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Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the throat glands, which are called the tonsils. The tonsils are a pair of soft tissue masses located at the rear of mouth on each side of the throat. The tonsils are part of the lymphatic system, which helps to fight against the infections. Tonsillitis occurs when bacterial or viral organisms cause inflammation of the tissue. Most of the time, tonsillitis is caused by a viral infection.

Tonsillitis can occur at any age and is a common childhood ailment but Tonsillitis is common, especially in children. The condition can occur occasionally or recur frequently. Tonsillitis is transmitted most commonly from one person to another by social contact such as droplets in the air from sneezing.

Causes

Tonsillitis can be caused by either viral or bacterial infection. Most of the time, tonsillitis is caused by a viral infection such as Adenoviruses, Influenza virus, Enteroviruses and Para influenza viruses. Bacterial tonsillitis can be caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, the organism that causes strep throat.

Symptoms

  1. Pain in Throat
  2. Red, swollen tonsils sometime with a white or yellow coating on the tonsils
  3. Fever
  4. Headache
  5. Hoarseness or loss of voice
  6. Pain and difficulty with swallowing
  7. Nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain
  8. Loss of appetite
  9. Breathing through the mouth
  10. Redness in eyes and ear pain
  11. Jaw and neck tenderness (due to swollen lymph nodes)

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of tonsillitis is based on a medical history and a physical examination. Your doctor may use a swab to take a sample from the back of your throat. This sample may be used for a rapid strep test or a throat culture.

In some cases, your doctor may do a blood test to find out what is causing your infection. For example, a blood test can check for mononucleosis. However, if the strep throat lab test is negative, the CBC may be needed to help determine the cause of tonsillitis.