• Tonsils are located at the back of the throat and act as the immune system’s first line of defense in keeping germs from entering the airways and producing antibodies that fight infection.
  • Tonsillitis occurs when the tonsils themselves become infected by either bacteria or a virus.
  • Tonsillitis is most common in children, but can affect all ages on either an occasional or recurring basis.
  • Common causes of tonsillitis include: Streptococcus (Strep) bacteria, Adenoviruses, Influenza virus, Epstein-Barr virus, Parainfluenza viruses, Enteroviruses, and Herpes simplex virus
  • Symptoms of tonsillitis include: swelling of the tonsils, throat pain or tenderness, redness of the tonsils, a white or yellow coating on the tonsils, painful blisters or ulcers on the throat, stiff neck, headache, loss of appetite, ear pain, difficulty swallowing or breathing though the mouth, swollen glands in the neck or jaw area, fever, chills, and bad breath
  • Treatment for tonsillitis varies dependent on the cause of infection, but will likely begin with a simple swab test to determine if bacteria is the cause. Although there is no way to test for a viral infection, it is assumed if the test for bacteria is negative.
  • Tonsillitis caused by a bacterial infection is typically treated with a prescription for antibiotics.
  • Although there is no specific treatment plan for tonsillitis caused by a virus, there are things that can be done to ease symptoms, to include: getting enough rest, drinking warm or very cold fluids to ease throat pain, eating smooth foods, such as ice cream or mashed potatoes, using a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier, gargling with salt water, sucking on throat lozenges, and taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Surgical removal of the tonsils, called tonsillectomy, should only be considered when tonsillitis is recurrent and persistent or if swollen tonsils cause airway obstruction or difficulty eating.
  • A tonsillectomy is an outpatient procedure lasting an average of 30 to 45 minutes, with an estimated recovery time between one to two weeks.

To learn more about tonsils or how to best prepare for tonsil surgery, please contact our office at (970) 221-1177 or visit the following link for additional information located on our website: https://www.alpineent.com/alpine-ent/tonsils-and-adenoids/