Tonsillitis: Potential causes and distinctive symptoms

Tonsillitis is a prevalent health condition especially among children that develops once the pharyngeal tonsils at the back of the throat are inflamed. This condition can be triggered by allergies or infections. Remember that tonsillitis can cause a severe sore throat and might require treatment with medications or surgery.

Close look on the tonsils

The tonsils are part of the lymphatic system and responsible for generating white blood cells that protect the body against disease.

Remember that the tonsils play a vital role in the immune system which attacks the viruses and bacteria that are transported into the body by mouth. Due to this, the tonsils are susceptible to become inflamed, infected or both.

Once the tonsils turn reddened, swollen and sore, it is called tonsillitis. Various microorganisms can trigger inflamed tonsils and oftentimes, it is an infection accompanied by the presence of white patches on the surface of the tonsils.


Tonsillitis can be triggered by bacteria or virus. The common bacteria that can cause tonsillitis is streptococcus or strep throat.

Take note that children are prone to tonsil issues since they have no yet developed immunity against common viruses and bacteria. Additionally, tonsillitis affects children since the tonsils play a big role in protecting the immune system before puberty is reached.

Causes of tonsillitis

Tonsillitis can be triggered by bacteria or virus. The common bacteria that can cause tonsillitis is streptococcus or strep throat. In such cases, strep throat should be treated using antibiotics.

In rare cases, strep throat that is left untreated can lead to heart or kidney damage especially in children. The common symptom of strep throat is pain in the rear part of the throat and not accompanied by other cold symptoms such as sneezing or runny nose.

Can tonsillitis subside on its own?

Tonsillitis is considered as a common condition and there are various causes. In most cases, the condition subsides on its own. Additionally, if the individual has a sore throat that does not get better, a doctor should be consulted.

When is tonsillectomy needed?

Once the tonsils become inflamed for an extended period of time, it might require surgical removal via tonsillectomy. Even though tonsillitis was previously managed with tonsillectomy, it is no longer the usual practice and only performed in specific cases.

Removal of the tonsils is required in cases that involves extreme obstruction of the airways or swallowing due to inflamed tonsils. Other possible reasons for tonsillectomy include chronic tonsillitis, persistent acute throat infections, obstruction that results to voice changes or bad breath and bleeding of the tonsils.

Individuals who have sleep disorders that involves breathing and diseases affecting the tonsils are suitable candidates for tonsillectomy. In case tonsillectomy is performed, the recovery usually takes up to 2 weeks.


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