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Tonsillitis (cont.)

What is tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils. The tonsils are a pair of soft tissue masses located at the back of the mouth, with one on each side of the throat. The tonsils are glands that form part of the immune system, and thus function to prevent infection from potential bacterial or viral organisms that enter through the mouth and nose. However, sometimes the tonsils themselves can become infected, leading to swelling and inflammation of this tissue. Tonsillitis may be caused by either viruses or bacteria, although most cases are viral in origin and therefore resolve without the need for antibiotics. Acute tonsillitis usually resolves within 7-10 days. However, some individuals with chronic tonsillitis may suffer from recurrent or continuous symptoms of tonsillitis. Tonsillitis is most common in children and teenagers, although adults of any age can develop tonsillitis.

What causes tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is caused by either a viral or bacterial infection of the tonsils. Most cases of tonsillitis are caused by viruses. There are many different viruses that can cause tonsillitis, including

Bacterial tonsillitis is most often caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, the organism that causes strep throat.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/30/2015
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Tonsillitis - Treatment

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Tonsillitis and Peritonsillar Abscess »

In the first century AD, Celsus described tonsillectomy performed with sharp tools and followed by rinses with vinegar and other medicinals.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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