Symptoms, causes, risk factors and treatment

Overview Overview Overview

Tonsillitis is a common and persistent problem that occurs primarily in infants and teens, characterized by inflammation or swelling of the tonsils. The tonsils, a small oval gland in the back of the throat. The tonsils are the first line of defense of the immune system against bacteria and viruses that enter the mouth. This function can make the tonsils particularly vulnerable to infection and inflammation.

Can Bacterial Infections Cause Tonsillitis?

Viral infections are the main cause of tonsillitis, but in some cases, bacteria can also infect the tonsils. Streptococcus pyogenes are the major bacteria responsible for tonsillitis. Bacterial tonsillitis is more common in growing children and adolescents than in small children. Bacterial tonsillitis, if left untreated, takes longer to heal than viral tonsillitis. Antibiotics are the main and most effective treatment for tonsillitis due to bacterial infections.

Symptoms of tonsillitis are:

  • Swelling, redness, inflammation of the tonsils
  • Visible patch of tonsils
  • sore throat
  • Dysphagia, difficulty talking
  • Fever and chills
  • Swelling of lymph nodes
  • bad breath
  • Scratched voice, etc.
  • Persistent headaches, head and neck stiffness, etc.

When do you see a doctor?

If your child or adolescent has the following symptoms, you should see a doctor.

  • Experience sore throat for more than 24-48 hours
  • Refuse food or water due to difficulty swallowing
  • Noisy, frustrated and showing extreme fatigue
  • heat

However, if your child has any of the following symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately.

  • Facing breathing problems
  • Extreme pain in the throat and extreme discomfort when swallowing
  • I can’t even swallow saliva and keep dripping

Cause Of tonsillitis

As mentioned above, tonsillitis can be caused by both viral and bacterial infections. The most common type of bacterial tonsillitis caused by the Streptococcus pyogenes strain. There are also other strains of streptococcus that cause tonsillitis. Tonsillitis caused by the virus will heal spontaneously without treatment.

Risk factor Of tonsillitis

The two major risk factors for bacterial tonsillitis are:

  • Childhood and adolescence.. Bacterial tonsillitis is common in infants and teens. Bacterial tonsillitis is common in children aged 5 to 15 years. Viral tonsillitis is more common in younger children, such as children aged 2 to 5 years. Tonsillitis in children under the age of 2 is relatively rare.
  • Exposure to pathogens.. Children who go to school are more exposed to infectious diseases than adults because they are closer to their friends.

processing For tonsillitis

Antibiotics.. Bacterial tonsillitis can be cured by following a course of antibiotics. For tonsillitis caused by streptococci, the most common treatment is to take the antibiotic penicillin orally for 10 days. If you are allergic to penicillin, your doctor will give your child other antibiotics.

Even if the symptoms subside, the child must complete the entire course of antibiotic treatment. When antibiotics are incompletely administered, the bacteria become resistant to the drug, worsening their symptoms and causing rheumatic fever and, in some cases, renal dysfunction. Your doctor should advise you on the amount and duration of antibiotics.

For tonsillitis caused by the virus, antibiotics do not help. Instead, the following measures may help:

  • Make sure your child is well hydrated to keep his throat moist. A dry place is ideal for the growth of organisms.
  • Make sure your child gets enough rest so that the body heals naturally
  • Hot drinks such as milk, hot chocolate, hot water with honey, and soups can help.
  • Provide more Vitamin C to your child to boost the body’s natural immune system
  • Gargling with salt and lukewarm water is an excellent treatment for sore throat only if the child can gargle properly.
  • Vapor inhalation is also an excellent remedy to moisturize the throat and reduce irritation.

Surgery.. In some cases, tonsillectomy, which surgically removes the tonsils, remains the only option. If tonsillitis occurs frequently, or if bacterial tonsillitis that cannot be treated with antibiotics occurs frequently, a doctor usually recommends a tonsillectomy. Tonsillectomy is also selected when chronic tonsillitis causes respiratory problems in children and disturbs normal sleep, swallowing, and digestive patterns.

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Complications of tonsillitis

Chronic and frequent tonsillitis can cause the following conditions:

  • Difficulty and obstruction during breathing
  • Sleep apnea, a disorder and confusion of breathing patterns during deep sleep
  • Tonsillitis, a condition in which the infection spreads to nearby tissues
  • Peritonsillar abscess, pus buildup behind the tonsils

Suppose your child suffers from streptococcal pharyngitis, or his / her tonsillitis is due to a bacterial infection and has not completed complete antibiotic treatment. In that case, your child may experience the following complications:

Streptococcus retroglomerulonephritis.. This is a life-threatening condition in which the kidneys do not function properly. As a result, excess water and nitrogen waste accumulates in the blood.

Rheumatic fever.. Inflammation in the body that affects various organs and tissues in the body, such as the heart and joints.

Prevention of tonsillitis

Tonsillitis is a moderately contagious disease, so adhering to basic hygiene is paramount to confirming its spread. You must encourage your child to follow the steps given below:

  • Proper hand washing is very important, especially before and after meals
  • Don’t let your child share spoons, food, water bottles and other utensils with friends
  • Discard the old toothbrush after recovering from tonsillitis

Being a responsible parent, if you have frequent tonsillitis, it is also important to limit your child’s activities to prevent the spread of the infection to others. You can follow the steps below:

  • Make sure the sick child stays at home until healed completely
  • Make sure your child covers his nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing


Tonsillitis can be caused by either a virus or a bacterium. Tonsillitis is a common problem in children and adolescents, but it can cause complications if left untreated or ignored. In order to combat this disease, it is important for parents to develop health and hygiene habits for their children from early childhood.

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