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Tonsillitis

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.

Otolaryngologist

Also known as otorhinolaryngolongists or ENT specialists, otolaryngolongists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating disorders of the ear, nose and throat. After completing medical school, a one year residency in general surgery is compulsory further followed by four years of residency in otolaryngology. Being specialists in the ENT organs, otolaryngolongists perform the following functions:


  • Primarily treat disorders related to ear, nose, and throat.
  • Treat conditions like sinus and problems with nasal cavities by either prescribing medicines or performing surgery.
  • They treat allergies and help improve the shape and look of the nose (rhinoplasty).
  • They treat hearing problems, ear infections, balance disorders of the ears, tinnitus (ear noise), cranial nerve disorder etc.
  • They treat conditions like sleep apnea.
  • They cure tonsils either through medication or surgery, they treat throat disorders including voice and swallowing disorders.

Modern techniques used in the field of otolaryngology


ENT field has seen a lot of innovations in use of equipment and technology, modern methods have paved avenues for better treatment methods.

  • Modern equipment have paved ways for these specialists to perform reconstructive surgeries for nose, jaw, ear and facial areas.
  • RAST (radio-allergosorbent-test) is used for curing allergies.
  • Technique called the skin endpoint titration is used to cure allergies.
  • Endoscope technique is used to treat sinus and other blockages.
  • Modern audio logic equipment is used to diagnose and treat hearing problems.

Guide to choose the right otolaryngologist


  • Ask your family physician to refer to the right specialist.
  • Check if the specialist you have chosen is certified by an authorized board.
  • Check if the hospital where your specialist practices has the required infrastructure and modern equipment needed for your treatment.


Pharyngitis

When the pharynx is inflamed, it is referred to as a sore throat or Pharyngitis. This condition is a common occurrence when there is any viral upper respiratory infection. In severe cases, Pharyngitis can also be indicative of diphtheria, gonorrhea or HIV. Pharyngitis is usually caused by micro organisms such as Streptococcus, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae cause bacterial pharyngitis. This condition is contagious and is usually noticed in the winter months. Allergies, exposure to smoke and pollutants can cause sore throat and pharyngitis due to postnasal drip. If left untreated, pharyngitis can lead to rheumatic fever, scarlet fever, tonsillitis or pneumonia.


A person suffering from an upper respiratory tract infection such as pharyngitis will have sore throat and difficulty in swallowing. Accompanying fever, headache and swollen lymph nodes in the neck will also be noticed. Other symptoms of pharyngitis include cough, swollen tonsils and post nasal drip. There may be headache and earache. A physician will check the patient's eyes, throat and lymph nodes in the neck. A throat swab culture is done to diagnose the cause of infection. Bacterial infection or strep throat is treated with suitable antibiotics.


  • Adequate rest
  • Plenty of fluids
  • Warm salt water gargle
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol
  • Adequate rest
  • Plenty of fluids
  • Warm salt water gargle
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: March 20, 2019