrent tonsillitis may trick immune cells into destroying each other instead of remembering the bacteria and dealing with it. This leads to the recurring attacks of tonsillitis.
How to help tonsillitis
If you suffer from tonsillitis, you should seek plenty of rest and consume cool drinks to soothe your throat. If you suffer from persistent or recurring tonsillitis, you should seek help from a health professional, so that you can be properly diagnosed and have the appropriate tonsillitis treatment prescribed to you. If your tonsillitis is regularly affecting your day-to-day life you may be offered a tonsillectomy to remove your tonsils.
There are a few things you can try to soothe the symptoms of tonsillitis while you wait for it to clear up. You could use lozenges or throat sprays to help with the inflammation or try over-the-counter painkillers if you find yourself in particular pain. Furthermore, a doctor might be able to offer you an antibiotic prescription in case your tonsillitis is due to bacteria rather than a virus.
If you think you may be suffering from tonsillitis the best thing you can do is seek medical help, so why not get in touch with ENT specialist Mr Wale Olarinde? Book your consultation for tonsillitis today.