Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Tonsillitis: contagion and causes

 Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils, which are two small oval-shaped lumps located in the back of your throat that help your body fight infection by trapping germs. The infections that cause tonsillitis are contagious and can be transmitted through the air or through contaminated objects

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 Tonsillitis most commonly affects children and teenagers, but it can occur at any age
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Symptoms of Tonsillitis

The main symptoms of tonsillitis are inflamed and swollen tonsils, sometimes severe enough to make it hard to breathe through your mouth. Other symptoms include difficulty swallowing, ear pain, fever and chills, headache, sore throat, which lasts longer than 48 hours and may be severe, tenderness of the jaw and swollen glands in your neck or jaw
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Acute Bacterial Tonsillitis

Common symptoms of acute bacterial tonsillitis include fever, tonsillar exudates, sore throat, and tender anterior cervical chain lymphadenopathy
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Peritonsillar Abscess

An abscess can develop as a complication of tonsillitis. A peritonsillar abscess is a collection of infected material in the area around the tonsils. Symptoms of a peritonsillar abscess include a sore throat, fever, swollen lymph nodes, difficulty swallowing, and swollen tonsils and throat. If the throat is blocked, swallowing, speaking, and even breathing become difficult. When an infection of the tonsils spreads and causes infection in the soft tissues, a peritonsillar abscess may result. It is most often caused by a type of bacteria called group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus. The condition is rare now that antibiotics are used to treat tonsillitis
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Diagnosis of Tonsillitis

Acute tonsillitis is a clinical diagnosis. Differentiation between bacterial and viral causes can be difficult; however, this is crucial to prevent the overuse of antibiotics. To diagnose tonsillitis, your healthcare provider will examine your throat for redness, swelling or white spots on your tonsils. They will also ask about other symptoms you’ve had, such as a fever, cough, runny nose, rash or stomachache. They may also look in your ears and nose for other signs of infection and feel the sides of your neck to see if your lymph nodes are swollen and tender
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Treatment of Tonsillitis

At-home care strategies can make you more comfortable and promote better recovery. If a virus is the expected cause of tonsillitis, these strategies are the only treatment. Your doctor won't prescribe antibiotics. Your child will likely be better within seven to 10 days. If tonsillitis is caused by a bacterial infection, your doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotics. Penicillin taken by mouth for 10 days is the most common antibiotic treatment prescribed for tonsillitis caused by group A streptococcus. If you are allergic to penicillin, your doctor will prescribe an alternative antibiotic. Surgery to remove tonsils (tonsillectomy) may be used to treat frequently recurring tonsillitis, chronic tonsillitis or bacterial tonsillitis that doesn't respond to antibiotics
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Contagion of Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis itself is not contagious, but the viruses and bacteria that cause it are contagious. The pathogens that trigger tonsillitis can pass to others, and a variety of common infections can cause tonsillitis. You can catch tonsillitis by inhaling respiratory droplets that are generated when someone with the infection coughs or sneezes. You can also develop tonsillitis if you come into contact with a contaminated object. An example of this is if you touch a contaminated doorknob and then touch your face, nose, or mouth
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Chronic Tonsillitis

Chronic tonsillitis is when you have a long-term tonsil infection. It is diagnosed when you have tonsillitis several times in a year. It is predominantly the result of a viral or bacterial infection and, when uncomplicated, presents as a sore throat. Differentiation between bacterial and viral causes can be difficult; however, this is crucial to prevent the overuse of antibiotics
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Tonsillectomy

Surgery to remove tonsils (tonsillectomy) may be used to treat frequently recurring tonsillitis, chronic tonsillitis or bacterial tonsillitis that doesn't respond to antibiotics. Tonsillectomy is usually an outpatient procedure, meaning you can go home the same day. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, so you will be asleep and pain-free. Recovery time is usually one to two weeks
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In conclusion, tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils that can be caused by various contagious infections. The symptoms of tonsillitis include inflamed and swollen tonsils, difficulty swallowing, ear pain, fever and chills, headache, sore throat, which lasts longer than 48 hours and may be severe, tenderness of the jaw and swollen glands in your neck or jaw. Tonsillitis can be diagnosed through a physical examination by a healthcare provider. Treatment depends on whether the infection is viral or bacterial. Surgery to remove tonsils (tonsillectomy) may be used to treat frequently recurring tonsillitis, chronic tonsillitis or bacterial tonsillitis that doesn't respond to antibiotics.

Citations:
[1] https://www.healthline.com/health/is-tonsillitis-contagious
[2] https://www.pennmedicine.org/for-patients-and-visitors/patient-information/conditions-treated-a-to-z/tonsillitis
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK544342/
[4] https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/diseases-conditions/peritonsillar-abscess
[5] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tonsillitis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20378483
[6] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327360
[7] https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/tonsillitis-symptoms-causes-and-treatments
[8] https://www.healthline.com/health/tonsillitis
[9] https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/peritonsillar-abcess
[10] https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/understanding-tonsillitis-treatment
[11] https://www.verywellhealth.com/is-tonsillitis-contagious-5248784
[12] https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21146-tonsillitis
[13] https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22817-peritonsillar-abscess-quinsy
[14] https://bestpractice.bmj.com/topics/en-us/598
[15] https://www.buzzrx.com/blog/is-tonsillitis-contagious-symptoms-and-treatment
[16] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/tonsillitis/
[17] https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2002/0101/p93.html
[18] https://www.emedicinehealth.com/is_tonsillitis_contagious/article_em.htm
[19] https://medlineplus.gov/tonsillitis.html
[20] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK519520/
[21] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tonsillitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20378479
[22] https://familydoctor.org/condition/tonsillitis/
[23] https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/871977-treatment
[24] https://biltmoreent.com/is-tonsillitis-contagious/
[25] https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/871977-overview
[26] https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/ears-nose-and-throat/tonsillitis
[27] https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/peritonsillar-abscess.html

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