A sore throat and bad breath may be the first indications of tonsillitis. While less common in adults, tonsillitis is contagious and needs to be treated to prevent spreading the disease to others. At Comprehensive Ear Nose Throat in Huntington Beach, California, Nghia Nguyen, MD offers in-office diagnostic and treatment options, including in-office surgery when necessary, to address complications of tonsillitis. If you’re experiencing throat pain, call or book an appointment online today.
In the back of your throat are your tonsils, the small, oval-shaped tissues that are part of the lymphatic system’s defense against infection. Your tonsils are the body’s first line of defense against germs and viruses that enter your mouth.
While your tonsils are meant to protect you against infection, they can become inflamed or infected themselves, resulting in tonsillitis.
Tonsillitis is a contagious condition that results from either a virus or bacteria, including the streptococcal bacteria, the same germ that can lead to strep throat. Without proper treatment, tonsillitis can lead to strep throat and other health complications.
A hallmark symptom of tonsillitis is a persistent sore throat that makes it difficult to swallow or speak. You may also experience symptoms like:
When looking at the back of your throat, you may notice that your tonsils are visibly red and irritated. You may even notice white or yellow spots on your tonsils.
Dr. Nguyen can determine if you have tonsillitis by examining the back of your throat and reviewing your symptoms. He may also recommend a throat culture, where he swabs the back of your throat for further analysis.
If the cause of your tonsillitis is bacterial, Dr. Nguyen may prescribe an antibiotic to clear the infection. It’s important to take the full course of the medication to ensure the infection goes away completely. Otherwise, you may develop additional health complications, including strep throat and rheumatic fever.
For viral tonsillitis, he may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers and plenty of fluids to reduce the discomfort of your sore throat.
If you experience frequent tonsillitis, you may need surgery to remove your tonsils completely. In some cases, infected tonsils develop an abscess, or a buildup of pus, behind the tonsil tissue. If this is the case, Dr. Nguyen may suggest in-office surgery to drain the abscess of fluids and infection.
Learn more about treating the symptoms of tonsillitis by calling the office or using the online booking feature.