The tonsils are the body’s first line of defense as part of the immune system. They filter bacteria and viruses that enter the body through the mouth or nose, but they sometimes become infected. Tonsils are similar to the lymph nodes or glands found in the neck, groin and armpits. Tonsils are the two round lumps in the back of the throat.
Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils. Most cases are caused by an infection as the result of a common virus such as a cold; however, bacterial infections may also be a cause. Symptoms include swollen tonsils and sore throat. Other symptoms include:
- Redder than normal tonsils
- A white or yellow coating on the tonsils
- A slight voice change due to swelling
- Sore throat, sometimes accompanied by ear pain
- Uncomfortable or painful swallowing
- Swollen lymph nodes (glands) in the neck
- Bad breath
It’s important to have tonsillitis diagnosed and treated. Typical treatment includes rest and antibiotics. If the tonsillitis is recurring, your doctor may prescribe surgery to remove them. Tonsillectomies are usually done as an outpatient procedure unless the patient is very young, has a complex medical condition or if complications occur during the surgery. Patients are typically completely recovered at about 14 days after the surgery.
If you or someone you care for has a problem with the tonsils, please contact our office at 717-728-9700 to schedule an appointment.