Tonsillitis: Symptoms, Causes, Risks, Diagnosis, Treatment, Complications, Prevention and Outlook

A mouth with tonsillitis

1. Overview

At the back of the throat, there lie the tonsils. These are masses of tissue that are used to filter germs and other pathogens that could enter the lungs through the airways.
These germs could eventually lead to respiratory infections. Moreover, the tonsils also help produce antibodies that work by fighting off infection.

However, overwhelmed by the germs that try to enter the body, the tonsils could get infected too. As a result, the infection may lead to the inflammation of the tonsils, called tonsillitis. Tonsillitis is the inflammation of the tonsils. Most cases of tonsillitis are caused by the infection brought about by a common virus. However, in some cases, bacteria may also cause tonsillitis.

Most tonsillitis cases may clear on their own within ten days. However, if the infection becomes worse, the doctor may recommend antibiotics. These drugs are only effective on bacterial infections. If the tonsillitis is caused by a virus, symptomatic treatment is recommended because viral infections are usually self-limiting and will go away within a couple of days.

Tonsillitis is common in children between the ages of 4 and seven years old. However, it’s rare for people who are over 40 years old and children below two years old. It also affects people of school age until adolescence.