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TONSILLITIS

OVERVIEW

Tonsillitis is a kind of disorder which involves swelling of tonsils. The major reason behind tonsillitis is an infection caused by the bacteria or virus. Tonsils are small lymphoepithelial tissues situated near the oropharynx and nasopharynx. These immunocompetent tissues are the immune system's first line of defense against ingested or inhaled foreign pathogens. They are located on both sides of the throat.

Symptoms

  • Refusal to eat
  • Unusual fussiness
  • Red, swollen tonsils
  • White or yellow coating or patches on the tonsils
  • Sore throat
  • Difficult or painful swallowing
  • Fever
  • Enlarged, tender glands (lymph nodes) in the neck
  • A scratchy, muffled or throaty voice
  • Bad breath
  • Stomachache, particularly in younger children
  • Stiff neck
  • Headache

Causes

Tonsillitis is most often caused by common viruses, but bacterial infections can also be the cause. The most common bacterium causing tonsillitis is Streptococcus pyogenes, the bacterium that causes strep throat. Other strains of strep and other bacteria also may cause tonsillitis.

Treatment

Tonsillitismay be caused by a viral or bacterial infection but at-home care strategies can make your child more comfortable and promote better recovery.

  • Encourage rest. Encourage your child to get plenty of sleep
  • Provide adequate fluids
  • Provide comforting foods and beverage
  • Prepare a saltwater gargle
  • Humidify the air
  • Offer lozenges
  • Avoid irritants. Keep your home free from cigarette smoke and cleaning products that can irritate the throat.

Antibiotics

Doctor is more likely to advice antibiotics. In that case, children must complete the full course of antibiotics as prescribed even if the symptoms go away completely. Failure to take all of the medication as directed may result in the infection worsening or spreading to other parts of the body.

Surgery

Surgery to remove tonsils may be used to treat frequently recurring tonsillitis, chronic tonsillitis or bacterial tonsillitis that doesn't respond to antibiotic treatment.

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