What is tonsillitis?
Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils, usually caused by an infection. The tonsils are two pads of tissue at either side of the back of the throat. They can become infected by bacteria or viruses.
What causes tonsillitis?
Most cases are caused by viruses: adenovirus, rhinovirus (also known as the cold virus), and the flu virus just to name a few. The most common bacterial infection of the tonsils is Streptococcus, which also causes strep throat.
What are the signs and symptoms?
There can be many signs of tonsillitis:
- Red, swollen tonsils
- Yellow or white coating on the tonsils
- Sore throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swollen, painful lymph glands in the neck
- Stomach pain/nausea/vomiting, especially in children
If you have any concerns, come see the pediatric ENTs at Children's Ear, Nose, Throat & Allergy in Orlando, FL. We can examine your child and recommend any treatment that may be needed.
What can be done for tonsillitis?
Often, your child's body can fight off tonsillitis on its own. However, the infection can be uncomfortable. Your child should get rest and plenty of fluids. Eating and drinking may be very painful, so you may want to give them cold or warm foods to soothe the throat. Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen may also help.
If the infection is bacterial, your doctor may prescribe a course of antibiotics. The only way to tell whether the infection is bacterial or viral is by a laboratory test. This can be administered by a pediatric ENT in our Orlando, FL office.
In severe or recurrent cases, surgery to remove the tonsils - called a tonsillectomy - may be required. Again, this can only be determined by a doctor.
When should I take my child to a doctor?
Sometimes tonsillitis can go away on its own. However, sometimes the infection can become more serious and will require medical care. Call the doctor if these symptoms occur:
- Sore throat that lasts more than a few days
- Significant difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty breathing
Concerned your child may have tonsillitis? The pediatricians at Children's Ear, Nose, Throat & Allergy in Orlando, FL are ready to see you and your little one. Call (407) 253-1000 today to schedule an appointment.