Having the tonsils taken out used to be a rite of passage of children, who didn't look forward to the surgery but enjoyed the unlimited ice cream that their doctors would prescribe afterward. Today, the pediatricians at CENTA - Children's Ear, Nose and Throat Associates - in Orlando, FL, see many patients with tonsillitis, but aren't as quick to recommend tonsil removal. You'll learn why this practice has changed over the years in this blog post.
What is tonsillitis?
The tonsils are two masses of tissue in the back of the throat that are part of the body's immune system. They work by trapping infection before it travels down the throat; if you have a sore throat from a bacterial or viral infection, you'll know your tonsils are working. Fever, swollen neck glands, ear pain and headache often accompany these infections which are known as acute tonsillitis. If your symptoms persist after a period of time and treatment, chronic tonsillitis is the likely diagnosis your pediatric ENT doctor in Orlando will diagnose.
How is acute tonsillitis treated?
Early treatment for tonsil inflammation will depend on if the infection is bacterial or viral. Bacterial infections - most often strep - should clear up after a few days of antibiotics prescribed by your pediatric ENT. Symptoms of viral infections - colds and flu - can be treated with anti-inflammatory medication, staying hydrated with warm or cool clear liquids, and gargling with salt water.
How is chronic tonsillitis treated?
Tonsillectomy, the surgical removal of tonsils, used to be a routine procedure for children, but it has become less common as more evidence shows that the tonsils are a necessary part of the immune system. However, your Orlando pediatric ENT may recommend removal if chronic tonsillitis has caused antibiotic-resistant infections or persistent tonsil enlargement that makes swallowing and breathing difficult. This is an outpatient procedure that is performed in a hospital and requires several days of at-home care.
If your child has been dealing with recurrent sore throats, contact CENTA in Orlando, FL, to schedule an appointment at one of our three locations - Metrowest, Maitland, or Lake Nona - with one of our pediatric ear/nose/throat physicians today!