Making A Decision About Tonsillectomy For Children
Tonsillectomy is mainly done in children to treat snoring, obstructive sleep apnoea or frequent tonsillitis. If symptoms are mild, a wait and see approach is recommended as problems often get better as children get older.
You and your doctor are in the best position to decide if this operation will help your child.
Safer Care Victoria has developed a Making a decision about tonsillectomy fact sheet to support parents in making an informed decision about tonsillectomy for their child together with their doctor.
Safer Care Victoria have also developed several videos where parents share their thoughts about how they made the decision to have their childs tonsils removed.
Care For Children Having A Tonsillectomy
Safer Care Victoria has developed resources to help families understand what to do before a childs day of tonsillectomy , what to expect on the day of surgery and how to care for their child after this surgery.
See the fact sheets here:
- Before your child has tonsil surgery
- Caring for your child after tonsil surgery
- Pain management plan after tonsil surgery
Safer Care Victoria has developed a number of videos where parents share their stories about caring for their child before, on the day of and after tonsil surgery.
Why Choose Cooper To Treat Pharyngitis And Tonsillitis In Children
Coopers expert otolaryngologists have advanced fellowship training in diagnosing and treating the broad range of conditions that can affect the ears, nose and throat.
They have extensive experience treating routine and complex pharyngitis and tonsillitis in children, and earn consistently high marks when it comes to patient and parent satisfaction.
Should your child require a tonsillectomy, our ENT specialists have the surgical expertise to perform this procedure, with a track record of successful outcomes.
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Risk Factors For Swollen Tonsils
While tonsillitis can happen to anyone at any time, its more common in children and adolescents:
- more common in children ages 5-15: tonsillitis caused by bacteria
- more common in children 5 years and younger: tonsillitis caused by a virus
Almost every child in the US may have to deal with tonsilitis at least once, especially once they start attending school or daycare.
What Are Swollen Tonsils
Your tonsils are oval-shaped soft tissue masses located on each side of your throat. Tonsils are part of the lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system helps you avoid illness and infection. Its your tonsils job to fight off viruses and bacteria that enter your mouth.
Tonsils can become infected by viruses and bacteria. When they do, they swell up. Swollen tonsils is known as tonsillitis.
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Treatment Options: Sinus Throat And Overall Health
The most effective way to reduce tonsil swelling is to find the underlying reason why your tissue is inflamed. When we identify the illness or disease that is causing the immune response, then we can treat the condition to eliminate these symptoms.
For example, if a sinus infection is resulting in a post-nasal drip that causes the tonsils to swell, then treating the sinus infection will often clear up tonsillitis.
The approach to tonsillitis treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms and the timeline of your condition.
Short-term swelling related to a head cold often requires minimal treatment to ease your discomfort such as sucking on lozenges, gargling with salt water, and drinking plenty of fluids. As your body fights off the infection, then the swelling will go down. A cold virus usually needs to run its course before you start feeling better.
On the other hand, chronic tonsillitis requires treatment from a medical professional. Certain causes of tonsillitis wont clear up without treatment.
For example, strep throat requires an antibiotic prescription to avoid the bacteria spreading to other parts of the body. Certain viruses can be treated using antiviral medication as needed.
Your Allergies Are Acting Up
Environmental irritants like allergens, dust, and pollution can cause throat irritation and inflammation, but typically doesnt cause significant tonsil swelling on its own, says Dr. Zalvan. These irritants can ban together with a persons allergies or sinusitis, however, and trigger inflammation in the upper airway, lungs, and esophagus, leading to swollen tonsils.
Another sucky side effect that can cause swollen tonsils is post-nasal drip . The throat irritation it spurs can also cause tissues in the throat to swell, including the tonsils, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology.
It can be tough to figure out exactly whats flaring up your sinuses soloyou may need to get an ear, nose, and throat exam by a specialist to nail down the culprit and start the appropriate treatment.
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Why Do Lymph Nodes Swell
When a lymph node is trying to filter out pathogens, it can swell or enlarge while it goes to work, the ACS explains. Usually, only one area of lymph nodes swells at once, and the most common areas for lymph nodes to swell are in the neck, groin, and armpits. Theres actually a medical term for this: lymphadenopathy.
Swollen lymph nodes are a signal that something is off, but its usually paired with other symptoms that will help you and your doctor figure out what, exactly, is going on in your body.
Diagnosing The Cause Of Uvulitis
If you have fever or swelling of your throat, see your doctor. This is most likely a sign that a condition that requires medical treatment is causing your uvulitis. Be prepared to give a complete medical history to your doctor. Tell your doctor:
- about all the over-the-counter and prescription medications you take
- if youre a smoker or you chew tobacco
- if youve recently tried new foods
- if youve been exposed to chemicals or unusual substances
- about your other symptoms, such as abdominal pain, fever, or dehydration
Your doctor may be able to diagnose the condition through a physical exam. Its likely your doctor will swab your throat for secretions to test for a bacterial or fungal infection. Your doctor may also swab your nostrils to test for influenza. They may need to test your blood to help identify or rule out some other infectious agents.
If results from those tests are inconclusive, you may need to see an allergist. Blood and skin tests can help identify foods or other substances that cause a reaction.
When you have something like the common cold, swelling usually clears up on its own without treatment. Otherwise, treatment will depend on the cause. Usually, treating the underlying cause will resolve the uvulitis.
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Symptoms Of A Sore Throat
A sore throat means that your throat hurts and is irritated, swollen, or scratchy. It usually hurts worse when you swallow. Depending on the cause of your sore throat, symptoms include:
- White spots on your throat or tonsils
- Red, swollen tonsils
- Swollen glands in your neck
- Skin rash
In some cases, additional symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Joint or muscle pain
When To See A Doctor
If you have swollen tonsils that last for more than 1 or 2 days, see your doctor.
You should also seek medical treatment if your tonsils are so swollen that you have trouble breathing or sleeping, or if theyre accompanied by a high fever or severe discomfort.
Asymmetrically sized tonsils are sometimes associated with tonsil cancer . If you have one tonsil thats larger than the other, talk with your doctor about possible causes.
Swollen tonsils are usually caused by viruses, like:
- Adenoviruses. These viruses cause the common cold, sore throats, and bronchitis.
- Epstein-Barr virus . The Epstein-Barr virus causes mononucleosis, which is sometimes referred to as the kissing disease. Its spread through infected saliva.
- Cytomegalovirus . CMV is a herpes virus that typically remains dormant in the body. It can surface in people with compromised immune systems and in pregnant women.
- Measles virus . This highly contagious virus affects the respiratory system through infected saliva and mucus.
Several strains of bacteria can also cause swollen tonsils. The most common type of bacteria responsible for swollen tonsils is Streptococcus pyogenes . This is the bacteria that causes strep throat.
Bacteria cause around 15 to 30 percent of all cases of tonsillitis.
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S For Managing Your Sore Throat
The first step in managing your allergy-induced sore throats is visiting a professional. From there, we can determine the root cause of your allergy, and help you create a personalized plan for removing the trigger from your life and/or ways to manage your allergies when removing the trigger isnt a realistic solution.
Short Term Relief
Providing short-term relief for a sore throat can usually be accomplished through the use of simple but effective home remedies. Drink warm liquids, especially tea with honey or lemon, and chicken broth or bouillon. Cold liquids can also help. Suck on Popsicles, hard candy, or throat lozenges to soothe irritation. Gargle with warm salt water several times a day. Use a humidifier or vaporizer to moisten the air.
Long Term Relief
More long-term solutions can involve immunotherapy, which is a series of allergy shots designed to build up your bodys immune system against the allergen causing you and your body stress.
What Is A Strep Test For A Sore Throat
A rapid strep test checks for streptococcus bacteria infection in the throat. The test is painless and takes very little time. The tip of a cotton swab is used to wipe the back of the throat. The swab is then tested right away. If the strep test is positive, you have strep throat. If the strep test is negative, you likely do not have strep throat. However, if there are strong signs of strep throat, your healthcare provider can do a different throat swab test that is sent to the lab to see if strep bacteria can be grown from it. A throat culture takes a couple of days for results.
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What Reduces Swelling In Throat
Drinking cold water and sucking on ice can help alleviate pain, and reduce swelling and inflammation of your throat. More than just keeping you hydrated, cool temperatures can also help reduce congestion. If you prefer a different kind of comfort, warm water and caffeine-free teas can also soothe your inflamed throat.
How Long Tonsillitis Lasts
Symptoms will usually go away after 3 to 4 days.
Tonsillitis is not contagious, but most of the infections that cause it are, for example, colds and flu.
To stop these infections spreading:
- stay off work or keep your child at home until you or your child feel better
- use tissues when you cough or sneeze and throw them away
- wash your hands after coughing or sneezing
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What’s The Difference Between A Cold Strep Throat And Tonsillitis
A sore throat is often the first sign of a cold. However, a sore throat from a cold often gets better or goes away after the first day or two. Other cold symptoms such as a runny nose and congestion may follow the sore throat.
Strep throat, which is an infection due to streptococcus bacteria, is another cause of sore throats and tonsillitis. With strep throat, the sore throat is often more severe and persists.
Tonsillitis is a painful inflammation or infection of the tonsils, the tissue masses located at the back of the throat.
What Is The Treatment For Strep Throat
Strep throat is treated using antibiotics, which kill the bacteria causing the infection. Antibiotics are often taken as pills or given as a shot. Penicillin and amoxicillin are common antibiotics used to treat strep throat. Other antibiotics are prescribed for people who are allergic to penicillin.
Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for antibiotic use. Take all of the medication, even if you feel better. You should feel better within a day or two. A person with strep throat should stay home until 24 hours after starting the antibiotic.
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Dealing With Swollen Glands
If you have swollen lymph nodes, then you might be in pain. Ask your doctor about an over-the-counter pain or allergy medication, which can reduce your symptoms. You can also try using a warm compress on the area. While this will not reduce swelling, it might help to relieve some of the pain. Finally, monitor your symptoms so you can share them with your doctor.
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Itching Or Burning And Swollen Tonsils
- Medical Author: Melinda Ratini, DO
Reviewed on 6/15/2020
A throat infection caused by a virus or strep can make your tonsils swell. Allergies can do the same and may cause an itchy, burning throat. If you are having an allergic reaction to a medicine or food, or something in your environment, it can also leave you with an itchy, sore throat.
While the list below can be considered as a guide to educate yourself about these conditions, this is not a substitute for a diagnosis from a health care provider. There are many other medical conditions that also can be associated with your symptoms and signs. Here are a number of those from MedicineNet:
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Home Remedies For A Swollen Uvula
If you have a swollen uvula or sore throat, its your bodys way of telling you that somethings wrong. A few home remedies can help keep you strong and soothe your irritated throat:
- Cool your throat by sucking on ice chips. Frozen juice bars or ice cream may also do the trick.
- Gargle with warm salt water to ease your dry, scratchy throat.
- Get a full nights sleep and nap during the day if you can.
Make sure youre getting enough fluids. If your throat hurts when you drink, try drinking small amounts throughout the day. Your urine should be light in color. If its dark yellow or brown, youre not drinking enough and may be dehydrated.
Tonsillitis Could Cause Sinus Problems
While swollen tonsils aren’t the end of the world and shouldn’t cause you any life-threatening problems, they could lead to sinus infections and other discomfort. Unfortunately, you might see a bit of a pattern. If your tonsils or adenoids get swollen or prevent drainage, you are probably going to end up with sinus infections.
It’s important that if you have any type of pain or infection anywhere in your tonsils or sinuses that you get checked out by an ear, nose, and throat doctor. An accurate diagnosis can be critical to ensure you get the right treatment, which help ensure the infection doesn’t spread in either direction.
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Other Treatment Or Cure Options
There are other things that you can do so as to deal tonsillitis. The following are just some of the treatment options:
- Completely quit smoking
- Do exercise and especially a walk on a daily basis.
- Dont come into physical contact with those likely suffering from the condition.
- Ease the discomfort caused by the infection by taking some pain relieving medications.
- Eat more fruits and especially those that have high amounts of vitamin C. By this, your immune system will be boosted.
- Ensure you cover your mouth every time you cough or sneeze to avoid spreading the virus
- Further, you should avoid eating spicy and rough foods. These foods which can cause scratches in your throat. This only makes the condition worse.
- Have an adequate refreshing sleep. Power naps would work for you especially in the morning.
- Limit or reduce the caffeine rich foods like coffee and coca.
- Make sure you keep watch over the number of partners. This prevents the chances of you getting STDs.
- Soothe the inflamed gland using a warm cloth
- Take a lot of water so as keep your body hydrated.
Symptoms To Get Checked Out
Sometimes the hardest part can be knowing when itâs more than the common cold or allergies. For a regular cold, you donât really need a doctor and you donât have an infection that requires treatment. So, how do you know if you have a problem with your sinuses or tonsils that is more severe than a common cold? If you have any of these symptoms, make sure you see a doctor:
- Mucus that is not clear for more than 3-5 days. Yellow or dark mucus is signs of an infection.
- Red or swollen tonsils accompanied by a sore throat for more than 3-5 days.
- Facial pain for more than 3-5 days. If you have an infection, your face might be sore to the touch.
Donât waste time assuming you have a cold that does not require any treatment. If you leave sinusitis untreated thatâs when you can have more complicated problems, as a sinus infection could affect your tonsils. If you see an ENT specialist early to treat your infection with medicines, then you should be able to prevent a more serious illness from coming your way.
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Tonsillitis: What Is It
Tonsillitis is the medical term for swollen tonsils. Some people have a short-term episode of swollen tonsils because of an illness. For example, you might notice that your tonsils swell when you have a head cold.
There are times when patients experience tonsils that are chronically swollen. In this situation, its common for the swelling to be caused by a chronic, long-term condition that could be affecting overall health.
Here is an overview of the three types of tonsillitis:
- Acute Tonsillitis: Swelling of the tonsils that lasts for a few days, but could be present for as long as two weeks.
- Recurrent Tonsillitis: When a patient experiences swelled tonsils several times a year.
- Chronic Tonsillitis: A long-term infection of the tonsils that doesnt clear up with regular treatment.