Viral sore throats can affect anyone and often accompany a heavy cold. At worst they will usually last up to five days and cause pain on swallowing and eating. Its important to treat these symptomatically- stay well hydrated and warm, take paracetamol, and reduce activity. If the problem is more severe and producing lots of time of work and school, together with significant pain, not relieved by the usual painkillers, it may be the tonsils to blame.
The tonsils sit a the back of the mouth in an area called the oropharynx. They can be seen if you open your mouth widely and say 'aah' with your tongue out. They sit at either side of the back of the tongue and vary in size. When infected they give rise to pain which can also be transmitted to the ears. The area of the neck just under the tonsils tends to be sore at these times as the glands which drain the tonsils swell and become tender.
Tonsillitis has been experienced by most people at some point in their lives and for most, it is a temporary upset. There are however a group of people for whom repeated courses of antibiotics fail to completely rid them of the problem and in this group, tonsillectomy tends to be very effective.
Research into the long term effects of recurrent tonsillitis is limited but taking out the tonsils gets rid of the problem. The operation takes around twenty minutes and is usually very straightforward. The risks of surgery are bleeding and infection but these are rare and if they occur - easily treated. Taking out the tonsils is thought by some patients to be a problem for the immune system, but this is not the case. The discomfort following tonsillectomy can increase for the first week after surgery before gradually disappearing. It is important to take painkillers and plenty of fluids. Sucking on an ice cube is useful if the back of the throat feels swollen.
If you would like to arrange a consultation with Mr Banerjee to look into this condition further please contact us.