Ocean ENT addresses pediatric tonsilitis
Stephen Kupferberg, MD, FACS, offers answers to common questions related to pediatric tonsilitis and treatment options.
By: Ocean ENT
Q: What is pediatric tonsilitis?
A: Pediatric tonsilitis is either a viral or bacterial infection of the tonsils in a child. The pharyngeal tonsils are lymphoid tissue located at the back of the throat on the left and right sides.
Q: What are the symptoms of pediatric tonsilitis?
A: Common symptoms include sore throat, difficulty swallowing, enlargement of the tonsils, redness, and/or yellow-white patches of the tonsils, fever, chills, ear pain and bad breath. The child may also have enlargement of lymph nodes and soreness in the neck.
Q: Why do tonsils get infected?
A: The tonsils become exposed to droplets from a cough or sneeze or come in contact with a person who has a viral or bacterial infection.
Q: Are there any risk factors for pediatric tonsilitis?
A: Children with any type of immune deficiency may be more prone to infections.
Q: How is pediatric tonsilitis diagnosed?
A: Pediatric tonsilitis is diagnosed by physical examination. Tonsils are typically enlarged and red with possible yellow-white patches. A routine culture or rapid strep test may be performed.
Q: What is the treatment for pediatric tonsilitis?
A: Treatment may be observation if the infection is felt to be viral. If it persists and is felt to be bacterial, then the child is typically placed on a course of an appropriate antibiotic.
Q: Are there any complications of pediatric tonsilitis?
A: The patient may have difficulty and pain with swallowing. The infection may form a pocket of pus behind the tonsil, called a peritonsillar abscess. This may necessitate drainage. Chronic infections may cause permanent enlargement of the tonsils and possible sleep apnea. Rarely, the infection can lead to rheumatic fever or kidney problems.
Q: How do you prevent pediatric tonsilitis?
A: Prevention may be helped by practicing good hygiene. Children should avoid other children or adults who are sick. They should also not share food or drink with others.
Q: What should you do if you suspect an issue with your tonsils?
A: Consult a board-certified otolaryngologist for diagnosis and treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Ocean ENT, call 732-281-0100.
About Ocean ENT
Ocean ENT (Ocean Otolaryngology Associates, P.A.) is a respected provider of ear, nose and throat care serving Monmouth and Ocean counties. Ocean ENT's board-certified physicians have extensive training and clinical experience and pursue ongoing education to stay abreast of the latest trends. A wide range of services, including treatment of sinus disease, thyroid disease, hoarseness, hearing loss, childhood ENT disorders and nasal breathing difficulty are provided at the practice's Toms River and Manasquan offices. To learn more about Ocean ENT, visit https://oceanentnj.com or call 732-281-0100.