Tonsillitis refers to the inflammation of the lumps of tissue usually at the back of a child’s throat, called the tonsils. They are specifically placed at this area as part of the body’s immune system, as they help in the fight against infections. Recurrent tonsillitis refers to a situation where the child has a couple of such infections in one year. The situation is termed as chronic when the child experiences the same for a lengthy period of time, say 3 months or more.
What Are The Causes Of Tonsillitis?
It is a viral or a bacterial infection that spreads from one person to another through coughing, touching and sneezing. The germs also easily spread via the mouth while kissing or sharing foods and drinks. They can as well spread in an easy way in daycare centers, schools and among family members.
What Are Some Of The Symptoms Of Tonsillitis In Children?
When you notice one or a couple of these symptoms, your child most likely suffers from the infection.
- Vomiting, nausea or some abdominal pain
- Sore throat and fever
- A runny and stuffy nose
- Bad breath
- White or yellow patched at the back area of the throat
- Rash(es) forming on the child’s body or in the child’s mouth
Medical Diagnostic Procedures For Tonsillitis
One of the first procedures an ENT doctor will do is to feel the sides of the child’s neck and jaw. He will also take note of the signs and symptoms that the child has been showing over the past few days. After this, one of the following procedures will take place.
- The throat culture: This narrows down the particular germ that is causing the discomfort in the child. To do so, the healthcare expert reaches out to the child’s back throat using a cotton swab.
- A blood test: This shows whether the infection is bacterial or viral.
Treatment Of Tonsillitis
Treatment is primarily done to reduce the number of times a child gets this infection in a year. It significantly reduces the signs and the symptoms of tonsillitis as well. Any one of the following may be recommended.
Acetaminophen: This drug decreases the pain and fever that may come with the infection. It is a common drug, which really does not need to be ordered by the doctor. You however need to ask how much of it should be given to the child as it easily causes liver damage when not used in the right way.
NSAIDs: These help reduce the swelling and the fever. They too are over-the-counter medicines. If not used properly, they can cause bleeding of the stomach as well as kidney problems. If the child is under blood thinner medication, always make a point to ask if these drugs can be used as well. It is good to note that this drug must never be used for children under 6 months without consulting with the healthcare provider.
Antibiotics: They go a long way in killing the bacteria causing the infections.
A surgical procedure may be recommended if the tonsillitis is at a chronic stage. Also, if the antibiotics seem not to work, a surgical procedure to remove the tonsils can be done.