The tonsils are special lymph nodes located on either sides at the back of the throat, behind the tongue. They play a major role in trapping infection causing germs. Tonsils contain antibodies and cells that can tackle infections from spreading into the body. Tonsils store white blood cells and form part of the body's immune system. But when virus or bacteria infect the tonsils, a person suffers from tonsillitis. Tonsillitis is often noticed in children. Tonsillitis usually spreads from person to person by contact. Tonsillitis can in some cases lead to secondary infection of the middle ear or scarlet fever.
Symptoms of tonsillitis include swollen glands at the back of the neck and dark red tonsils. The voice may sound different. The person may have fever and chills. There may be headache and severe sore throat. The patient may have difficulty in swallowing. Viral infections cause milder symptoms. A throat culture or rapid strep test is used to test whether the tonsillitis is triggered by viral or bacterial infection.
Often tonsillitis is caused due to respiratory virus infections such as strep throat. Over-the-counter medications may be used to reduce pain and fever. Suitable antibiotics are prescribed to tackle the streptococcal bacteria, if that is identified as the source of tonsillitis. These days doctors do not recommend surgical removal of the tonsils (tonsillectomy). Adequate rest, plenty of warm fluids and smooth foods can bring considerable relief to a person suffering from tonsillitis.
Cervical Lymphadenitis is inflammation in the lymph glands of the neck. This lymph gland enlargement is usually secondary to any viral or bacterial infections. This condition is often noticed with tonsillitis, pharyngitis or even dental infection. Cervical Lymphadenitis is commonly seen in children suffering from upper respiratory infection. Infections such as diphtheria, tuberculosis or wounds caused by cat-scratch disease or impetigo can bring on Cervical Lymphadenitis.
Symptoms of Cervical Lymphadenitis include pain and tenderness in the lymph glands of the neck. There might be cough, sore throat and fever. Often patients suffering from Cervical Lymphadenitis experience irritability and earache. In some cases, scalp infections or impetigo or dermatitis is noticed. Chest x-rays and skin tests are used to diagnose the cause for the swollen lymph nodes. The infected nodes are sometimes aspirated for further analysis. Biopsy might be done in some cases.
In most cases, Cervical Lymphadenitis does not need any treatment. Once the cause for the swollen lymph glands is identified, appropriate treatment is prescribed. Penicillin or dicloxacillin is often used.
Dysphagia is a swallowing disorder where patients feel a choking sensation on eating or drinking. There is a sensation of food being stuck in the throat or chest. The word is derived from the Greek word for disordered eating.
Dysphagia can be caused due to GERD, mouth cancer or esophageal cancer or even a stroke. Those suffering from Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Multiple sclerosis, laryngitis and tonsillitis are more likely to suffer this condition. There is a risk of aspiration pneumonia, dehydration and airway obstruction. The patient coughs frequently and anything that is eaten escapes from the mouth or nose.
The patient is examined for swallowing assessment and detecting swallowing abnormalities. The back of the tongue, throat and larynx is examined with a flexible laryngoscope. Endoscopic examination of the esophagus and stomach is also done. A barium swallow helps capture the movement of food on swallowing. Food modification, surgery or physical modifications are resorted to.
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: August 24, 2019