Oman Health - Key Insights on Tonsillitis.
Decoding Doctor - Tonsillitis
Tonsils are filters against infection, says Dr Laith Ismail Dawood, ENT Specialist, Al Hayat Hospital. Here are some key insights into tonsillitis:
What is tonsillitis? Is it common only among children?
Tonsillitis is basically infection of the tonsils, which can be acute or chronic. Tonsils are part of the lymphoid tissue of the body. They are referred to as the first defence mechanism of the body. They act as filters, trapping germs that could enter one's airways thereby causing infection and produce antibodies that fight the infection. Yes, tonsillitis is more common among children (5-10 years) because they have weaker immune systems and are more exposed to infections.
What are the common causes of tonsillitis?
Immunity is very important for children. Hence, parents need to take care of good feeding habits and hygiene to prevent them from contracting infections from common places like the park, school, market. Tonsillitis starts from a viral infection that becomes a bacterial infection and the predisposing factors come from the environment, like a cold climate, air-conditioned premises, consumption of cold water or foods. Inflated tonsils are only a sign of the defence mechanism getting activated to fight infection. It is not harmful unless it interferes with normal breathing or causes difficulty while swallowing.
What are the treatment options for tonsillitis?
Medication (antibiotics and painkillers) is the common solution to treat tonsillitis and to relieve allied nasal congestions. In some cases, removal of the tonsils is recommended.
When is removal of tonsils recommended?
Tonsils are not something extra in the body, they are necessary glands that act as a filter against infection. However, when they get infected to a great extent and causes constant discomfort to the patient, like recurring colds, fevers, sore throat, difficulty in breathing and swallowing, all of which interferes with normal life, then removal of tonsils is considered to improve the quality of life.
Does removal of tonsils have any side-effects?
Removal of tonsils, which is part of the first defence mechanism, doesn't weaken the immune system, nor does it have any harmful effect on the body. In fact, after removal of infected tonsils, the child is rid of constant illnesses, becomes healthier and even puts on weight.
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