Tonsillitis refers to the inflammation of tonsils. Tonsils are two oval-shaped masses of tissues at the back of the throat. They restrict the entry of germs to the body through mouth and help in fighting infections. Tonsillitis can occur at any age. It is a very common disorder found mostly in childhood.
Tonsillitis is mostly caused by a viral infection. Bacterial infection can also cause the condition.
Common symptoms of tonsillitis include:
- Swollen tonsils
- White or yellow patches on tonsils
- Enlarged glands in the neck
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
- Stomach ache
- Stiff neck
- Scratchy sounding or muffled voice
- Pain while swallowing
Diagnosis of tonsillitis includes:
- Review of signs and symptoms
- Physical examination
- Throat swab
- Blood count or CBC- complete blood cell count
As tonsillitis is caused by either a bacterial or viral infection, practising good hygiene is the best way to prevent it.
- Wash hands regularly and thoroughly, especially before and after eating and after using the toilet.
- Avoid sharing personal things.
- Avoid sharing utensils, water bottles, etc.
- Stay away from people who have an active infection.
- Cover your mouth while sneezing or coughing and wash hands immediately after.
- Avoid contact with infected people.
- Antibiotics are used if the tonsillitis is caused by a bacterial infection
- Surgical removal of the enlarged tonsils is done in severe cases. The procedure is termed as tonsillectomy.
- Other medications to relieve symptoms such as pain, is also used in the treatment.
Home remedies used to treat tonsillitis includes:
- Drink plenty of water
- Get enough rest
- Avoid smoke
- Use humidifiers to moisten the air
- Saltwater gargle
- Have comforting foods and beverages like lukewarm liquids, frozen foods or cold treats like ice pops.
- Avoid caffeine
- Use cough drops or lozenges to relieve a sore throat.
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