Persistent inflammation of the tonsils can cause chronic tonsillitis.
Tonsillitis is the inflammation of the tonsils, two pads of tissue situated on either side of the back of the throat that act as a defence against bacteria and viruses entering the mouth. For this reason, they can become vulnerable to infection. Tonsillitis is usually caused by a virus but can also be caused by bacteria. Chronic tonsillitis occurs when symptoms persist beyond two weeks.
Tonsillitis is usually a childhood condition, affecting those from the age of two onwards. Children can easily fall prey to the viruses and bacteria that cause tonsillitis in school, where they are in close contact with each other.
The signs of tonsillitis are:
Tonsillitis is generally not serious, but recurrent tonsillitis or chronic tonsillitis can lead to complications including:
If the condition is not treated, your child has a higher risk of contracting rare inflammatory diseases such as rheumatic fever or post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis, a disorder of the kidneys.
Good hygiene is the
key to preventing tonsillitis. This includes:
When tonsillitis occurs frequently, a tonsillectomy (surgical removal of the tonsils) may be carried out. This might be advised when a patient has:
The operation is usually a day procedure with recovery expected in up to two weeks.
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This article was last reviewed on
Wednesday, November 22, 2023
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