Tonsils are the first responders; learn what happens when they’re infected
Your tonsils are two lymph nodes located on each side of the back of your throat. They’re designed to be a barrier for your throat. They trap germs and bacteria before they can get any further in your body, and they produce antibodies to fight off any infections. There are times, however, when your tonsils themselves get infected. This is tonsillitis.
Because of the similar symptoms, many people have trouble determining if their sore throat is from an upper-respiratory virus, strep throat or tonsillitis. An upper-respiratory virus (the common cold) usually clears up after a day or two and doesn’t require antibiotic treatment, while strep throat, which usually requires antibiotic treatment, stems from streptococcus bacteria and is the most common cause of tonsillitis, especially in children ages 5 to 15. You can also have tonsillitis without having strep.
Tonsillitis occurs from a virus or bacteria, typically when your tonsils trap too much bacteria and become infected. They swell up, causing pain and discomfort.
What are the signs of tonsillitis?
Tonsillitis is a painful infection that’s common in children. You can identify it by these symptoms:
- Inflammation of the throat.
- Redness of the tonsils.
- Bad breath.
- Ear pain.
- Yellow or white coating on the tonsils.
- Loss of appetite.
- Swollen glands.
- Some children may also experience nausea and vomiting.
How do you treat tonsillitis?
When seeking care, you typically undergo a tonsil swab to test for the cause of your tonsillitis. If the cause is from bacteria, it’s treated with antibiotics. If the cause is a virus, however, your body must fight it off on its own.
When experiencing a bout of tonsillitis, especially one caused by a virus, make sure you or your child gets plenty of rest and stays well-hydrated. Acetaminophen helps treat the pain. You should stick to soft foods like applesauce and soup.
Chronic tonsillitis is a tonsil infection that recurs and can cause a tonsil stone formation. If tonsillitis continues popping up for you or your child, a tonsillectomy may be the next treatment option. A tonsillectomy is a surgery that removes the tonsils completely.
If you’re concerned about a sore throat or chronic throat pain, visit your local Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center. Our team of professionals can examine your throat, provide a diagnosis and set you up with the proper treatment plan. Stop by any of our walk-in clinics in Arkansas and Louisiana today.
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