Located at the back of the throat there are two pads of tissue, oval in shape they are situated on either side of the throat. These pads of tissue can become inflamed, causing sore throat and tenderness in addition to difficulty swallowing and tenderness in the lymph nodes. Typically this condition, known as tonsillitis, is caused by an infection from a common virus, though bacterial infections can also be a cause. Because the cause and treatment of tonsillitis can vary, a visit to your physician is necessary to determine the proper course of treatment.
How Do I Know If I Have Tonsillitis?
There are a number of common symptoms that identify a case of tonsillitis, and the condition is particularly common in those in the preschool and teenage years. If you’re suffering from any of the following symptoms, a visit to your doctor may be in order:
- Swollen and red Tonsils
- Patches of yellow or white appearing on the tonsils
- Sore throat
- Difficulty with or painful swallowing
- Lymph nodes in the neck that are tender or enlarged
- Hoarse or scratchy speech
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Stomachache, particularly in those young of age
- Stiffness in the neck
Tonsillitis can occur in children too young to be able to describe their symptoms, in these cases the following visual indicators may aid in determining if a case of tonsillitis is present:
- Drooling or evidence of painful swallowing
- Refusing food
- Fussiness when no other cause is apparent
When Should I See My Doctor?
An accurate diagnosis is necessary to properly treat tonsillitis, if you’re experiencing any of the following early symptoms of tonsillitis, get to your physician immediately:
- A sore throat that persists over a couple of days
- Pain or trouble with swallowing
- Weakness, fussiness, or fatigue
- Difficulty with breathing
- Swallowing so painful as to be nearly impossible
What Causes Tonsillitis?
The most common cause of tonsillitis is Streptococcus pyogenes, a bacteria that is responsible for the formation of strep throat. Other forms of this bacteria, as well as certain viruses, can cause this condition. The tonsils serve an important purpose in aiding the body in defense against these diseases in children, though they become less effective in adults which is why it’s less common in them.
Who’s At Risk Of Tonsillitis?
Those who are frequently exposed to germs, such as those employed in scholastic settings or the students attending those institutions. Children between the ages of 5 and 15 are particularly susceptible, with younger children more frequently experiencing viral tonsillitis.
Tonsillitis has the potential to be a serious condition, especially in cases where the swelling interferes with proper eating and breathing. Failing to treat the condition properly can see the disease escalate and become rheumatic fever or post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis, a condition that affects the kidney’s ability to properly dispose of waste.
If you suspect that you or your child may be suffering from tonsillitis, contact Dr. Yevgeniy Khavkin at Khavkin Clinic immediately.