What is Tonsillitis?
Tonsillitis refers to the inflammation of the tonsils. Tonsils are two oval-shaped pads of tissue at the back of the throat on either side. Tonsils are generally considered the immune system’s first line of defense against viruses and bacteria that enter our mouths. This makes the tonsils vulnerable to infections and inflammation. This condition is usually prevalent in children who fall under the age group of 5 to 15 years old, however, it can affect people of any age group. Tonsillitis is so common that most people have this condition at least once in their lifetime. Some patients complain about frequent sore throats, throat infections, reduced sleep quality, etc. which are usually related to tonsillitis. Therefore, doctors recommend removing tonsils to prevent several bacterial and viral infections along with an improved quality of life. Tonsillectomy is considered one of the most effective ways to treat tonsillitis.
Tonsillectomy refers to the surgical removal of the tonsils. The tonsil’s immune functioning declines after puberty, and this is why some people prefer removing the tonsils via tonsillectomy. The surgeons often recommend tonsillectomy to prevent frequent recurrence of tonsillitis, improved breathing, and better sleep. However, removing tonsils does not increase the risk of infection, and adults with snoring problems benefit from the surgery the most.
How Does Tonsillitis Occur?
Tonsillitis occurs as a result of the inflammation of the tonsils due to several bacterial or viral infections. The tonsils may become enlarged after persistent infections over a period of time which eventually results in tonsillitis.
Types, Causes and Symptoms of Tonsillitis
Types of Disease:
- Acute tonsillitis
- Chronic tonsillitis
- Recurring tonsillitis
- Viral infections
- Bacterial infections
- Frequent exposure to germs
- Bad breath
- Sore throat
- Stomach ache
- Swollen tonsils
- Stiffness in neck
- Fussiness in babies
- Difficulty swallowing
- Inflammation of tonsils
- Tender lymph nodes on the side of the neck
Diagnosis - Tonsillitis
- Throat culture– In this test, a sample of your throat culture is taken by gently swabbing the back of your throat. The samples are then sent to a laboratory to identify the causes of infections.
- Complete blood cell count (CBC) – The sample of your blood is required to identify the cause of infection in the blood. This test can help determine if the type of infection in your body is a viral or bacterial infection.
- The patient can self-examine the throat for any redness, swelling, or white spots on the tonsils.
- Observe if you have other symptoms such as a fever, cough, runny nose, rash, or stomachache.
- Feeling the sides of your neck to check for any swollen lymph nodes and tenderness also helps determine if you have tonsillitis.
Diagnosis by the doctor:
- The doctor will conduct a physical examination and check for swelling around the tonsils, often with white spots.
- The ENT specialist will also check for the exterior of the throat for signs of enlarged lymph glands and a rash that may occasionally appear.
- The ENT doctor may also recommend a swab test to determine the type of infection (viral or bacterial) and may also ask you for a complete blood cell count to decide the best course of treatment.
Severity - Tonsillitis
In acute tonsillitis, the symptoms usually last around 3–4 days but may last up to 2 weeks.
When the ongoing tonsilitis causes bad breath and sore throat, it may be a condition of long-term persisting tonsillitis.
When there are multiple instances of acute tonsillitis, it is termed recurring tonsillitis.
Risks & Complications of Tonsillitis
If left untreated:
There are various complications that can occur if you leave your tonsilitis untreated for a long period of time. Since tonsils are the first line of defense for bacterial and viral infections, untreated tonsils can cause swelling and inflammation over a period of time. Some of the complications of enlarged tonsils are as follows –
- Scarlet fever – Untreated tonsillitis can lead to strep throat that can progress into scarlet fever, causing a red rash and fever. Scarlet fever is usually seen more in children than adults.
- Rheumatic fever – Rheumatic fever occurs more frequently in children than adults and may lead to permanent heart damage. It may occur in patients with untreated strep throat or an incomplete antibiotic course.
- Quinsy or peritonsillar abscess – Some cases of untreated tonsillitis can lead to the formation of an abscess (a collection of pus) around the tonsil. Peritonsillar abscesses are more prominent in adults and adolescents than children. In that case, tonsillectomy is inevitable.
- Spread of infection – Untreated tonsils contain bacteria that can travel from the throat to the middle ear, sinuses, etc., causing sinusitis or necrotizing fasciitis.
- Difficulty breathing – Enlarged tonsils can cause breathing difficulties while sleeping and thus, may often cause difficulty while sleeping as well.
Prevention of Tonsillitis
Since tonsillitis is a contagious disease, you are more likely to catch the disease if you come in contact with an individual who is already having it. So, it is important that you adopt good hygienic habits and wash your hands often, especially before touching your nose or mouth. You must avoid sharing drinks, food, or utensils with someone who is already a patient with tonsillitis. Doctors often recommend replacing your toothbrush regularly as it can help prevent the accumulation of bacteria. Moreover, if you have tonsillitis, try keeping your distance from the healthy population until you’re no longer contagious. If you’re a parent, then ensure practicing good hygiene habits for your children, such as regularly washing hands, especially after coming into contact with someone who has a sore throat.
When to Consult a Doctor?
Tonsillitis can cause the throat to swell so much that it can cause trouble breathing. While some tonsillitis can go away on their own, some cases need surgical treatment. Consult a doctor if you experience the following signs-
- Muscle weakness
- Fussiness (in kids)
- Stiffness in the neck
- Difficulty in breathing
- High fever (over 101°F)
- Trouble while swallowing
- Painful and swollen tonsils
- Sore throat for more than two days
Treatment Options - Tonsillitis
Non-surgical treatment involves home remedies to cure tonsillitis via medications. The ENT specialist prescribes several antibiotics that can help fight the infection at home. However, if the main cause of tonsilitis is a viral infection, then these medications will be the only treatment suggested by the doctor. Moreover, home remedies can help create a comfortable environment for your child and ensure a faster recovery.
The antibiotics gradually help reduce the symptoms of tonsillitis. Therefore, antibiotics are more critical for patients who are at risk of complications from tonsillitis. However, the patients must complete the full course of antibiotics even if the symptoms of tonsillitis disappear entirely. Failure to comply with these instructions may result in increased infections, side effects, etc.
Insurance coverage - Tonsillitis
A tonsillectomy is performed if your swollen tonsils cause breathing problems and frequent sore throats. Tonsillitis can be a serious health issue in children as well as adults. The patients may need a tonsillectomy to get rid of painful and disturbing symptoms. Many insurance companies in India cover tonsillectomy. However, there is a possibility that the medical insurance coverage may differ from one policy to another. There are other payment options to pay for the treatment if you are looking for a tonsillectomy. A few of the insurance providers that may cover tonsillectomy treatment are as follows:
- Star Health Insurance
- New India Health Insurance
- Bajaj Allianz
- ICICI Lombard
Tonsillitis Symptoms and Causes
Tonsillitis generally affects children more than adults, and its symptoms usually resemble those of the flu, common cold, strep throat, etc. Some common tonsillitis signs that both adults and children should look out for are:
- Red swollen tonsils, with white or yellow tonsil patches and enlarged neck lymph nodes
- Sore throat resulting in difficulty swallowing
- Fever, stomach ache, or headache
- A scratchy, throaty, or muffled voice
- Bad breath (halitosis) with drooling
- Ear or sinus pain and infection
- Often people suffering from tonsillitis can turn irritable, fussy, and refuse to eat anything due to neck pain and difficulty in swallowing. In severe cases, the patient can have trouble breathing through the mouth, blister or ulcer formation on the tonsils, etc.
Tonsils are a part of the immune system and are the first line of defense against pathogens invading through the mouth. However, this makes them more vulnerable to infections. Tonsillitis can also be confused with strep throat as they have similar causes and symptoms.
The most common cause of tonsillitis, among both children and adults, is a viral infection, but sometimes it can occur from bacterial infections as well. Some common viruses that can cause tonsillitis are Adenovirus, Influenza virus, Epstein-Barr virus, Parainfluenza viruses, Enteroviruses, Herpes simplex virus, etc. Streptococcus bacteria are the common cause of bacterial tonsillitis.
While tonsillitis can affect almost anyone, it is usually more common in people with weaker immune systems, like children and the elderly. It is also common in people who are frequently in touch with other infected people.
Why Choose Pristyn Care for Tonsillectomy?
Pristyn Care is a full-stack healthcare provider that is associated with multi-specialty hospitals and healthcare institutions around the country. We aim to ease the process of accessing advanced treatment and surgeries for each individual at affordable prices. We also have some of the best ENT surgeons and specialists with years of experience in tonsillectomy to ensure a very high success rate. Pristyn Care also promotes minimally invasive surgeries that usually have fewer chances of infection with a faster recovery duration. Some of the benefits of choosing Pristyn Care are –
- Highly experienced ENT surgeons – Our team of ENT surgeons is fully trained and certified to perform advanced surgeries with a high success rate and offer comprehensive treatment while understanding your concerns. In addition, our ENT surgeons will discuss all the necessary information about tonsillectomy to make you well aware of the procedure and risks involving the treatment.
- Insurance approval– Pristyn Care has a dedicated team that assists with the insurance approval for tonsillectomy. The insurance approval will depend on the type of your insurance company and the terms and conditions set by them. Be rest assured that our team of experts will try their best to help you get the maximum benefits from medical insurance claims.
- Flexible payment options– Pristyn Care offers various modes of payment for tonsillectomy with no cost EMI. In addition, we accept credit cards and cash payments for tonsillectomy treatment.
- Free pick-up and drop facility– Pristyn Care provides free cab services for pick-up and drop-off to each patient within the city on the day of surgery.
- Free follow-up consultation- Recovery plays an essential role in the treatment. Pristyn Care provides free follow-up consultation along with proper diet charts to all patients who have undergone tonsillectomy surgery for a quicker and smoother recovery process.
- COVID-19 safe environment – In times of COVID crisis, Pristyn Care makes sure all the OTs and clinics are properly sanitized before each surgery to curb the spread of COVID. It is our top priority to maintain hygiene and social distancing while providing a seamless patient experience.
Booking an Appointment with the best ENT surgeon for Tonsillectomy
Pristyn Care has some of the best ENT surgeons with years of experience in specializing in treating tonsillitis. All the specialists are well-trained and upskilled in performing advanced treatment for the best outcomes with almost no risks. You can book an appointment with the ENT expert at Pristyn Care for tonsil removal surgery:
- Fill out the patient form on our website www.pristyncare.com. Our medical coordinators will reach out to you as soon as your appointment form is submitted. They will fix an appointment with the concerned doctor according to your schedule.
- You can also directly connect with our medical coordinators through the contact number on our website. Our team of dedicated medical coordinators will listen to your query connect you with the doctor near your area and book an appointment consecutively.
- You can also book an appointment through our Pristyn Care app. Our medical coordinators will arrange an offline or online consultation with doctors near your area at the earliest via video call, and a nominal consultation fee will be charged.