Although the infection itself is not contagious, the viruses and bacteria that cause it are. Due to weaker immune systems in children, the tonsils have trouble fighting the germs they often come into contact with, leading to infection.
The most common symptom of tonsillitis is a sore throat, which may be severe. Swollen, red tonsils with white or yellow patches are also common. Other symptoms include swollen glands, fever, and difficulty swallowing. These symptoms may last for multiple days and can cause irritability and lack of appetite.
If the cause of tonsillitis is viral, no medication can be prescribed to treat it. If this is the case, the infection should clear up within 10 days. Getting lots of rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and gargling saltwater are remedies you can to at home to aid the healing process.
If the cause is bacteria related, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic to treat it. Although medicine is administered, continue the above remedies to recover faster and healthier. If the infection recurs frequently, your doctor may suggest full removal of the tonsils.
Adenoids are a grouping of tissue located at the top of the throat that are an essential part of the immune system. Adenoiditis occurs when the adenoid tissue is inflamed due to allergies, irritation from stomach acid, or infection.
There are many known causes attributed to adenoiditis. Almost any bacteria or infection can cause inflammation of the adenoids. When allergens come in contact with the adenoid tissue, swelling or irritation can occur leading to adenoiditis.
Inflamed adenoids can result in snoring, mouth breathing, and a sore throat. It can also affect the sinus cavities producing a discharge from the nose. Worst cases can result in aching ear and chest infections.
Because adenoids are often hard to observe, your child’s doctor will do an examination of the ears, nose, and throat, and possibly even order an x-ray, to determine the next steps.
Similar to tonsillitis, viral adenoiditis cannot be treated with medicine. Resting, drinking fluids, and over-the-counter medicines can aid the healing process and lessen the effects of the symptoms. If the inflammation is due to bacteria, antibiotics can be administered.
In more extreme cases, your doctor may suggest an adenoidectomy, which is a removal of the adenoids. This surgical treatment is routine and is recommended to be done at the same time as a tonsillectomy.