What is Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis is the swelling (inflammation) of tonsils due to viral or bacterial infection of tonsils i.e. glands of throat that results in a sore throat. Generally tonsillitis resolves in a few days without any antibiotic medication by virtue of human body’s infection resistance capability. Difficulty swallowing, change in voice, ear or abdomen pain, vomiting, runny nose, fever, headache, tenderness of jaw and throat are some of its symptoms. This disease is quite common, especially in kids aged 5-15 years, but it can also affect anyone. Streptococcus pyogenes is that causes strep throat which results into bacterial tonsillitis. Many people have confusions that tonsillitis is contagious or not; the answer is yes it is contagious. Tonsillitis is spread commonly by droplets from airborne droplets (cough) or from direct contact (kissing). Generally viral tonsillitis is contiguous for 7 to 10 days while bacterial and untreated tonsillitis may be contiguous for about 15 days. If it is treated with antibiotics the patient is not contagious 1 or 2 days after medication. Blood count, rapid strep test and mononucleosis are some tests to find out the seriousness of the disease.

If the tonsillitis is due to viral infection it would not respond to antibiotics, then there are few things that you can do to feel better: drink a lot of lukewarm water and other fluids. If there is any trouble in swallowing regular food you should have smooth foods including soups, ice-pops, applesauce and flavored gelatin. If your pains worsen and there is any difficulty in breathing, eating or drinking you must go to hospital or your health advisor immediately for evolution of your tonsillitis. Because tonsils may swell and form a peritonsillar abscess resulting in blockage of breathing and feeding pathways that may prove lethal for you.

Mostly tonsillitis is due to viruses in which antibiotics are not needed but in case of bacterial tonsillitis the antibiotic penicillin is prescribed. The medication may provide as a single shot (injection) or a simple dose of pills. Some people have allergy to penicillin they may be treated by erythromycin. Sore throat may leads to dehydration so one must drink plenty of water to be hydrated. Gargling several times in a day with warm salted water is also ease the sore throat pain. Suck on lozenges also reduced the throat pain. Apart from these counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen are also helpful in reducing sore throat pain. Some people especially children have repeating tonsillitis that requires surgery to cure it. An operation commonly known as tonsillectomy is the surgery to removing tonsils from its root. In few rare cases it has been found that around the operation area patient may have bleeding, usually first week after this surgery, but thousands of tonsillectomies are performed each year without any complications.

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