Inflamed tonsils When is surgery a must?
Tonsils are two lumps of tissue hanging at the back of our throats without drawing any attention. It's our first line of defence against germs and bacteria entering our bodies through our mouths.
Commonly affecting children, the signs of tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils) are always obvious: sore throat, difficulty or pain while swallowing, a throaty or muffled voice with the occasional fever. Some of the rarer symptoms include an upset stomach with a loss of appetite, stiff neck, bad breath, and some children too young to express pain drool incessantly.
Most of us associate tonsillitis with a sore throat on a winter morning, running to our parents with another excuse to skip school.
More often than not, tonsillitis is harmless -- just a regular inflammation on the two lumps of tissue at the back of our throats.
But tonsillitis that keeps coming back should be taken seriously. Many parents have opted for tonsillectomy (surgery to take tonsils out) for their children. For some, including adults, tonsillitis can cause other problems like sleep apnea, which is a disorder that briefly stops you from breathing at night, especially while sleeping.
Since the 1960s, tonsillectomies have become less and less frequent. Doctors only bring up surgeries if you or your child suffer from tonsillitis at least seven times in a year, five times a year for two years in a row, or three times a year for three years in a row.
Doctors may also suggest operating if the tonsillitis caused by bacteria are resisting antibiotics.
Consulting a doctor for tonsillitis is always the best option. While many prefer home remedies, it heals faster with the prescribed medication. And if you have to get a tonsillectomy done, always know there is a lot of ice cream on the other side of the operation!