Tonsilitis occurs when the tonsils become inflamed and painful. Dr Ranj Singh takes a closer look at this common condition.
Tonsils are collections of glandular tissue on either side at the back of the throat. Tonsillitis is a condition where they become inflamed and painful, usually due to infection. Most cases of
tonsillitis in children are due to viruses, but sometimes it can be bacterial.
Symptoms of tonsillitis include fever, sore throat, swollen glands in the neck and pain on swallowing. Occasionally there may also be small white spots or whitish patches on the surface of the tonsils.
Since most tonsillitis is viral, it usually settles down with just supportive treatment within a week and doesn’t require antibiotics. Pain and fever can be controlled using medication and the sore throat can be helped with numbing spray available from your Pharmacist. It may be hard to swallow, but it’s important to try to keep hydrated. Eating soft, cold foods like jelly and ice-lollies can be really good for this, but the aim should be to get back to a normal diet as soon as possible.
If symptoms are severe, or there is difficulty breathing, a rash, or the temperature isn’t improving then it would be worth consulting your doctor as your child may need other treatment, such as antibiotics. Removal of the tonsils isn’t done quite so much anymore as it doesn’t provide much benefit, unless your child has been getting very frequent problems.
Voice: Dr Ranj Singh