What is tonsillitis?
Tonsillitis is a tonsil inflammation due to an infection.
When one is experiencing tonsillitis, the tonsils are enlarged and are frequently discolored to a gray, red, or yellow coating. Beginning as a precursor of pharyngitis, or a throat infection, tonsillitis usually begins as a sore throat.
Many times tonsillitis reoccurs and may make breathing difficult. If you are having trouble breathing, consult your doctor immediately. Your doctor may suggest completely removing your tonsils. This procedure is referred to as a tonsillectomy.
The tonsils lie in bands located both behind and above the tongue. Moreover, tonsils are simply fleshy tissue. The tonsils are primarily used for catching bacteria before the bacterium reaches the mouth, sinuses, or throat. Tonsils are equipped with antibodies that help to prevent germs from spreading further into the body.
Fortunately, if ones tonsils are removed, he/she will not experience more infections than prior to the tonsillectomy. This is because there are other tissues and antibodies to assist in fighting infections.
Although not everybody experiences all the same symptoms, the following are common symptoms: a fever, a sore throat, chills, bad breath, a swollen neck gland, a white or yellow coating on the tonsils, and an odd voice.
How is it diagnosed?
A rapid-strep test is commonly used to test for signs on tonsillitis. This procedure is called a throat culture. A throat culture is performed by using a lengthy cotton swab to obtain a sample of the germs on the back of your throat. The contents of the cotton swab will be tested and whether or not tonsillitis is present is determined. If the cotton swab test proves tonsillitis is present, you may have to take a few days off from your daily routine to treat the infection, as it is contagious.
The treatment for tonsillitis all depends on whether or not the tonsillitis is bacterial or viral. If strep bacteria caused the tonsillitis, an antibiotic will be prescribed. If a virus caused the tonsillitis, your body will use its own resources to fight off the infection.
How long does it last?
Assuming the tonsillitis is caused by bacteria and you are taking an antibiotic, the tonsillitis is usually cured in a week. However, the swollen glands may not return to normal size until weeks later.
Assuming a virus caused the tonsillitis, the lifespan of the tonsillitis is dependant on the virus that caused the viral tonsillitis. Regardless, most people recover within one week.