Tonsillitis is inflammation (swelling) of the tonsils.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The tonsils are lymph nodes in the back of the mouth and top of the throat. They normally help to filter out bacteria and other germs to prevent infection in the body.
Strep throat is one cause of tonsilitis.
The tonsils may become so overwhelmed by a bacterial or viral infection that they swell and become inflamed, causing tonsillitis. The infection may also be present in the throat and areas around it, causing inflammation of the pharynx. The pharynx is in the back of the throat, between the tonsils and voicebox (larynx). See: Pharyngitis
Tonsillitis is very common, especially in children.
Years ago, it was almost standard procedure for a child to have his or her tonsils removed, especially if the child suffered from sore throats and colds. The number of tonsillectomies began to decline in the sixties. The sore throats and colds, for the most part, disappeared as the child grew older, and tonsil removal was no longer deemed necessary.
Now, however, tonsillectomies are back in favor as a treatment for sleep apnea in children. As well as being a cause of sore throats and colds, enlarged tonsils block the air passages causing nighttime breathing problems. Other problems caused by enlarged tonsils are problems swallowing, fever and swollen glands.
What Are Tonsils?
Tonsils are small growths of tissue found on both sides at the back of the throat. They are meant to trap bacteria and produce antibodies to fight off infections.
Unfortunately, when tonsils become infected, they swell and cause even further problems, including sore throat and tonsillitis . If...
Definition Peritonsillar abscess is a collection of infected material in the area around the tonsils. See also: Ludwig's angina Retropharyngeal abscess Alternative Names Quinsy; Abscess - peritonsillar Causes, incidence, and risk factors Peritonsillar abscess is a complication of tonsillitis . It is most often caused by a type of bacteria called group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus . Peritonsillar abscess is usually a disease of older children, adolescents, and young adults. It has become uncommon with the use of antibiotics to treat tonsillitis.
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