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Tonsillitis: What it is, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Tonsillitis is one of the most painful conditions you can experience. It usually comes on suddenly and can make it difficult to swallow or even talk. If you're suffering from tonsillitis or suspect you have it, you may want to know more about the condition. You may want to know what exactly tonsillitis is, what causes it, its symptoms, and the treatment options available for recovery. We'll be discussing all of this and more in this article.

At ENT Utah, we provide tonsillitis treatment. We understand how this condition can rob you of your quality of life. We want to help you get your life back by treating your tonsillitis and helping you find relief. We're conveniently located to serve patients from West Valley City, Tooele Utah, and the surrounding areas. Visit us today and start your journey to recovery.

What Is Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is a condition that leads to the inflammation of your tonsils. Your tonsils are two small, round lumps of tissue at the back of your throat. They're part of your lymphatic system and help to fight off infections. However, they can become overwhelmed and infected themselves. When this happens, you develop tonsillitis.

There are three types of tonsillitis:

  • Acute tonsillitis - This is the most common type of tonsillitis. It's usually caused by a virus, such as the common cold or flu. It typically goes away within a week or two.
  • Recurrent tonsillitis - This type of tonsillitis is characterized by multiple episodes of acute tonsillitis. It's usually caused by bacteria, such as strep throat.
  • Chronic tonsillitis - This is the least common type of tonsillitis. It's characterized by a persistent sore throat and tonsil inflammation that lasts for a very long time. It can be caused by either a virus or bacteria.

What Causes Tonsillitis?

It's only normal that you'd want to know what causes tonsillitis. After all, knowing the cause can help you prevent the condition from occurring in the first place. It can also help you identify the best treatment options for your particular case.

Tonsillitis can be caused by a virus or bacteria. The most common culprit behind viral tonsillitis is the common cold or flu virus. Other viruses that can cause tonsillitis include the Epstein-Barr virus, adenoviruses, and herpes simplex virus. Bacteria such as strep throat and mononucleosis can also cause tonsillitis. A visit to an ENT specialist can help you determine the exact cause of your tonsillitis.

In addition to these causes, some risk factors can make you more susceptible to developing tonsillitis. These include:

  • Age - Children and adolescents are more likely to develop tonsillitis than adults. This is because their immune systems are still developing and are not as strong as an adult's immune system.
  • Frequent exposure to viruses and bacteria - If you're frequently exposed to viruses and bacteria, you're more likely to develop tonsillitis. This is especially true for children who attend daycare or school.

What Are the Tonsillitis Symptoms?

The symptoms of tonsillitis vary depending on the underlying cause. However, there are some common symptoms associated with the condition. These include:

  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Bad breath
  • Ear pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck

Drooling may also occur in children who are unable to swallow their saliva due to the pain. If you or your loved one is experiencing any of these tonsillitis symptoms, it's important to see an ENT specialist as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis.

Tonsillitis Diagnosis and Treatment

Our ENT specialist will first conduct a physical exam of the area around your throat. They'll check for signs of inflammation, such as redness and swelling. They may also use a lighted instrument to get a closer look at your tonsils. They may also check your nose and ears for any signs of infection. In addition to a physical exam, your ENT specialist may also order a throat swab to test for strep bacteria or a blood test. These tests can help confirm the diagnosis and determine the best course of treatment.

Tonsillitis treatment depends on the underlying cause. Viral tonsillitis usually goes away on its own and doesn't require treatment. However, you may be prescribed medication and home remedies to help relieve your symptoms. Antibiotics may also be prescribed for bacterial tonsillitis. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the tonsils. This is usually only recommended for people who have frequent episodes of tonsillitis or chronic tonsillitis that doesn't respond to other treatments.

Don't let tonsillitis ruin your days. With proper tonsillitis treatment, you can quickly get rid of the symptoms and get back to your normal routine. If you think you may have tonsillitis, schedule an appointment with our ENT specialist today. We'll provide you with the diagnosis and treatment you need to feel better fast. Call (801)-893-4905 to book an appointment.