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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes white spots on the tonsils?

Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3129 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 23 Aug 2017 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: My daughter has white spots on her tonsil on the right side . It is very hard for her to swallow . Her right ear is also hurting .

About how long will it take for a response ? Thanks
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 37 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Information

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXXXXX

White spots on the tonsils is often a sign of strep tonsillitis. If she also has a fever and swollen, tender lymph nodes in the region, it makes it even more likely. While I tend to be conservative about advising antibiotics (because in contributes to increasing bacterial resistance, and side effects), with strep, it is is very important to take an antibiotic to eradicate it to decrease the risk of complications such as rheumatic fever. To diagnose strep, a swab of the tonsil is taken and tested, which can be done while you wait. So I highly recommend she go in to an urgent care clinic tonight to be seen.

Other possibilities are that this is caused by a viral infection (including mono, which is caused by the Epstein Barr virus), which can not be treated with an antibiotic. A mono test can be done at the same time in the clinic.

Ear symptoms may be due to an ear infection, but it is most likely related to the inflammation in the right side of her throat, which can cause drainage to go up into the right ear and right sided eustachian tube dysfunction.

So... it is time for her to go in to be seen tonight.

I am sorry no one responded immediately, but in truth it can take hours to do so depending on the number of doctors that are comfortable with a particular topic being on the site.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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