Flagstaff Surgical Associates
General Surgery, Urology & Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists located in Flagstaff, AZ
While tonsillitis is a common childhood illness, you can catch it at any age. If you have a sore throat and it hurts to swallow, the board-certified physicians at Flagstaff Surgical Associates in Flagstaff, Arizona, can help. They offer expert diagnosis and treatments, including state-of-the-art tonsillectomy procedures. If you or your child suffer from chronic or recurring tonsillitis or throat infections, call Flagstaff Surgical Associates or make an appointment online today.
Tonsillitis Q & A
What is tonsillitis?
Your tonsils are two glands on either side of the top of your throat. Their primary function is to catch bacteria, viruses, and other debris before they travel into your respiratory or digestive tract.
As a result, your tonsils are vulnerable to infection, a type of throat infection known as tonsillitis. You can also develop throat infections at the back of your mouth (pharyngitis) and around your voice box (laryngitis).
Tonsillitis and throat infections are contagious and are caused by viruses and bacteria. The streptococcal bacteria that cause strep throat is a common cause of tonsillitis.
There are three types of tonsillitis and throat infection: acute, recurring, and chronic. Acute tonsillitis lasts for 10 days. Recurring tonsillitis and throat infections come back several times a year, and chronic tonsillitis and throat infections last for several weeks. Chronic tonsillitis can also cause the folds of your tonsils to fill with debris, which solidifies into small hard "stones."
What are the symptoms of tonsillitis?
A sore throat is one of the most common signs of tonsillitis. You might also have pain when you swallow and have a hoarse voice. Other symptoms include:
- Red swollen tonsils
- White or yellow patches on your tonsils
- Bad breath
- Stiff neck
- Jaw and neck tenderness
You might also have a stomachache or a reduced appetite. It's also common to feel irritated and fatigued.
When should I talk to a doctor about tonsillitis or a throat infection?
You should see a doctor if your fever surpasses 103 degrees Fahrenheit or if your sore throat doesn't start to subside after two days. You should also make an appointment if you find yellow or white patches in your throat.
If you or your child have frequent bouts of tonsillitis, you should consult with a doctor at Flagstaff Surgical Associates about management and prevention strategies.
Depending on the type of throat infection, they can offer treatments to help your body fight off the infection and ease your symptoms.
When is a tonsillectomy necessary?
While in most cases, rest, medication, and plenty of fluids help your body fight off tonsillitis, if you or your child have chronic or recurring tonsillitis — for example, more than five or seven times a year — your Flagstaff Surgical Associates doctor might recommend a tonsillectomy.
A tonsillectomy is the surgical removal of your tonsils. It can reduce your risk of tonsillitis, as well as breathing problems and trouble swallowing. It's an outpatient procedure.
While you might want to stick to soft food and liquids for a few days after your surgery, in most cases, you can get back to your regular activities within a week or so.
Call Flagstaff Surgical Associates or make an appointment online today for expert treatment for tonsillitis.