What Is the Causes and Symptoms of Tonsillitis?

Q:
What is the causes and symptoms of tonsillitis?

A:
Bacterial and viral infections can cause tonsillitis. A common cause is Streptococcus (strep) bacteria. Other common causes include:

  • Adenoviruses
  • Influenza virus
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Parainfluenza viruses
  • Enteroviruses
  • Herpes simplex virus

The main symptoms of tonsillitis are inflammation and swelling of the tonsils, sometimes severe enough to block the airways. Other symptoms include:

  • Throat pain or tenderness
  • Redness of the tonsils
  • A white or yellow coating on the tonsils
  • Painful blisters or ulcers on the throat
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Ear pain
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing through the mouth
  • Swollen glands in the neck or jaw area
  • Fever, chills
  • Bad breath

In children, symptoms may also include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain

Please maintain good dental hygiene, and promptly treat oral infections.

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