Tonsillitis with enlarged tonsils

Tonsillitis is seen mostly among children. Tonsils help fight germs that invade our bodies. Tonsils in children are bigger and become smaller in size with age. ‘Viral’ infections can also cause throat pain but tonsillitis is caused by a bacterium called Streptococcus. Symptoms of tonsillitis are fever, difficulty in swallowing, change of voice and earache. Examination will show multiple yellow spots on the tonsil. The entire throat looks inflamed. Pain killers and antibiotics are administered under medical supervision. Washing the throat with an anti-septic liquid and consuming hot liquids may be helpful. The diagnosis of tonsillitis is mainly clinical. Blood investigations and bacterial cultures are not always necessary. However, a full blood count report will help the doctor differentiate between viral and bacteria infections. Tonsillitis can lead to kidney infections, rheumatic fever, arthritis and diseases of the heart valves. Tonsillitis should not be ignored. If you have a sore throat, consult your family doctor to establish tonsillitis. If it occurs 5-6 times per a year for about two consecutive years, get a referral from your family doctor to an ENT surgeon. Tonsils can be removed surgically if frequent attacks interfere with your day to day activities (job or education). The surgical procedure does not leave a scar. The tonsils are removed through the mouth, without an external incision. As there is risk of post-operative bleeding, the patient must stay in hospital for a day under medical supervision. Meals should not be avoided due to pain. Take pain-killers 30 minutes before mealtime. Since healing may take about one week, stay at home and avoid crowded places.