Tonsillitis Specialist

Petoskey Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists

Audiology & Otolaryngology located in Petoskey, MI & Gaylord, MI

While tonsillitis is most common in children and teenagers, you can develop this painful throat condition at any age. The team at Petoskey Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in Petoskey and Gaylord, Michigan, diagnose tonsillitis and offer effective treatments that can ease your pain and help your body fight off the infection causing your swollen and painful tonsils. If you or your child are suffering from a sore throat that makes it painful to talk or swallow, call Petoskey Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.

Tonsillitis Q & A

What is tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is a condition that occurs when a virus or bacteria infect your tonsils. Your tonsils become red and inflamed, making it painful for you to talk or swallow.

Your tonsils are the two oval-shaped glands located on either side of the top of your throat. These glands are your first defense against many viruses and bacteria, catching them before they can make their way into your lungs or digestive tract.  

What are the symptoms of tonsillitis?

In addition to a sore, swollen throat, tonsillitis also causes:

  • Trouble swallowing or talking
  • Fever
  • A headache
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck and under your chin
  • A scratchy, muffled voice
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Stiff neck

Depending on the type of infection, you may also notice yellow or white patches on your tonsils. Younger children may drool or refuse to eat when they have tonsilitis.

How is tonsillitis different from a sore throat?

Many conditions cause a sore throat. For example, if you have a head cold or sinusitis, you may suffer from post-nasal drip or have to breathe through your mouth, which can irritate your throat.

Tonsillitis is specifically an infection of your tonsils. For example, strep throat is a bacterial infection of your tonsils.

How is tonsillitis diagnosed?

The team at Petoskey Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists diagnose tonsillitis with an exam and testing to identify the type of infection. Your provider looks into your throat and feels the glands in your neck and under your chin. They also listen to your breathing and may feel your abdomen to check for swelling in your spleen, a sign of mononucleosis.

Your doctor may also perform a throat swab to collect secretions from your throat to test for signs of a bacterial infection.

How is tonsillitis treated?

Treatment for tonsillitis depends on the infection causing the inflammation in your tonsils. For example, if you have a bacterial infection such as strep throat, your provider prescribes an antibiotic to fight off the bacteria. However, if your infection is viral, you may have to take antiviral medication or rest and use treatments to soothe your symptoms while your body fights off the illness.

When you have an illness like tonsillitis, resting is critical to your recovery. Make sure to drink plenty of clear, sugar-free fluids and eat soft, easy to swallow foods like soup and yogurt until your throat feels better.

If you or your child are showing signs of tonsillitis, call Petoskey Ear,Nose and Throat Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.