Posts for: January, 2016
Previously we’ve discussed sore throats, some of their causes, and home remedies. But you may be thinking, “I’ve tried everything and my sore throat just won’t go away. What else can I do?” Maybe you’ve had tonsillitis several times in the past year. Or maybe you have difficulty breathing at night. If this is the case, a tonsillectomy—a surgical procedure to remove the tonsils—may be necessary. Discover more about tonsillectomies here!
What are Tonsils?
Tonsils are oval-shaped tissue located at the back of the throat. Their main responsibility is to help fight infection; you can consider the tonsils the body’s first defense between the germs in the air and your throat. However, sometimes the tonsils get infected—also known as tonsillitis—and cause inflammation and pain. If you or your child experiences recurrent tonsillitis, inability to breathe at night (sleep apnea), or difficulty swallowing meats or chewy foods Dr. Peterson or Dr. McMaster may suggest a tonsillectomy.
What is a Tonsillectomy?
A tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure in which the tonsils are removed. Tonsillectomies are performed with the patient under general anesthesia, which means that you or your child will not be conscious and won’t feel any pain during the surgery. Additionally, an anesthesiologist will be present to monitor you during the surgery. Tonsillectomies are done through the mouth and no incisions are made on the skin.
What's the Recovery Process Like?
The recovery process typical takes from anywhere between 7-10 days. During the recovery process it is very important to stay hydrated. Water, juice, and popsicles are a good choice to get the necessary fluids.
Your throat will be sore, so be sure to eat bland, soft, and easy to swallow foods like applesauce, chicken noodle soup, and mashed potatoes for the first several days. The only real diet restriction after this surgery is no hard, crunchy, or scratchy foods, as eating these can scratch the scabs off the back of the throat and cause bleeding.
Also, be sure to get plenty of rest after the surgery. Avoid activities like running, heavy lifting, and other strenuous activities for at least seven days as this may increase bleeding.
It is also very important to stay on your pain medication and take it as directed by your doctor to keep the pain under control.
We hope you feel more informed about this procedure! If you have any additional questions, feel free to give our office a call.
Looking for relief from a sore throat? Dr. Peterson and Dr. McMaster recommend these home remedies for sore throats. Give them a try!
Honey and Lemon
- 1 cup of warm water
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Mix together the warm water, honey and lemon juice. Drink the mixture as often as needed.
Gargling with salt water helps relieve pain and reduce swelling.
- 1 cup of warm water (8 oz.)
- ½ teaspoon of table salt
Gargle and spit. Do not use more than 3 times daily.
Dr. McMaster and Dr. Peterson both highly recommend Alkolol, a blend of natural ingredients that includes menthol, eucalyptol, wintergreen, spearmint, pine, and cinnamon. If you have discomfort from a cold, sinus infection, or recent nasal surgery, Alkolol will relieve some of your pain. It can be used as a spray in your nose or as a gargle. Follow package directions.
It’s the start of the New Year; the holidays are over, the kids are back in school, and sore throats are a familiar part of your life. Unfortunately, sore throats are not an unusual occurrence at this time of year due to colds, allergies to indoor allergens (i.e. molds, dust, pets, or other bacteria), and strep throat. So how do you know what’s causing your sore throat?
Whenever a sore throat is severe, persists longer than the usual five-to-seven day duration of a cold or flu, and is not associated with an avoidable allergy or irritation, you may have strep throat.
Symptoms of Strep Throat
Did you know that strep throat only accounts for a small portion of sore throats? So how can you tell if your sore throat is actually the nasty Streptococcal Pharyngitis bacteria?
· Painful swallowing
· A sore throat that comes on suddenly
· Red bumps (often called strawberry tongue) at the back of the tongue or throat
· Red and inflamed tonsils, with white draining patches
· Aches and pains
These symptoms are not always an indication of strep throat. One of the doctors in our office can test the bacteria located at the back of the throat by performing a throat swab, a non-surgical procedure that uses an instrument to take a sampling of the infected cells to diagnose the strep throat bacteria.
If you are diagnosed with strep throat an antibiotic will be prescribed to help alleviate your symptoms and get you feeling better as soon as possible. If it is determined that you do not have strep throat, antibiotics may still be used to treat other forms of bacteria in the throat. However, antibiotics are generally avoided if you are suspected of having a viral sore throat. If you’re feeling under the weather, give our office a call today to discuss your treatment options.
Strep throat is often treated with antibiotic quickly because it can lead to serious complications like inflammation in the kidneys, rheumatic fever, and scarlet fever. Additionally, the bacteria may spread to other parts of the body, such as the throat, middle ears, and blood and cause infections. Strep throat itself isn’t dangerous, but because of these complications our office prefers to take fast action when treating the Streptococcal Pharyngitis bacteria.
Recurrent Strep Throat
Additionally, if you find that you have recurrent strep throat—whether you get strep the same time every year or experience it several times a year—getting your tonsils removed can decrease the occurrences of strep throat. One of the doctors in our office can sit down with you to discuss your previous health history and the option of a tonsillectomy.