For Doctors Emergency Care Medikoe LogoDr Specialisation
Book AppointmentHealth HubMedicommunity
Home > Health Hub > Article > Is Tonsillitis Serious?

Is Tonsillitis Serious?

Medikoe Health Expert

Medikoe Health Expert

  Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru     Feb 11, 2017

   2 min     


Tonsils are the two lymph nodes located on each side of the back of your throat. They function as a defense mechanism. They help prevent your body from infection. When the tonsils become infected, the condition is called tonsillitis.

People have four sets of tonsils, but, usually, palatine tonsils are the only tonsils that are visible under normal circumstances.

Tonsillitis can occur at any age and is a common childhood infection. It is most often diagnosed in children from preschool age through their mid-teenage. It is contagious and can be caused by a variety of common viruses and bacteria, such as streptococcal bacteria, which causes strep throat. Strep throat leads to serious complications if left untreated.

Symptoms of tonsillitis

Symptoms of tonsillitis usually go away within 7 to 10 days.

There are several types of tonsillitis, and there are many possible symptoms that include, a very sore throat, painful swallowing, a scratchy- sounding voice, bad breath, fever, chills, earaches, stomach-aches, headaches, a stiff neck, jaw and neck tenderness, tonsils that appear red and swollen and tonsils that have white or yellow spots.

In very young children, increased irritability, poor appetite, or excessive drooling is noticed.

There are two types of tonsillitis:

•    Recurrent tonsillitis: multiple episodes of acute tonsillitis a year

•    Chronic tonsillitis: last longer than acute tonsillitis in addition to other symptoms that include:

  • A chronic sore throat.
  • Bad breath, or halitosis.
  • Tender lymph nodes in the neck. 

Causes of tonsillitis

Tonsillitis is viral, but sometimes it can be bacterial. If it is due to a bacterium belonging to the group A streptococcus, the condition is referred to as Strep throat.

Viral causes

 The most common types of the virus to infect the tonsils are:

•    Adenovirus, which is associated with the common cold and sore throat.

•    Rhinovirus, which is the most common cause of the common cold.

•    Influenza, which is often referred to as flu.

•    Respiratory syncytial virus, which often causes acute respiratory tract infections.

•    Coronavirus, which has two subtypes that infect humans, one of which causes SARS.

Less commonly, viral tonsillitis can be caused by:

•    Epstein-Barr virus

•    Herpes simplex virus

•    cytomegalovirus

Bacterial causes

The most common type of bacteria to infect the tonsils is Streptococcus pyogenes. But, less often, it can be caused other species, including:

•    Staphylococcus aureus

•    Mycoplasma pneumonia

•    Chlamydia pneumonia

•    Bordetella pertussis

•    Fusobacterium sp.

•    Neisseria gonorrhoeae

Treatment of tonsillitis

 The first line of tonsillitis care can be carried out at home.

  • Drinking plenty of fluids may reduce the risk of contracting tonsillitis
  • Taking rest can help in fighting the infection.
  • Gargling with salt water will help with a sore throat.
  • Sucking throat lozenges may help.
  • Using air humidifiers or sitting in a steamy bathroom can alleviate the irritation caused by dry air.
  • Avoiding irritants, such as tobacco and smoky locations.
  • Taking medication (antibiotics and pain relievers) can help with pain and fever.
Tags:  ENT - Ear Nose Throat,

Note: We at Medikoe provide you with the best healthcare articles written and endorsed by experts of the healthcare industry to boost you knowledge. However, we strongly recommend that users consult a doctor or concerned service provider for expert diagnosis before acting on this information.

  5 Likes |    0 Comments |    0 Share |    2996 Views