Tonsillitis Treatment Q&A
Treatment for tonsillitis will depend on what the cause is. PACS Urgent Care ensures that we find out the cause of your condition and provide the necessary treatment for tonsillitis. For more information, call us today or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in Alexandria VA, and Ruther glen VA.
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Tonsillitis happens when the tonsils become inflamed. The tonsils are two oval-shaped pieces of tissue in the back of the throat. Tonsillitis is usually caused by a common virus that causes the infection. Bacterial infections can also cause tonsillitis. Tonsillitis is more common in children and teenagers than in adults.
The most common signs and symptoms include:
• Sore throat
• Red, swollen tonsils
• Difficult or painful swallowing
• White or yellow patches of coating on the tonsils
• Scratchy, muffled, or throaty voice
• Enlarged or tender lymph nodes
• Neck pain or stiff neck
• Bad breath
Younger children who cannot describe how they feel may exhibit these signs:
• Refusal to eat
• Drooling due to painful or difficult swallowing
• Unusual fussiness
Appropriate treatment for tonsillitis will depend on what the cause is. It is important to get an accurate diagnosis, promptly. Tonsils were commonly removed in the past, but that is no longer the case. Tonsils are only removed if tonsillitis becomes frequent and will not respond to other treatments. They may also be removed if tonsillitis is causing other serious complications.
The symptoms of tonsillitis will normally go away in about 3 to 4 days. If the symptoms last longer than 4 days, contact your medical provider.
Tonsillitis is not considered to be contagious, but the viruses and bacteria that cause it are. These viruses and bacteria can be easily transferred by kissing or sharing utensils. It spreads through close contact with someone who is ill. Like many other viruses, it can be spread by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your mouth or nose. They can also be transferred through the air when a sick person coughs or sneezes.
Tonsillitis is triggered by pathogens and can pass to others. The most common bacteria that triggers tonsillitis is the streptococcal bacteria. This is the one that causes strep throat. When tonsillitis is caused by this bacteria, there is a greater possibility of serious complications if it isn’t treated.
Tonsillitis can also be triggered by viral infections, such as the common cold.
While the symptoms of bacterial and viral tonsillitis are similar, the treatment is different. Bacterial tonsillitis will be treated with antibiotics. The most common antibiotics used for tonsillitis are penicillin, clindamycin, and cephalosporin. These are usually taken orally for 10 days. It is very important to take the full course of antibiotics to ensure that the infection doesn’t return or spread to other parts of your body.
Antibiotics do not work on viral infections. If you have tonsillitis caused by a virus, reliving the symptoms is all that can be done. To relieve the symptoms you can do most of the same things that you can do for a cold, get plenty of rest, drink plenty of warm liquids, and take over-the-counter pain relievers along with throat lozenges. You can also gargle with warm salt water to alleviate the sore throat.
Complications from tonsillitis are generally connected to the streptococcal bacteria. These can include:
• Chronic tonsillitis
• Tonsil stones are calcified bits of bacteria that can hide indoor tonsils
• Scarlet fever, which is not common
• Peritonsillar abscess is a collection of pus that forms around the tonsils. This is not common in young children. This may require surgery.
• Rheumatic fever can develop but is rare. This can happen if the full course of antibiotics is not taken. It happens more often in children and can cause heart damage.
• Spread of infection to the sinuses, middle ear, or other parts of the body.
Premier Acute Care Services can diagnose and treat tonsillitis. We have lab facilities on site that can speed up the process and get you treated properly. You can call to make an appointment or just walk in. For more information, call us today or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in Alexandria VA, and Ruther glen VA. We serve patients from Alexandria VA, Ruther Glen VA, Bagdad VA, Athens VA, Balty VA, and Doswell VA.
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