Tonsillitis occurs any time the tonsils are inflamed. It has a variety of causes, both bacterial and viral, and there are many different types of tonsillitis. It occurs most often in children over the age of two, but can happen to anyone. Tonsillitis is rarely serious, but it should be taken seriously because it can interfere with development and quality of life.
There are four different types of tonsillitis.
- Acute: temporary tonsillitis that includes sore throat, fever, dysphagia, and other symptoms
- Recurrent: several episodes of acute tonsillitis within a year
- Chronic: ongoing sore throat halitosis, and tender cervical nodes
- Peritonsillar abscess: sever sore throat, fever, drooling, halitosis, difficulty opening the mouth, and muffled voice
Once the cause and type of tonsillitis is determined, your doctor will determine the appropriate course of treatment. Treatment may include a regimen of antibiotics and pain control. Hospitalization is rarely required, but recurrent cases are often treated with the surgical removal of the tonsils. When tonsillitis is caused by a peritonsillar abscess, more urgent treatment is usually needed to drain the abscess.