The tonsils are small, oval-shaped bumps at the throat’s back. Your body can fight infections by capturing germs from your mouth and nose.
Tonsillitis is most common in children and adolescents. It is caused by various contagious diseases, which means the infection spreads to others.
In general, you are contagious 24 to 48 hrs before developing symptoms. You can remain infectious even after your symptoms have gone away.
How is it spreading?
Inhaling respiratory droplets generated by someone who has the infection can spread Tonsillitis.
Tonsillitis can also occur if you touch a contaminated item. You can get Tonsillitis if you feel an infected doorknob, then connect your nose or mouth.
Although Tonsillitis is common in all ages, children and adolescents are the most likely to get it. School-age children have more exposure to germs which can cause Tonsillitis because they are in constant contact with other people.
Also, tonsils function declines with age. This may explain the lower incidence of Tonsillitis among adults.
What is the incubation period for a baby?
Incubation is the period between being exposed to a virus and developing symptoms.
Incubation periods for Tonsillitis are usually between 2 and 4 days.
You may not get Tonsillitis if you don’t show signs after this period.
What are the symptoms associated with Tonsillitis?
Tonsillitis can cause:
Sore throat, scratchy throat.
Tonsils are swollen, with yellow or white patches.
Pain when swallowing.
Lymph nodes on your neck.
Your symptoms are getting worse in two to three consecutive days. They will usually get better in a week.
Tips on how to prevent the spreading of Tonsillitis
You can prevent the spread of Tonsillitis by following these steps:
You should stay at home if you are experiencing symptoms. Even after your symptoms have gone, you may still be contagious.
Wash your hands often, especially after coughing, sneezing, or touching your nose, mouth, or face.
You can cough or sneeze into a tissue or the crooks of your elbow if necessary. Dispose of used tissues as soon as possible.
By practicing good hygiene, you can reduce the risk of developing Tonsillitis.
Hands should be washed frequently, especially before eating, using the toilet, and touching your nose, mouth, or face.
Share personal items such as eating utensils with others — especially when they are sick.
How to treat Tonsillitis using
Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics if your tonsillitis results from a bacterial infection. Even if you feel better, completing the course of antibiotics is essential.
Viral infections are not treated with antibiotics. Your treatment will focus on relieving symptoms if a virus causes your Tonsillitis.
Drink water, herbal Tea, and other clear liquids to stay hydrated. Avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks.
Aspirin is not recommended for children and teenagers. It increases the risk of Aspirin and should not be given to children or teenagers because it can increase the risk of Reye syndrome.
Gargle with salt water, or suck a throat lozenge for a scratchy sore throat. A humidifier and warm liquids can help soothe a scratchy throat.
These home remedies can be used to treat Tonsillitis caused by bacteria.
Your doctor may suggest that you have your tonsils removed in some situations. It’s usually recommended if you have a history of bacterial Tonsillitis or your tonsils cause complications such as breathing problems.
The tonsil removal procedure (tonsillectomy) is performed as an outpatient under general anesthesia.
When should you seek help?
Even though Tonsillitis is usually mild and goes away within a few days, it’s essential to seek medical help if you or your child experiences any of the following symptoms.
Sore throat lasting more than two days.
Trouble breathing or swallowing.
Fever that persists after three days.
Fever with a rash.
Tonsillitis can be caused either by a bacterial or viral infection. This is a widespread condition among children and teens.
Tonsillitis is contagious. It can be spread through airborne particles or contaminated objects. Contagiousness can begin one to two days before the onset of symptoms and last until they disappear.
When your fever has gone, and you’ve been taking antibiotics for at least 24 hours, you are usually not contagious if you or your child was diagnosed with bacterial Tonsillitis.
The majority of tonsillitis cases are mild, and they will disappear within a few days. Your doctor may suggest a tonsillectomy if you experience Tonsillitis repeatedly or have complications caused by Tonsillitis.
Can adults get Tonsillitis?
Adults can also develop Tonsillitis. Tonsillitis is most common in children and teenagers but can affect anyone. Tonsillitis causes inflammation of the tonsils. Tonsils are tiny, soft tissue masses on either side of your back throat. The tonsils are part of your immunity system, fighting germs and preventing infection.
Learn more about the causes of Tonsillitis in adults and how doctors treat it.
What is the risk factor for Tonsillitis?
Young age and exposure to germs that cause viral infections or bacterial infections are risk factors for Tonsillitis.
The tonsils are less critical in the immune system after puberty, which could explain why Tonsillitis is more common among children and teenagers.
If you are prone to infection, avoiding sharing drinks and washing your hands often is best.
Even if your tonsils have been removed, you can still develop sore throats or infections.
When should you seek help?
Consult a physician if you experience severe or persistent symptoms for more than four days with no improvement.
Asking you questions and checking your throat can help a doctor diagnose Tonsillitis.
If you suspect a bacterial infection, your throat may need to be swabbed. The sample is obtained by rubbing a sterile cotton swab on the back of your neck. Results can be obtained in minutes or as long as 48 hours, depending on where the lab is located and the type of test performed.
Doctors may perform a blood sample to determine your total blood count. These tests can determine whether bacteria or a virus caused your Tonsillitis.