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Understanding Tonsillitis -- Diagnosis and Treatment

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What Are the Treatments for Tonsillitis? continued...

Frequent cases of tonsillitis that affect your child's general health, interfere with school attendance, cause breathing problems (snoring), snoring, or difficulty swallowing may warrant surgical removal of the tonsils (tonsillectomy). This procedure is usually performed as outpatient surgery and your child can go home after a few hours of observation.

Recovery is usually helped by rest and avoiding vigorous activity. Try to get your child to drink plenty of fluids, but don't force him or her to eat or drink. Older children should be given at least a pint of extra liquids per day. Although ice cream is usually the favorite food to cool the throat, it's okay to offer your child any foods he or she desires if it will make your child more comfortable and help him or her eat. Do only what your doctor advises to lower your child's fever.

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 (hypertrophy) causing obstructive symptoms such as snoring, sleep apnea, and difficulty swallowing.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Daniel Brennan, MD on March 12, 2014
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