The tonsils are pieces of soft tissue that sit on both sides of the pharynx. The primarily function of the tonsils is to collect the bacteria and viruses that enter the body through the mouth and nose before they can get to the lungs. They also help the body fight against bacteria and viruses by producing a small amount of white blood cells. While the tonsils are great at their job, they are also very susceptible to infections. An infection or inflammation in this part of the body is called tonsillitis.
Symptoms and Causes of Tonsillitis
Both children and adults can also develop tonsillitis. The tonsils are especially vulnerable to infection because they come in contact with bacteria and viruses on a regular basis. Exposure to the streptococcal bacteria is the primary cause of the infection. Tonsillitis causes a very distinct set of symptoms. The tonsils will become visibly swollen and red. The inflammation will cause severe pain in the back of the throat that can make it uncomfortable to swallow. You may also develop a fever.
Diagnosis and Early Treatment
If you are dealing with the symptoms of tonsillitis, it is time to get checked out by the doctor. The examination will start out with the doctor rubbing a cotton swab on the tonsils. The swab will then be checked for the strep bacteria, which should only take a few minutes. A blood test may need to be performed if a virus is the suspected cause of your problem.
Once you are diagnosed with tonsillitis, you will be asked to return home to rest. Gargling salt water and eating cold food items can help alleviate your symptoms. You will also be prescribed an antibiotic if the problem is caused by a bacterial infection. If you follow the instructions of the doctor, your tonsils should return to normal within days.
Get In Touch with Us to Find Out More
Tonsillitis may be a relatively minor condition, but that does not mean you should ignore it. Your issues are only going to persist without the right treatment. For more information on this condition and how you can fight it, please feel free to reach out and make an appointment with Regional ENT Associates, PC. At our convenient locations in Gallatin and Lebanon, TN, our caring and devoted team of professionals will be pleased to address any questions and concerns you may have. Contact us today to set up your consultation – we look forward to speaking with you!