Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils, which are the two small clusters of tissue at the back of the throat.
There are two main types of tonsillitis: acute and chronic.
Acute tonsillitis is a common condition that is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Some common causes of acute tonsillitis include:
- Group A streptococcus (GAS)
- Influenza virus
- Epstein-Barr virus
- Parainfluenza virus
Chronic tonsillitis is a recurrent or long-term inflammation of the tonsils.
Symptoms of tonsillitis can include sore throat, swollen tonsils, difficulty swallowing, fever, and swollen lymph nodes.
Diagnosis of tonsillitis typically involves a physical examination and may include a rapid strep test or a throat culture to determine the cause of the infection.
Treatment for tonsillitis depends on the underlying cause. For acute tonsillitis caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotics are prescribed. For viral tonsillitis, treatment is typically aimed at relieving symptoms such as pain, fever and inflammation. In case of chronic tonsillitis, the treatment may include antibiotics, tonsillectomy (surgical removal of the tonsils) or a procedure called tonsil ablation.
It’s important to note that while tonsillitis is usually not serious, it can lead to complications such as abscesses and difficulty breathing, so it’s important to seek medical attention if you suspect you have tonsillitis.
To discuss diagnosis and treatment options, please book an appointment with our specialist.
To learn more about tonsillitis, please click on https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/tonsillitis/
Dr Ibrahim Yahli MD MRCPsych