What Is Tonsillitis?
It is a swelling of the tonsils caused by an infection. The most frequent cause of tonsillitis is a viral virus.
Several of the viruses are the same as the ones found in the common cold. Similar to a cold, tonsillitis is contagious and spread by coughing, sneezing, and breathing. Children between the ages 3 to 7 years are affected by Tonsillitis because at this age their tonsils are in the most active period, battling infections.
The germs only travel a short distance, typically less than 3 feet.
What To Expect
In general, Tonsillitis starts with an unexpected sore throat and painful swallowing. There might also be some difficulty with breathing and swallowing. It is normally not a life threatening condition.
- Abnormal redness of tonsils
- White or yellow layer on tonsils
- Swollen Lymph Node in the neck
- Difficulty Breathing
- Weird voice
Usually, the pain and fever can be relieved by over-the-counter medicine, such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol. Another option would be gargling with warm salt water. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water. Tonsillitis treatment is usually healed with basic home remedies.
Drink a lot of clear fluids to avoid dehydration.
The Tonsillectomy Operation
It is a common operation; around 45,000 are done yearly, mostly in children under the age of 15 years old. The operation takes about half an hour and an overnight stay in the hospital. Tonsillectomy is only suggested to people who:
- Five tonsillitis in the past year
- Recurrent ear infections caused by swollen tonsils
- The swelling making it harder to swallow or breath
Tonsillitis is usually cured within 1 week but it may take a few weeks for the tonsils and swollen lymph node to return to normal size.
About The Author: Jan Pavis-Sparks is a writer at heart. Her passion for writing started in grade school. In high school she had poems published in the book "Young America Sings" (regional and national editions). Over the following decades she continued creative writing. She has worked in health related fields since 1997.