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Tonsillitis Specialist

Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology

Allergists & Otolaryngology located in Rancho Mirage, CA & La Quinta, CA

Tonsillitis can make your throat feel excruciatingly sore and raw, which can be tough to bear when you get it frequently. If you or your child are experiencing regular bouts of tonsillitis, Majid Torabi, MD, FACS, and Ryan Salvador, MD, of Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology are ready to help. They can treat the cause of tonsillitis at their locations in Rancho Mirage and La Quinta, California, and, where necessary, perform tonsillectomy surgery. To find out more, call your nearest Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology office today or book an appointment online.

Tonsillitis Q & A

What is tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is a painful condition of the throat and is especially common in children. It affects your tonsils – two tissue masses at the back of your throat that form part of your immune system.

Healthy tonsils may help trap microorganisms like bacteria and prevent them from causing infection, although their effectiveness in this role is uncertain. Tonsils can quite easily become infected themselves, resulting in tonsillitis.

What can cause tonsillitis?

Bacterial tonsillitis is most often due to infection with streptococcus (strep) bacteria. Viral infections that can also cause tonsillitis include:

  • Influenza
  • Epstein-Barr
  • Enteroviruses
  • Herpes simplex
  • Parainfluenza
  • Adenoviruses

Like many other causes of sore throats, tonsillitis typically resolves itself without needing medical care, in much the same way as you recover after a cold. However, some people develop chronic or recurring tonsillitis where their tonsils are continually sore and swollen.

What symptoms might I get with tonsillitis?

The primary symptoms of tonsillitis are pain and soreness in your throat that may be severe. You might be able to see blisters, ulcers, or yellow and white spots on your tonsils if you open your mouth wide, and the back of your throat is likely to be red and swollen.

As well as the problems affecting your tonsils, tonsillitis can also cause other issues, such as:

  • Ear pain and sensitivity
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swollen neck glands
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Loss of appetite

Children affected by tonsillitis may also get abdominal pain and suffer from nausea and vomiting.

How is tonsillitis treated?

There are several ways you can help yourself or your child with the symptoms of tonsillitis. Throat lozenges containing anesthetics like benzocaine numb your throat, and over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help ease tonsillitis pain.

Other ways to help you get better include:

  • Gargling with salt water
  • Using a humidifier to keep the air moist
  • Rest
  • Having warm or ice-cold drinks
  • Eating soft foods

Antibiotics may be necessary for a bacterial infection. Your provider at Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology can confirm the source of the infection by performing a rapid strep test or taking a throat swab to study the cells at the back of your throat. It's important to remember that antibiotics are of no use in tackling viral infections.

Might I need a tonsillectomy?

Tonsillectomy (surgery that removes the tonsils) used to be routine but is far less common now. Interventions like these are often unnecessary because acute tonsillitis heals without a problem in most people.

A tonsillectomy might be necessary for recurring or chronic tonsillitis, or when your tonsils are so swollen, they're interfering with breathing or swallowing.

If you or your child are having problems with persistent tonsillitis, you could benefit from expert treatment at Desert Cities Allergy & Otolaryngology. Call their nearest office to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.