How Tonsillitis In Adults Is Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will ask about your health history and do a physical exam. To guide treatment, your provider may rub a sterile swab over the back of the throat and tonsils to get a sample of the secretions and perform:
- Rapid strep test: This test can detect strep bacteria in minutes
- Throat culture and sensitivity: The sample is cultured in a lab for the presence of bacteria it helps the provider choose the best antibiotic to treat it, but can take 48 to 72 hours to get the results
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider
You should contact your healthcare provider if you have:
- Sore throat for more than four days.
- Fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit .
- Trouble or pain when swallowing.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Painful or swollen tonsils.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Tonsillitis is an infection of your tonsils that can cause a sore throat, fever, difficulty swallowing and other symptoms. Treatment depends on whether the infection is viral or bacterial. Tonsillitis is very common, and its easily treated with rest and medication. If you have chronic tonsil infections, your healthcare provider might recommend a tonsillectomy. To learn more about your treatment options, schedule a visit with your healthcare provider.
Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
Patients with tonsillitis often present with a sore throat, a common symptom with a myriad of possible diagnoses. A thorough history and physical exam performed by the healthcare team is paramount to hone in on a diagnosis.
When diagnosing tonsillitis and implementing treatments, it is important for the healthcare provider to discuss treatment options and choices with the patient, especially when considering the administration of antibiotics. Risks and adverse reactions should be disclosed to the patient when prescribing any drug.
In cases where other diagnoses are possible, it can be helpful to recruit specialists, including otolaryngology, internal medicine, and nephrology, depending on the patient’s clinical picture and test results. Additionally, when ordering imaging, it is important to provide the radiologist with physical exam findings to hone in on areas of interest when reading films.
Tonsillitis diagnosis and treatment requires an interprofessional team approach, including physicians, specialists, specialty-trained nurses, and pharmacists, all collaborating across disciplines to achieve optimal patient results. Primary care providers evaluate and order treatments. Ambulatory and otolaryngologic nurses educate patients and their families, updating the team as needed. Pharmacists assess doses, interactions, and compliance.
Recommended Reading: Where Can I Buy Antibiotic Eye Drops Over The Counter
Can Tonsillitis Get Better On Its Own
Most of the time tonsillitis caused by either viral or bacterial infections will eventually resolve on its own, but if a bacterial infection is to blame, antibiotics help clear up symptoms faster and prevent complications, Rowan says.
For everyone, if at-home remedies dont seem to help, contact your healthcare provider, who can determine the best way to diagnose and treat whats wrong.
Treatment For Tonsillitis In Adults
Home remedies for tonsillitis
To get relief from the discomfort or pain caused due to tonsillitis, try the following remedies-
- Instead of carrying on with daily chores, get enough rest to let the body preserve energy to fight infections.
- Drink lots of fluids, especially warm to prevent dehydration and get a soothing effect. Make sure that you avoid caffeinated products such as coffee.
- Gargle with warm water to get relief.
- Take throat lozenges.
Also Read:How To Take Care of Tonsillitis at Home
Medicines for Tonsillitis for Adults
ENT doctors often give antibiotics to patients to cure tonsillitis caused by bacterial infections. But the treatment is different for tonsillitis caused by viral infections. Tonsillitis caused by cold requires other medicines.
Also Read:Antibiotics for Tonsil Pain
Surgery for Tonsillitis
In cases of chronic and recurring tonsillitis, removing the tonsils surgically is the only option. When inflamed tonsils cause difficulty in breathing or causing sleep apnea, then ENT doctors recommend surgery. Want to know what happens during a tonsillectomy?
Also Check: How Do You Cure A Uti Without Antibiotics
Diagnosis Of Adult Tonsillitis
1. History Collection: The doctor will ask about the present, past, medical, and family history.
2. Physical Examination: The doctor will check the patients tonsils by opening the mouth. White patches may be seen if pus is formed there or an abscess is present.
3. Throat Swab Culture: Saliva is collected from the throat and cultured to detect, which microorganism is present .
Lets discuss the complications of bacterial tonsillitis and these include:
- Peritonsillar abscess .
Is Tonsillitis A Serious Condition
In general, the prognosis for tonsillitis is excellent, and most people recover without any complications or long-term problems. Most cases of viral tonsillitis resolve within 7-10 days with watchful waiting. When treated with antibiotics, strep throat can be cured most of the time with a single course of antibiotics, and individuals will begin to feel better within 24-48 hours.
The prognosis for those individuals who develop complications from tonsillitis is dependent on the severity and extent of the complication. Death from tonsillitis or its complications is very rare.
Also Check: Over The Counter Antibiotics For Teeth
Immediately After A Tonsillectomy Operation
After the operation you can expect:
- When you wake up, you will be lying on your side this is to prevent choking if any bleeding occurs from the tonsil pad
- A sore throat
- Pain-relieving medication, if necessary
- The nursing staff will regularly check your pulse, blood pressure, breathing rate and your throat for any signs of bleeding
- For the first four hours after the operation, you will probably not be allowed to have any food or liquids
- You may find it difficult to eat or drink, but you will be encouraged to do so the more often you use your throat, the better
- You can expect a hospital stay of just one day or so.
How Is Tonsillitis Diagnosed
To diagnose tonsillitis, your child’s health care provider will first ask you about your child’s symptoms and medical history. The provider will look at your child’s throat and neck, checking for things such as redness or white spots on the tonsils and swollen lymph nodes.
Your child will probably also have one or more tests to check for strep throat, since it can cause tonsillitis and it requires treatment. It could be a rapid strep test, a throat culture, or both. For both tests, the provider uses a cotton swab to collect a sample of fluids from your child’s tonsils and the back of the throat. With the rapid strep test, testing is done in the office, and you get the results within minutes. The throat culture is done in a lab, and it usually takes a few days to get the results. The throat culture is a more reliable test. So sometimes if the rapid strep test is negative , the provider will also do a throat culture just to make sure that your child does not have strep.
Read Also: Strep Throat Do You Need Antibiotics
Lets Talk About Waldeyers Tonsillar Ring
In the pharynx at the back of the throat, there is a ring of lymphoid tissue.
There are six areas of lymphoid tissue in Waldeyers ring, which include
- Palatine tonsils, and
- The Lingual tonsil.
The palatine tonsils are the ones typically infected and enlarged in tonsillitis. These are the tonsils on either side at the back of the throat.
Inner Waldeyers ring
Antibiotics To Treat Tonsillitis
Tonsillitis, a common condition often referred to as a sore throat, is an inflammation of the tonsils caused by either a bacterial or viral infection. Treatment depends on the cause and usually is delayed until lab test results are known. If viral, only symptom relief medications are given and the body will fight the infection on its own. If the tonsillitis is caused by bacteria, antibiotics are prescribed.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Don’t Miss: Best Antibiotic Ointment For Wound Healing
Penicillin And Its Derivatives
According to the Mayo Clinic, penicillin, or one of its derivatives, taken by mouth for 10 days is the antibiotic treatment of choice for tonsillitis caused by group A streptococcus 1. A one-time injection of penicillin is occasionally used to treat bacterial tonsillitis. Other penicillin-like antibiotics include ampicillin, augmentin and azithromycin.
- According to the Mayo Clinic, penicillin, or one of its derivatives, taken by mouth for 10 days is the antibiotic treatment of choice for tonsillitis caused by group A streptococcus 1.
Causes Of Tonsillitis In Adults
The most common cause of enlarged tonsils in adults is a bacterial or viral infection of the tonsils. Some other causes of tonsilltis are mentioned below-
This is most common among the age group between 5 and 15. Some of the most common type of bacterias that can infect the tonsils are-
- Streptococcus bacteria
You May Like: How To Treat Diarrhea From Antibiotics
How Can You Care For Yourself At Home
Home care can help with a sore throat and other symptoms. Here are some things you can do to help yourself feel better.
- Gargle with warm saltwater.
This helps reduce swelling and relieve discomfort. Gargle once an hour with 1 teaspoon of salt mixed in 8 fluid ounces of warm water.
- Over the counter painkillers such as Ibuprofen, Aceclofenac, Paracetamol, or naproxen can be taken. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
- Be careful when taking over-the-counter cold or flu medicines at the same time. Many of these medicines already have Paracetamol. Read the labels to make sure that you are not taking more than the recommended dose.
- Try lozenges or an over-the-counter throat spray to relieve throat pain.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Fluids may help soothe an irritated throat. Drink warm liquids . These include tea, soup, etc.
- Do not smoke, and avoid passive smoking. Smoking can make tonsillitis worse. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your chances of quitting for good.
- Use a vaporizer or humidifier to add moisture to your bedroom.
- If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
- Get plenty of rest.
What Increases Your Risk For Tonsillitis
Risk factors for tonsillitis include young age and exposure to germs that cause viral or bacterial infections.
One reason tonsillitis might be more common in children and teens is because the tonsils play a smaller role in immune function after puberty.
Its a good idea to wash your hands frequently and avoid sharing drinks with others if youre prone to infections.
You can still get sore throats and throat infections even if youve had your tonsils removed.
See a doctor if your symptoms become severe or last longer than four days without any noticeable improvement.
A physician can diagnose the cause of tonsillitis by asking you questions and examining your throat.
You may also need to have your throat swabbed to see if you have a bacterial infection. This test involves rubbing a sterile swab along the back of your throat to get a sample. The results can take minutes or up to 48 hours, depending on the location of the lab and type of test used.
In some cases, doctors may want to perform a blood test to check your complete blood count. These results can help determine if your tonsillitis is caused by a virus or bacteria.
Theres no specific treatment for viral tonsillitis, but you can help reduce symptoms by:
- getting plenty of rest
Your doctor might prescribe a steroid medication if your breathing becomes difficult from swollen tonsils.
If you have bacterial tonsillitis, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic, such as penicillin.
Frequent tonsillitis is usually defined as:
You May Like: Best Antibiotic For Pseudomonas Uti
How Can I Prevent Tonsillitis
Hand washing remains crucial in preventing the spread of viruses and bacteria that cause tonsillitis. Avoid prolonged contact with anyone who has strep throat and has not been taking antibiotics for at least 24 hours. To be certain, avoid people who have been ill until such time as you are sure they no longer are.
Tonsillectomy, the surgical removal of the tonsils, is one of the most commonly performed operations in children. Newer surgical techniques and advances in anesthesia have made this 20-minute operation much more tolerable and safer than ever before. The reasons for tonsillectomy have also changed. Until the 1980s, the most common reason for tonsillectomy was because of recurrent infection. In the last 30 years, although tonsillectomy is frequently performed for recurrent infections, the most common reason for removing tonsils is tonsil-enlargement causing obstructive symptoms such as snoring, sleep apnea, and difficulty swallowing.
What Are The Symptoms Of Tonsillitis In Adults
There are many symptoms that are caused by tonsillitis which can also be attributed to other conditions.If you experience any of the symptoms below, ensure to speak with your health care professional.
1. Tonsil-Related Symptoms
Tonsillitis causes the tonsils to become inflamed, which leads to many physical changes that can be noted as symptoms of the condition. The tonsils may be swollen, and it is often the case that the lymph nodes also become inflamed and firm. If the tonsils have white spots on them, your tonsillitis may be caused by a bacterial infection.
2. Throat-Related Symptoms
The most common symptom of tonsillitis experienced by many is a sore throat, which can also include difficulty and pain when swallowing. It is also possible for sever tonsillitis to develop into a mild case of laryngitis, which can lead to a scratchy throat or potentially the inability to speak.
3. Flu-Like Symptoms
Due to the nature of the condition, and the bacterial or viral cause of tonsillitis, it is common for those infected to experience flu-like symptoms. These can include fevers, headaches, ear aches or body aches.
Also Check: Does A Probiotic Cancel Out An Antibiotic
How Long Will It Take My Tonsillitis To Go Away With Or Without Antibiotics
Tonsillitis caused by a bacterial infection, such as strep throat, would typically be treated with antibiotics because youre much more likely to experience complications, says James Clark, MBBCh, instructor of otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. Once a person with strep starts antibiotics we would expect them to have significant improvement of symptoms within the first 24 to 72 hours, he says.
For tonsillitis caused by a viral infection, antibiotics are not recommended, says Dr. Clark. The infection would typically resolve itself within five to seven days without any intervention, he says.
And if symptoms are still present at the end of that period the patient would be asked to return for a re-evaluation.
Symptoms Of Tonsillitis In Adults
Generally, the symptoms are the same for both children and adults.
Symptoms may include:
The most common cause of bacterial tonsillitis is Group A Streptococcus or streptococcus pyogenes.
This can be effectively treated with Penicillin V.
The second most common bacterial cause of tonsillitis is Streptococcus Pneumoniae.
Other causes are Haemophilus Influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, and Staphylococcus aureus.
You May Like: Natural Antibiotics For Yeast Infection
Side Effects Of Azithromycin
Some of the common side effects of taking Azithromycin higher than the recommended dosage for tonsillitis are-
- Prescribed medicines for blood clotting such as antithrombin III, bivalirudin, dalteparin, Amiodarone, Digoxin, Quinidine and Live typhoid vaccine
Not only the above medicines, but also over-the-counter drugs, vitamins and other dietary supplements and herbal supplements can also interact with Azithromycin. Thus, consult with the doctor regarding the same.
|Benefits||treats various lungs and other respiratory infections such as bronchitis, sinusitis, community acquired pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and whooping cough, bacterial infections such as skin infections, ear infections, cat-scratch disease, genital infections and sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea, genital ulcers, urethra or cervical infections and severe pelvic inflammatory disease|
In addition to taking into consideration the above conditions, there are some other precautions too.
- Avoid taking this medication if you are allergic to it
- Dont take Azithromycin if you have suffered with jaundice or liver problems in the past
- If you have suffered from kidney problems, then dont take this medicine
- People with low levels of potassium should not take this medicine
- Pregnant or lactating women can take this medicine safely. However, it is better to consult with the gynecologist before.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 Considerations
Bann et al compiled a set of recommendations for best pediatric otolaryngology practices with regard to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. These included the following for procedures involving the oral cavity, oropharynx, nasal cavity, or nasopharynx :
- Whenever possible, defer procedures involving the nasal cavity, nasopharynx, oral cavity, or oropharynx, as these pose a high risk for COVID-19 owing to the high viral burden in these locations
- Whenever possible, preoperative COVID-19 testing should be administered to patients and caregivers prior to surgical intervention
- Employment of enhanced personal protective equipment , with a strong recommendation for the use of a powered air-purifying respirator , should be undertaken with any patient with unknown, suspected, or positive COVID-19 status
- Limit the use of powered instrumentation, including microdebriders, to reduce aerosol generation
With regard to audiologic evaluation and otologic surgery, the recommendations include the following :
With regard to head and neck surgery and deep neck space infections, the recommendations include the following :
With regard to craniomaxillofacial trauma, the guidelines include the following :
You May Like: Non Prescription Antibiotic Eye Drops For Dogs
How Long Tonsillitis Lasts
Symptoms will usually go away after 3 to 4 days.
Tonsillitis is not contagious, but most of the infections that cause it are, for example, colds and flu.
To stop these infections spreading:
- if you or your child have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to do your normal activities, try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until you feel better
- use tissues when you cough or sneeze and throw them away
- wash your hands after coughing or sneezing