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Tonsils are lymphoid tissue at the back of  the throat. They produce antibodies for fighting the bacteria, virus and other germs causing infection. Tonsillitis occurs when the tonsils become red and swollen due to infection by bacteria and virus. It is common in children, who are in close contact with other children in schools and colleges.

Symptoms of  tonsillitis are:

1. sore throat making it difficult to eat or drink or even swallow.

2. Enlarged tonsils with a white coating

3. Swollen lymph nodes (small hard boils) in the jaw and neck

4. Fever, chills and headache

 

 Tonsillitis can be caused by bacteria or virus. The doctor can find out the cause of the infection by taking a throat culture using a cotton swab . Bacterial infections can be treated using antibiotics. For virus infections, there is no treatment and the immune system fights the viruses. Drink plenty of  fluids like water, take rest and avoid eating spicy foods. Gargling with salt water also helps.

 

 If  tonsillitis occurs frequently (more than 7 times a year) in a child, the tonsils may be removed surgically by a procedure called tonsillectomy. Breathing may become difficult (sleep apnea) due to enlarged tonsils which  block the airway. This can be a serious problem in children since tonsils are large, relative to throat size compared to adults. Though the removal of tonsils is a minor surgery, complete recovery may take up to 2 weeks.


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