What is Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils located at the back of the throat. It is generally due to either viral or bacterial infection (often by the streptococcal bacteria), and causes swelling and redness of the tonsils, possibly with white or yellow spots of pus. The adenoids may also become inflamed and infected.

Tonsillitis can occur at any time but is particularly common during childhood. In rare cases complications such as quinsy (an abscess behind the tonsil), kidney inflammation, or rheumatic fever may develop.

• swelling and tenderness of the lymph nodes in the neck
• sore throat with pain on swallowing
• headache, earache, and general weakness and malaise
• fever
• bad breath
• constipation

Tonsillitis is more common in children than in adults. Tonsillitis usually develops suddenly as a result of a streptococcal infection but may also be caused by a viral infection.

In chronic tonsillitis the tonsils tend to flare up in episodes of acute infection, causing scarring that makes them difficult to treat in subsequent attacks.

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