Encyclopedia

Tonsillitis

What is tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils, which are lymph glands and protect against the penetration of pathogenic microorganisms into the body.

Tonsillitis can be caused by viruses or bacteria.

Most cases of tonsillitis resolve within a few days without the use of antibiotics and other medications.

Tonsillitis is contagious. It is spread by direct contact or when infected saliva falls on a healthy person.

Viral tonsillitis is usually contagious for about 7-10 days and bacterial for about 2 weeks, but if treated with antibiotics it stops being contagious after 24-48 hours after the first dose of antibiotic.

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What are the symptoms of tonsillitis?

The symptoms of tonsillitis are usually:

  • Sore throat;
  • Difficult feeding in babies;
  • Pain when swallowing;
  • Fever;
  • Headache;
  • Abdominal pain;< /strong>
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Cough;
  • Hoarse voice;
  • Runny nose;
  • Redness of the tonsils and the whole throat;
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck area;
  • White spots on the tonsils;
  • Redness of the eyes;
  • Rash;
  • Earaches.

What are the causes of tonsillitis ?

The causes of tonsillitis can be different, but in most cases it is caused by viral or bacterial infections.

Tonsillitis can be spread by contact with infected droplets from sneezing, coughing or throat secretions.

Viral tonsillitis is the most common type and is caused by viruses such as adenoviruses, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Epstein-Barr virus.

This type of tonsillitis is usually milder than bacterial tonsillitis and usually does not require specific treatment other than symptomatic relief of pain and inflammation.

Bacterial tonsillitis is caused by bacteria, most commonly of the streptococcus variety.

This type of tonsillitis is usually more serious and requires treatment with antibiotics. The most common bacteria that causes tonsillitis is Streptococcus pyogenes.

If not treated adequately, bacterial tonsillitis can lead to complications such as throat abscesses or even spread to other parts of the body and cause serious problems.

One of the most serious risks of untreated or improperly treated tonsillitis is rheumatic fever.

Rheumatic fever is a rare but serious disease that affects various organs, especially the heart, heart valves and joints.

It develops after an infection with group A streptococcus and is an abnormal reaction of the body’s immune system, which begins to attack its own tissues.

What are the possible complications?

Tonsillitis can develop into a more serious medical condition in some people.

Anyone who has tonsillitis and cannot eat or drink liquids, or experiences any difficulty breathing should go to an emergency medical center immediately to be evaluated.

Sometimes the tonsils can become very inflamed and a peritonsillar abscess can form, as a result of which you periodically feel the inability to swallow food and liquids or shortness of breath, you should immediately call for emergency medical help.

Treatment of tonsillitis

Sore throat and high fever can be relieved with pain relievers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol.

The inflammation in the throat is quickly quenched with frequent gargling with warm salt water – 1 cup of warm water with 1 teaspoon of table salt added. It is necessary to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.

Since most cases of tonsillitis are caused by viruses, antibiotic treatment is not necessary. However, penicillin is the most commonly prescribed class of antibiotics.

The drug can be administered as a single dose – a shock dose injection. They can also be prescribed for personal use in the form of tablets.

Treatment with oral antibiotics usually lasts between 10 and 14 days.

It is important to follow the regimen of taking the antibiotic tablets, even after the symptoms disappear and you feel much better.

Completing the full course of antibiotic treatment prevents a serious complication such as rheumatic fever, which can also lead to some type of heart disease.

If patients get 6 or more infections in a year, the GP may recommend surgical removal of the tonsils – tonsillectomy.

What can we do to protect ourselves?

To protect ourselves from tonsillitis or reduce the risk of the disease, some simple and effective precautions are necessary.

First and foremost, regular hand washing with soap and warm water is essential.

This is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria that are transmitted through contact with infected surfaces or through the sneezing and coughing of an infected person.

It is recommended to wash our hands frequently, especially before eating, after visiting public places and after contact with infected people.

In addition, it is important to avoid close contact with people who have a sore throat and symptoms of tonsillitis. This infection can be easily transmitted through droplets from sneezing and coughing or by touching contaminated objects.

If you notice that someone close to you has tonsillitis, it is good to avoid contact with them for at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic therapy to reduce the risk of transmitting the infection.< /strong>

Still, it is more than advisable to seek advice or consultation from your personal doctor, because no disease and no symptom should be ignored.

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