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Causes and Symptoms of Tonsillitis

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, MS-ENT, DNB (ENT) -, DOHNS(LONDON) -
ENT Specialist, Gurgaon  •  21 years experience
Causes and Symptoms of Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis is a disorder of the tonsils present on the back of your throat. The tonsils acts as a defensive mechanism in the body as they prevent the body from infections. This is a contagious condition and can occur at any age. It is widely prevalent among school going kids.

Tonsillitis may be classified into two types:

  1. Chronic tonsillitis: This type of tonsillitis tends to last for an extended duration with symptoms of bad breath and tenderness in the lymph nodes.
  2. Recurrent tonsillitis: This is a form of acute tonsillitis which repeats itself over a year.

Causes: Tonsils prevent various virus and bacteria from entering the body through the mouth by producing antibodies. The tonsils, however, may become vulnerable to these infections. A virus that causes common cold or the bacteria that causes strep throat may result in tonsillitis. The most common cause of this disorder is the strep bacteria. School going children are especially vulnerable to this disorder because they are most prone to various infections.

The various viruses that may cause tonsillitis are:

  1. Enterovirus
  2. Herpes simplex virus
  3. Epstein-Barr virus
  4. Influenza virus
  5. Adenovirus
  6. Parainfluenza virus

Common symptoms: 
The various symptoms of tonsillitis are

  1. Swallowing difficulties
  2. A sore throat
  3. The sore throat may result in bad breath
  4. You may experience fever and chills
  5. Pain in the head, ear and stomach
  6. You may experience stiffness in the neck and the jaw
  7. Swollen tonsils with possible redness
  8. Changes in voice
  9. Symptoms of cold

Treatment: The treatment for tonsillitis is usually antibiotics and in some cases, tonsillectomy. The antibiotics help in getting rid of the bacterial infection. Surgery is only done in cases where tonsillitis is chronic in nature. It is important that you drink fluids and restrict smoking to prevent tonsillitis.

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