Taming tonsillitis

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You probably had it yourself as a child, but tonsillitis is just as disruptive now as it was then. For the record, tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils, which are the small masses of lymphatic tissue at the back of the throat. It most commonly affects children between the ages of 3 and 7. Obstruction to breathing by enlarged tonsils may cause snoring and disturbed sleep patterns.

The tonsils are usually only removed in cases of recurring or serious infection, or for significant airway obstruction. Bacterial tonsillitis is usually treated with antibiotics.

What causes tonsillitis?


Bacterial

  • Most tonsil infections and abscesses in children are caused by the Streptococcus bacterium.
  • Strep tonsillitis can have serious complications and should be treated as soon as possible.
  • Some complications of streptococcus infection can include rheumatic fever, scarlet fever, sinusitis, pneumonia, and ear infections.

Viral
  • The viruses that cause the common cold or influenza (flu) may be responsible for tonsillitis.
  • Rapid enlargement of the tonsils can result from a throat infection called infectious mononucleosis (mono).
  • In young children, mononucleosis is usually mild, and can be mistaken for a common cold or flu.
How have you treated tonsillitis in the past? Was this method effective?
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