Tonsils and Adenoids

Boise, Idaho

Alt text

What are Tonsils?

The tonsils – tissues that serve to trap germs and bacteria and prevent infection – are located in the back of the throat. Their constant exposure to germs makes them susceptible to infection themselves. Following puberty, their role as immune system defender declines significantly; this is why tonsil infections are far more common in children than adults.

What is Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils that leads to swelling, sore throat and difficulty swallowing. It is usually the result of a viral or bacterial infection and tends to affect children more frequently than any other age group.

What Are the Symptoms & Causes of Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is the name given to a tonsil infection, swelling and inflammation of the tonsils caused by viruses, bacteria, allergies or upper respiratory disorders. In addition to red and swollen tonsils, symptoms include:

  • White or yellow patches on the tonsils
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Fever
  • Tender lymph nodes
  • Bad breath
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck

Younger children may be extra irritable, drool excessively and refuse to eat.

Because the streptococcus bacterium is a frequent cause of tonsillitis, doctors will usually test for strep throat when a patient is diagnosed with a tonsil infection.

How Is Tonsillitis Treated?

Tonsillectomy & Adenoidectomy

How tonsillitis is treated depends on whether it has been caused by a virus or bacteria.

If the infection is viral, it should clear up in a week to ten days, and home remedies should do the trick. Make sure you get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids, especially warm liquids like broth or tea with honey). To soothe your throat, gargle with warm saltwater several times a day, eat cold treats such as Popsicles and suck on lozenges or cough drops. Avoid cigarette smoke and other irritants.

If a bacterial infection such as strep throat is responsible, antibiotics will be administered.

Surgical Treatment: Tonsillectomy

Dr. Beasley may recommend surgical removal of the tonsils (tonsillectomy) if the condition recurs frequently.

Request an Appointment

Contact Boise ENT

The content of this website, such as graphics, images, text and all other materials, is provided for reference and educational purposes only. The content is not meant to be complete or exhaustive or to be applicable to any specific individual's medical condition nor diagnosis.