Book Appointment

Tonsillitis

Welcome to Felix Hospital's guide to tonsillitis. In this comprehensive webpage, we'll explore everything you need to know about tonsillitis, including its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.

For more information or to Schedule an Appointment, please contact Felix Hospital at +91 9667064100


What is Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is an infection of the throat caused by Virus or Bacteria. It is one of the common problems in children especially preschoolers. The mildest tonsillitis goes away on its own. But it is advisable to consult a paediatrician near you if the child has throat pain along with fever, cold, runny nose or cough.
 

There are three types of Tonsillitis

  • Acute Tonsillitis – In these symptoms usually last for 3-4 days.
  • Recurrent Tonsillitis – In this type, the symptoms reoccur several times in a year. You should consult a child specialist for treatment.
  • Chronic Tonsillitis – It is a case of prolonged tonsil infection. In chronic tonsillitis case, if tonsils


Common Symptoms

Some of the early signs for tonsillitis include-
 

  • A sore throat
  • Fever
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Bad breath
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue and Lethargy
  • Pain in ear or stomach
  • Swollen lymph nodes (glands under the jaw)
  • Headache


Causes of Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis can be caused by both viral and bacterial infections. Here are the common causes:


Viral Causes

  • Adenovirus: A common cause of respiratory infections.
  • Influenza Virus: Known for causing the flu, it can also lead to tonsillitis.
  • Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV): Causes infectious mononucleosis (mono), which can result in severe tonsillitis.
  • Herpes Simplex Virus: Known for causing cold sores, it can also infect the tonsils.
  • Enterovirus: Causes a wide range of infections, including tonsillitis.


Bacterial Causes

  • Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A Streptococcus): Causes strep throat, a common bacterial infection leading to tonsillitis.
  • Staphylococcus aureus: Less common but can cause severe tonsillitis.
  • Haemophilus influenzae: Commonly causes ear infections but can also lead to tonsillitis.
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae: Causes atypical pneumonia and can also infect the tonsils.


Treatment of Tonsillitis

The treatment of tonsillitis depends on its cause, severity, and how often you get the infection. Options include:


Home Remedies and Self-Care

  • Rest and Fluids: Get plenty of rest and drink fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Saltwater Gargle: Gargling with warm salt water can help soothe a sore throat.
  • Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers: Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can relieve pain and reduce fever.
  • Humidifier: Using a humidifier in your room can help moisten the air, easing throat irritation.


Medical Treatment

  • Antibiotics: If the cause is bacterial (e.g., strep throat), antibiotics such as penicillin or amoxicillin may be prescribed.
  • Antiviral Medications: Antiviral drugs may be prescribed for severe viral infections.
  • Steroids: Steroids can reduce inflammation and may be used in severe cases.
  • Tonsillectomy: In recurrent or severe cases, surgical removal of the tonsils (tonsillectomy) may be recommended.


How to Prevent It

Antibiotics can only be prescribed if the infection is caused by Bacteria. As antibiotics kill bacteria and not viruses. The treatment for tonsillitis caused by Viral infection include-

  • Drinking a lot of water – though it would be difficult to swallow water/fluids, drinking water will keep the child hydrated and can help with headache and tiredness.
  • Gargles using lukewarm water - It will provide relief to the sore throat.
  • Paracetamol or Ibuprofen for pain relief
  • Plenty of rest


Tonsillitis can be prevented by maintaining a good hygiene habit.

Ask your child to wash hands regularly after eating anything, coming from outside etc
Do not share the same utensils/bottle for eating food or drinking water.
Do not share personal items like a toothbrush with anyone
Stay away from children who have a cold, cough or a sore throat

 

FAQs

1. What is the reason for tonsils?

Answer: Tonsils are part of the body's immune system and are located at the back of the throat. They help trap bacteria and viruses that enter through the mouth and nose, preventing them from causing infections in the body.

2. How long does tonsillitis last?

Answer: The duration of tonsillitis can vary depending on the cause and treatment. Viral tonsillitis typically lasts about 7 to 10 days, while bacterial tonsillitis (such as strep throat) can be effectively treated with antibiotics, usually resolving within 1 to 2 weeks.

3. What is the best medication for tonsillitis?

Answer: The best medication for tonsillitis depends on the cause:

  • Viral Tonsillitis: Treatments focus on relieving symptoms. Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help reduce pain and fever.
  • Bacterial Tonsillitis (Strep Throat): Antibiotics such as penicillin or amoxicillin are typically prescribed to kill the bacteria and shorten the duration of the illness.

4. How to make tonsillitis go away?
Answer: To help relieve tonsillitis symptoms and speed up recovery:

  • Rest: Get plenty of rest to help your body fight off the infection.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, such as water or herbal teas, to keep your throat moist.
  • Gargle with Saltwater: Gargling with warm salt water can help reduce throat inflammation and pain.
  • Use a Humidifier: Adding moisture to the air can help relieve throat irritation.
  • Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers: Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help reduce pain and fever.


5. How does one get tonsillitis?
Answer: Tonsillitis is usually caused by viral or bacterial infections. Common ways to get tonsillitis include:

  • Viral Infections: Contact with someone who has a cold, flu, or other viral infections can lead to tonsillitis.
  • Bacterial Infections: Close contact with someone who has strep throat or other bacterial infections can result in bacterial tonsillitis.
  • Poor Hygiene: Not washing hands frequently, especially before eating or touching the face, can increase the risk of tonsillitis.
  • Seasonal Factors: Tonsillitis is more common during the colder months when viruses and bacteria are more prevalent.