Tonsillitis occurs when your child’s tonsils are infected, causing them to become sore, inflamed and / or swollen.
Most bouts of tonsillitis are caused by viruses and can result from a cold.
Children are more susceptible to repeat attacks of tonsillitis which is likely distressing for both you and your child. Although common in school children, tonsillitis can develop in people of all ages.
While removing tonsils is not generally recommended anymore, this could be an option for someone who suffers with recurring tonsillitis.
Signs and symptoms
There are several symptoms associated with tonsillitis:
Pain or discomfort when swallowing
Swollen glands (lymph nodes) in the neck
Younger children may have nausea, vomiting and tummy pain.
The symptoms of bacterial tonsillitis usually last about three to five days, while viral tonsillitis may last a week.
What to look for
On examination, the tonsils are usually reddened and swollen and the breath can be quite smelly. White patches or small ulcerated areas may also be visible.
How do I manage tonsillitis?
Your Guardian pharmacist can work in conjunction with your GP to help you decide between the available options to relieve symptoms.
These may include:
Throat gargles to relieve soreness
Medication for pain and fever relief
Antibiotics will not help if tonsillitis is caused by a viral infection.
WHAT ARE TONSILS?
The tonsils are the two small buds of tissue located at the back of the throat.
Tonsils are part of the immune system and trap bacteria and viruses entering the throat. They produce antibodies to help fight infections.
They exert their influence most strongly during childhood.
Encourage sleep and rest
Ensure plenty of fluids are consumed
Give cool soft food such as custards and jelly and extra drinks