Acute Tonsillitis

Acute Tonsillitis

Acute tonsillitis is a common childhood illness. It is an infection of the tonsils caused by a virus or bacteria, and it can cause inflammation and pain in the area around the tonsils. It is more common in children, but adults can also be affected. Symptoms of acute tonsillitis include a sore throat, fever, headache, and difficulty swallowing. In some cases, a person may have swollen lymph nodes in the neck.

Causes of Acute Tonsillitis

The most common cause of acute tonsillitis is a virus. This includes viruses like the common cold, the flu, or mononucleosis. Bacterial infections, such as streptococcus, are also a cause. People who are exposed to large numbers of people (such as in a school or workplace setting) are more likely to develop acute tonsillitis.

Treatment of Acute Tonsillitis

Treatment of acute tonsillitis depends on the cause. A virus cannot be treated with antibiotics, so treatment focuses on relieving symptoms. This may include some simple home remedies, such as drinking fluids, getting lots of rest, and taking pain relievers. In cases where a bacterial infection is the cause, a course of antibiotics may be prescribed. In severe cases of tonsillitis, surgery to remove the tonsils may be recommended.

Complications of Acute Tonsillitis

Although acute tonsillitis is usually a mild and self-limiting disorder, there are some potential complications. These include:

  • Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance from decreased fluid intake and fever
  • Abscesses in the throat, which can spread to the ears or other areas of the body
  • Rheumatic fever or other serious infections
  • Infection of the sinuses or lungs

If left untreated, acute tonsillitis can lead to more serious complications. It is important to seek medical advice if you or your child has symptoms of acute tonsillitis.