Tongue depressors can be used to examine a throat for symptoms of a sore throat, strep throat, or tonsillitis. The three look similar from examination of the throat, but vary largely in its severity and treatment.
Sore throats are usually just a mild irritation caused by pollution or allergies, and will heal if left alone or treated with over-the-counter medication. Strep throat, on the other hand, is more serious. As a result of this bacterial infection, the mucous membranes in the throat swell. Strep throat is contagious and needs to be treated with antibiotics. Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils, pads of tissue on the sides of the throat, and is usually caused by a virus or bacterial infection. Tonsillitis, if reoccurring or not healing, may require the removal of the tonsils.
As the tongue blocks the channel of the throat, tongue depressors will be used by medical professionals to hygienically press the tongue down, allowing the medical professional to examine the throat, usually with the aid of a light. Examining the throat can help physicians identify infections or sores in the palate. Early detection of arising problems in the throat can help prevent serious problems from developing.
- The tongue depressors are made of sturdy plastic and come in a variety of different sizes and sterilization options to fit every need;
- The tongue depressors are lightweight, portable, and easy to use;
- These tongue depressors are affordable and widely available.
Hold the tongue depressor by the non-smooth end. Open the mouth. Press the tongue depressor down on the first two-thirds of the tongue gently but firmly.
Examine the throat and palate, using the tongue depressor to move the tongue around as is necessary.