Tonsillitis or tonsil infection
Tonsillitis or an infection of the tonsils primarily affects children and young adults however, it can present an older patients as well.
Tonsil infections are primarily viral or bacterial. A tonsillar infection or sore throat may be a part of a simple viral syndrome.
The symptoms may be associated with nasal congestion for 3 to 5 days along with fatigue, ill feeling or malaise, low-grade fever and possibly a headache. This usually spontaneously resolves or improves without any prescription medications.
If the tonsillitis is in relation to a more severe viral infection such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV or mono )patients may present with extremely large and red (erythematous) tonsils. Often the visible surface or medial surface of the tonsil will have a whitish coating, exudate, or plaque. In these cases , patients need to be treated with A high dose of steroids for the viral infection and also an antibiotic for a possible super infection. Enlargement of the lymph nodes in the neck (lymphadenopathy) can accompany a severe viral tonsillitis as well as enlargement of the spleen or liver (splenomegaly or hepatomegaly). A blood test may be ordered to check the antibody levels within the bloodstream (EBV titers or panel) to confirm the diagnosis. Often patients will undergo a mono spot which is a rapid test in the ED or an urgent care center in the situation as well.
A bacterial tonsillitis infection is often related to a streptococcal bacterial strain. Patients may present with enlarged, painful and red tonsils. The treatment is antibiotics along with possibly a short course of a lower strength of steroid. When patients have recurrent infections three per year for three years straight or 4 to 6 within two years or one year of 6 to 7 episodes surgical removal of the tonsils or a tonsillectomy is warranted.There are other indications for a tonsillectomy as well including tonsillar asymmetry where there’s concern for malignancy, spontaneous tonsillar hemorrhage which is extremely were rare, tonsillar hypertrophy leading to obstructive symptoms or failure to thrive.
Another rare type of tester infection as a peritonsillar abscess where there is a collection of pus or purulence around the tonsil space.Treatment for this is an incision and drainage. Peritonsillaf cellulitis or early inflammation around the tonsil maybe treated medically. Patients with the peritonsillar abscess present with fevers , inability to swallow, drooling, muffled voice, asymmetry on view of the tonsil and a shift of the uvula.
If you’re having problems with your tonsils pr throat, please call our office today for an appointment.