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Tonsillitis

  • What is Tonsillitis?

    The tonsils are located on each side of the back of the throat. They form a part of the immune system and produce antibodies to fight germs that attack the mouth. The tonsils can become infected and swollen, causing tonsillitis. There are 2 types of tonsillitis:

    • Acute tonsillitis, which refers to the occasional tonsil infection
    • Recurrent tonsillitis, which refers to repeating 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 pain when 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
  • The treatment for tonsillitis depends on the cause and the severity of the condition. The doctor will take a throat swab to check for streptococcal bacteria (strep throat), or a complete blood cell count to find the cause of the infection. Depending on the results of the tests, the doctor will recommend the best treatment for the condition:

    • If caused by a virus, suitable home care is enough to treat your condition.
    • If caused by a bacteria, antibiotics will be prescribed. These may be given as an injection if a child has difficulty swallowing due to tonsillitis.
    • Tonsillectomy, the surgical removal of the tonsils, may be advised for children who suffer from recurrent tonsillitis and do not respond to other treatment options.
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