What is Tonsillitis?

The tonsils are normal structures located on each side of the back of the throat. Tonsils is an integral part of the immune system that produce antibodies to fight against germs from attacking the mouth. The tonsils will be enlarged in case of infection, causing a condition called tonsillitis. There are two types of tonsillitis:

  • Acute tonsillitis, which refers to the occasional tonsil infection
  • Recurrent tonsillitis, which refers to recurring tonsil infections

Viral infection is the main cause of tonsillitis. Infection with streptococcus bacterium can also cause tonsillitis, a condition commonly known as strep throat or a throat infection.

  • Abdominal pain in children
  • Difficulty and painful swallowing
  • Fever and chills
  • Headache
  • Loss of voice
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph glands at the jaws and neck
  • White spots of pus on the tonsils

Treatment for tonsillitis depends on the cause and severity of the condition.  Doctor will perform a throat swab to check for streptococcal bacteria, or a complete blood cell count to determine the cause of infection. Depending on the results of the tests, doctor will recommend treatment that finds most appropriate to the patient:

  • If tonsillitis is caused by a virus, appropriate home-care is sufficient to treat the condition.
  • If tonsillitis is caused by a bacteria, antibiotics will be prescribed. For children who have difficulty swallowing, antibiotics will be given through injection.
  • Tonsillectomy, surgical removal of the tonsils, may be recommended for children who suffer from recurrent tonsillitis and do not respond to other treatment options.

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